The United States has a long and murky history of racism, especially in our southern states. The recent events in Charleston demonstrate the kind of racial attitudes that once shaped the ideology of the Confederacy back when slavery was a hot-button issue. However, we now live in the modern world where there is no longer serious debate about slavery: we know it, and the other racist ideals of the Confederacy, were immoral and wrong. So why is there still a Confederate flag flying on state property?
The flag I speak of flies on the grounds of the Capitol in Columbia, South Carolina. After the racially-motivated massacre committed by Dylann Roof, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the flag to be removed out of respect for the victims. Yes, governor, I think it might be time to take down the symbol of hate and oppression that has been flying alongside the U.S. flag for far too long.
Of course, there was a backlash from defenders of the Confederate flag citing the historical significance of the symbol. I agree, the flag is significant, but only as a reminder of how far our country has come and what we’ve had to overcome. Instead of flying proudly on tax-funded property, let’s put it where it belongs: in a museum collecting dust.
For further reading: the history of the Confederate flag article from NPR.