Is the confederate flag a symbol of heritage or hatred?

my proposition is that the confederate flag is a symbol of heritage and not hatred

how is this true?

can you please give a few examples?

in a debate, what would be good things to support this?

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The answer to questions like this depend almost entirely on who is being asked.

    Many white Southerners (and others) see the Confederate flag as a symbol of heritage because of the way the history of the Civil war (or War Between the States) has been presented to them. They are inclined to see the issue of the war being a matter of states rights. This is partly true.

    However, many Americans of African ancestry and others, see the Confederate Flag as a symbol of slavery and oppression. This is also partly true.

    In my opinion, the most important question to ask oneself about the Confederate Flag is who is helped or hurt by its display?

    Let me give you another example. The swastika symbol has been used in the art of people all around the globe for thousands of years. But when the Nazi party in Germany began to use it as their symbol it took on a meaning that is so terrible that many people can not bear to see it. It became a shorthand symbol for the horrors of World War II and of the Holocaust.

    Even though all the other meanings of the swastika are not evil, displaying it can hurt some people terribly. That seems to me what the Confederate Battle Flag does. The pain that people feel from its display seems to me far more important than the pride some might feel.

    My family is from the south. My ancestors settled in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Many fought in the Civil War on the side of the South. I try to understand what they thought and why they did what they did. I am not in any way ashamed of them. I'm not ashamed to be the descendent of slaveholders.

    But I am ashamed when people cling to a symbol like the Confederate Battle Flag instead of finding a better, less pain inflicting symbol of southern pride. There is so much to be proud of that we don't need to use that particular symbol for our heritage.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage. Both black and white men fought and died for the Confederacy. It is not racist and if anything the American flag is racist seeing as that there was never such thing as a confederate slave ship. All slaves that came to this country came over on a ship with an American flag flying over it. People fly the flag to honor the men in their family that died in the war and as a symbol of the south. The flag has nothing to do with the KKK or any other racist group. For some reason these groups adopted the flag and thats why it has such a bad rap. You could talk about how the civil war was not fought over slavery and it was really over the north treating the south very unfairyl, state rights, and unfair tariffs.

  • 1 decade ago

    On the morning of 4 March 1861 large models of the proposed flags were hung on the walls of the Congressional chamber. The First National Flag "The Stars and Bars" was adopted on the same day it was to be raised over the capitol at Montgomery. A flag made of soft merino wool was completed within two hours of it's adoption by the Congress. The very first flag of the Confederate States of America was raised by Miss Letitia Christian Tyler, grand- daughter of President John Tyler. Six weeks later it was flying over Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

    The Original First National Flag of the Confederacy can still be seen today at Beauvoir, which is the Jefferson Davis Memorial and Shrine, located in Biloxi, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast Highway. It had 7 stars in a circle on a blue field, to represent the 7 states of the CSA. Later versions would have 11 stars and then eventually 13 stars as other states were admitted to the Confederacy. The bars consisted of two red and one white.

    In their hurry to adopt a flag and have it ready the same afternoon, the Congress forgot to enact a flag law. Nowhere in the statute books of the Confederate States is a Flag Act of 1861. In official use for over two years, the Stars and Bars was never established as the Confederate Flag by the laws of the land. The Stars and Bars flag was replaced in 1863 by the "Stainless Banner"

    Each state and unit had a different flag that it fought under,

    so to me the Stars and Bars is just another flag...the flag I choose to see as heritage is the Commonwealth of Virginia since my ancestors fought and in some cases died in defense of their home.

    Source(s): Me AP US History and Government Teacher
  • 1 decade ago

    IMO, your teacher shouldn't be asking you to debate what anything "is" a symbol of. Symbology is inherently subjective. There may be (idk; I believe there are, but I haven't spent enough time in the South to test it) a lot of people who display the confederate flag to show that they are "of the South", or that they support state's rights and a limited federal government, or similar, and have no racist intention. And this wouldn't make it any less true that to a lot of people detest it as a symbol of slavery and racism. Or that there are probably some sick people who embrace it as a symbol of racism.

    I can tell you what a symbol means to me, explaining why I display it. You can tell me what it means to you, explaining why you object to my displaying it. We are both right about what it means, as neither of us is saying "what the symbol means", just what it means to each of us.


    I think, if I were debating this, that I would just stick to the argument that symbology is subjective. Because I doubt you can "disprove" that the flag is a symbol of hate if you accept that there are "objective" meanings to symbols.

    But you can talk about corruption of symbols in that argument. The swastika, which is now a symbol that means racial hatred and white superiority, used to be a sign for the sun. And the mirror image of the swastika, though it obviously looks very much like the swastika, is a luck symbol in some East Asians cultures. No objective meaning.

    And for a slightly less touchy example, you could use the sign of the Deathly Hallows in Harry Potter. If you're into that. I'm sure there are other literary examples as well, but that one comes to mind now. Krum gets angry and almost challenges Mr. Lovegood to a duel because he associates the sign with the dark wizard Grindelwald, when the sign "actually" represents the Deathly Hallows. Hope this is helpful.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Both. A lot of people who fly it do it for heritage and don't realize that segregationists adopted it as their flag in the 50's and 60's, giving it a whole new meaning, especially in the eyes of Black people, who see it as a sign of segregationist hatred. This is why you can debate it. Many people who want to fly it aren't doing it to say "I hate Black people." The real problem is, how is a Black person supposed to know just by looking at you what is in your heart as you fly it? Pride in heritage or hatred of Black people?

  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You have received a number of excellent answers, but I believe that lockedjew provided the best answer.

    No matter how you approach this subject I’m sure that you will find those who will take an emotional based stand against your work. This is one of those subjects which have entered the world or political spin and opinions rarely are based in reality. Good luck.

  • Most people couldn't tell you if you were holding a Confederate flag or a Unit battle flag.

  • 1 decade ago

    Today it symbolizes both. I look at it as representing the courage of those brave soldiers who fought during the battles of the civil war...but that's just me.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on one's point of view. What you see as heritage, others may see as hatred and intolerance.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends on which "confederate flag" you're talking about.

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