? asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

Why do people display the Confederate Flag?

I'm from New York, so I'm not from the deep south or anything. When I'm driving around, I see people occasionally with a flag from the Confederate States of America flying from their homes, or a sticker on their bumper. I'm just curious why these people (who presumably aren't all racists) would display the flags. What else did the Confederates stand for?

10 Answers

  • Bret
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Same reason you see Mexican, Polish, Italian, Irish, Kenyan, and countless other flags flown across the country - often on public buildings. It is a display of cultural identity and ancestral pride, not to mention an exercise of one's first amendment right. The culture of the south is very different from that of the north to this day, and anyone who has spent time with common southerners can attest to this. And the results of the civil war still resonate. It can be considered a memorial to the more than 93,000 confederate soldiers who died fighting for their country. Do you think the stars and stripes would be an appropriate way to commemorate these soldiers?

    I think that racism has been unfairly associated with the "Confederate Flag." Sure, the KKK, Aryan Nation, and other groups have made use of it. But do you know the origin of this flag? I can tell you that it was not a flag representative of the Confederate States, but a battle flag flown by the Army of Northern Virginia. The national flag for the Confederacy didn't look much different than the Stars and Stripes used by the Union.

    Why do people still display state flags in southern states? Many of these were based upon or not much different from flags used by these same states before and during the Civil War. Ever heard of the "Bonnie Blue Flag?" It was a flag for the State of Florida during the war, and because of a certain song of the same name became a very popular unofficial flag of the Confederacy. Seeing this flag flying above the capitol building in Tallahassee would be doubtful to evoke any emotion at all except that of state pride, and certainly little if any controversy. Yet flying the battle flag would undoubtedly have Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and perhaps even the President himself ready and willing to step in and offer their piece of mind on the matter and call for its removal and ban. It's incredible what influence a mix of colors on fabric and a little public perception can do.

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  • Pamela
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Was it about slavery? Yes and no. The other answerers were correct in stating that the Civil War was about States Rights, HOWEVER, it was indirectly about slavery too, as the overburdening question was, did states have the RIGHT to allow slavery or did the federal government have jurisdiction over what states could or could not do. All of my ancestors that were alive at that time fought for the Confederate State of Mississippi. The war basically demonstrated that the constitution was too weak, if states were able to leave the union at there will, it would very difficult to maintain the United States of America. Also in regards to Northern Manufacturing, people have apparently FORGOTTEN, that GREAT BRITAIN, was a major consumer of southern cotton, and even considered military intervention on the side of the south, so that they might receive more of that cotton. Also at that time, the French had moved large elements of the foreign legion into Mexico, and set up a government under an Austrian regent. Had the south "won" it would have left both the Union and Confederate states severely crippled, and, in the case of the south, open to invasion from French forces in Mexico. My great uncle flew the confederate flag above the American flag until his death. Flying that flag is more about showing Southern Pride. Some groups take that to mean being proud of being southern, others mean it to be tough, and still others use it as racist. Edit: The reason the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in southern states, was because there were very few slaves in the North, and it was a display of the federal governments power.

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  • 6 years ago

    Slaverry is only a part of the confederacy. The worst part of the American flag is genocide against native americans

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  • 4 years ago

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    The Confederate flag is still displayed because of the heritage it represents. A civil war that spanned nearly 5 years with hundreds of thousands of deaths and mutilations is not leaving the minds of the American people. This was a particularly brutal war where rifles were single shot muzzle loaders, after that one shot the bayonet was often used. Up close and smelling the breath of the young lad that you were goring with that bayonet. Today's wars are more distant and impersonal, ordnance fired at an unseen enemy. They display for heritage. I am from the North and approve of the display. It represents standing against a corrupt and monster of a government that has taken our states rights away from us, that has bullied it's people into submission of it's tentacles that shakes us down for "protection money", far far beyond fair and reasonable. .

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  • 3 years ago

    Deep South Flag

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  • 10 years ago

    The revolutionary war was not just about slavery, actually slavery played a very small part in it. The main thing they were fighting over was "states rights" vs "federal rights". In the constitution they are many rights given to the states that are today not actually given to the states, the reason?

    The north was fighting for a centralized federal government which in many ways went against the constitution whereas the south was fighting for individual states having more power.

    What if the south won? We would probably not have a lot of federal laws and much less federal tax, however each state would be much more responsible for its citizens and providing social services.

    In short, the south stood for a smaller federal government and stronger states rights whereas the north stood for just the opposite. Many people in the south still feel strongly that the south should have won and that they are being wronged. In actuality the constitution favored the south, however the revolutionary war changed the way our government works.

    And that is why you still see confederate flags!

  • BO#44
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    The same reason anyone flys a flag, to show their support for their country/state/nation. Even though it's no longer around, the Confederate States seceded from the Union because they believed in a state's right to do so, much akin to the United States seceding from the British Empire. The south believed in their purpose and that's probably why the flag is still blowing in the wind today, as a sign that we haven't forgotten our past.

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  • Hunter
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    I'm not racist.....but I still say if the south had of won we would have it made. The capitol would be in Alabama and I doubt the governemnt would try to pull something slick they they've been doing in D.C. Don't forget that many blacks fought on the confederate side as well.

    People need to grow a backbone and quit being so sensitive. It's part of our history.

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  • 10 years ago

    People display the Confederate flag because:

    a. their ancestors fought for the Confederacy and the "Peculiar Institution" of slavery.

    b. they like to cheer for the underdog, but not the real underdogs of the Civil War - the slaves!

    c. they are so smitten by the speeches of Francis Pickens they cannot resist supporting South Carolina's secession from the Union and the "Peculiar Institution" of slavery.

    d. the Northerners were so cruel, they made people work in factories for low wages, while the Southerners owned the slaves who worked on the plantations for low wages.

    e. They fly the flag because they miss the good ol' days when the plantation masters had all the rights and the wealth to be elected by the few that could vote - but not the women or the slaves.

    p.s. The whole concept of "States Rights" was not understood by the average and illiterate Southron, and any concept that puts the "State" before the people is not liberty or democracy. What a load of cow manure!

    Source(s): Welcome to BS American History!
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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The Confederacy stood for states' rights and liberty. Unfortunately, the main right they wanted to hold on to was the holding of slaves. Not everyone in the Confederacy was a racist, and you can support the Confederacy without being one.

    People who display the Confederate flag are proud of their heritage, of their forefathers who stood up for what they believed in. Unfortunately, there are those that don't see the same qualities in our current nation and who can be...somewhat offensive.

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