1954’s Brown vs. Board of Education case court ruling marked the dawn of desegregation in America. A short time after the sentence, South Carolina replaced their state flag with the Confederate flag, raising it above their statehouse, the Georgia and Mississippi state flags were changed to incorporate the Confederate flag, and Confederate monuments were suddenly built. The brief time period between the two events led many to believe the gesture to be the state of South Carolina’s reaction and response to desegregation in public areas.
Many were offended by the exhibit and confused as to whether the flag responded to desegregation or honored the state membership in the confederacy. The erection of the Confederate flag was a reaction preponderantly to desegregation and has become a contributing factor to the pain of racism; it should be lowered as soon as possible. For many American citizens, a controversial flag such as the Confederate flag flying above a government edifice delivers a great amount of pain.
Emett Burns, an African-American involved in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, spoke of his views on the Confederate flag: “It [the flag] says to me ‘If I could put you in your place, I would. ’” (qtd in Schaiver) The NAACP finds the flag extremely offensive and explained their outlook on it with frustration, saying, “enough is enough. ” (qtd in Cabell) Mims, an African-American 42 year old disabled paper worker, announced his vista upon the flag: “It is like the Germans and the Jews—they are trying to eliminate us.
A recent legal case concerning the Confederate flag, the Plaintiff argued the flag to be “hostile, racially divisive, and a symbol of bigotry and racial degradation. ” (qtd in Jefferson 22) As the Confederate flag continues to provide racial inferences, it also provides Southern pride and an honoring to the state’s membership in the Confederacy and the Civil war. Angel Quintero and Sherman Evens have created a clothing line and use the Confederate flag as their logo. Surprisingly and ironically, both are African-American citizens.
The flag features red, green and black, the African-American liberation colors,” they say. (qtd Leopold) Collin Pulley, the chairman of the Heritage Defense Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, sees the issue simply; he say, “Everything I’ve seen indicates the flags were changed for the Civil War Centennial. ” (qtd in Leopold) Arthur Twigg, a member of Maryland’s Sons of Confederate Veterans, is proud of the flag; he exclaims, “It means a lot to me, my ancestors carried that flag into battle.
Defenders of the flag say moving, hiding, or replacing the precious piece of history will suggest to the public that it is immoral. (Leopold) The history of the Confederate flag leads many to be suspicious of the impetus of it’s supporters, finding it to possibly be racist. As our nation has learned of the hurt inflicted by the Confederate flag several attempts have been made to bring the effect of the flag to a more moderate level, while still inspiring Southern pride.
South Carolina’s major solution to the controversy was to lower the flag from the state house but place it on the lawn to honor Confederate dead. Too much opposition to this approach predicted this would not lower the level of controversy in the state. The Jackson, Mississippi city council voted to ban the Confederate flag and all other exhibits of it in the state because it was offending Mississippi citizens. The flag was not banned, though. The Mississippi state flag would have to be redesigned, as it holds a picture of the Confederate flag in it’s left hand corner.
It was decided that changing the flag would be too much of an effort so the proposition was dismissed for the time being. April 26th marks the Alabama state Confederate Memorial day, on which the state flew the Confederate flag. Because of the offense taken by the Confederate flag, state government has considered replacing it with another flag of Confederate that looks more like the American flag. (Leopold) However, none of these feasible solutions were carried out. An understanding cannot be reached as to why these proposals have all failed.
A resolution such as lowering the flag from the statehouse and placing it on the lawn of the statehouse would still inspire the same feelings of Southern pride, honor Confederate dead, and honor the state’s membership in the confederacy; accomplishing the same goals as flying it above the statehouse. An approachable intention the supporters of the flag would hold is one of racism. These supporters want to use the flag as a tool to show African-Americans where they came from and where they should remain: as a white person’s slave.