Our View: Representing heritage should never inspire hate

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket, Date: October 15, 2015
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The confederate flag can be seen in a multitude of places in our town, flying on houses and on trucks, as well as plastered on students’ Facebook pages. They are displayed  despite the fact that we are five hours and over 200 miles away from the Mason-Dixon line.
Before launching our staff’s opinion about the flag, we thought it was necessary to give a little history behind its infamous creation.
The flag has a red background with a blue St. Andrew’s cross.  The cross is emblazoned with 13 stars that represent the 13 states that seceded from the union during the Civil War.
The main cause of the war was that the southern states did not want to relinquish legal ownership of people that they had enslaved. That is almost the sole cause of the secession, and is what the Confederate Flag represents.
However, this does not deter people from flying and displaying the flag, and some people are even insistant that the flag is representative of their heritage.
Some people whose families have lived in the north their entire lives have claimed the Confederate Flag as their heritage, despite it having nothing to do with their family history or way of life. Their supposed heritage is offensive to everyone whose ancestors were enslaved by southern people. If the flag-wavers’ ‘heritage’ is asserting their own well-being above others’, then they can successfully claim it as theirs.
It is especially out of place here, but is still prevalent enough of a topic for students and faculty to hold a discussion about it.
Phi Alpha Theta, National Honor History Society, held a debate on Tuesday to discuss whether the flag is a sign of hate or heritage.
At the discussion, the main opinion was that the flag hindered the progression of society, and represented a terrible time in U.S. history.
We hold that same opinion, and think that the Confederate Flag is a sign of hate.
This being said, those who wish to are still welcome to cling to one of the last remnants of the Confederacy. Free expression is a critical trait of a free society and the creation of a free society was behind the spirit of the Civil War. Most Americans hold Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator,” near and dear to their hearts and, while he was a significant actor in freeing the slaves, history will show that even he was a racist. So, most of us have less room to judge than we’d imagine.
It is important, however, that those who choose to rep the Confederate flag be mindful of what message their expression is conveying to others. What one person views as heritage another may view as hate, which can greatly influence one’s reputation. Consider this, would you arrive to a job interview in your pick-up truck with a giant Confederate flag strapped to its back? Most would say that’s not very tasteful, and that decision could even hinder someone’s desire to hire someone else.
The act of Confederate flag toting has also been hailed as a sign of patriotism, which it absolutely is not.
The flag represents the division of our country, both during the 1800’s and now. One would think an almost 200-year-old symbol of division and hatred would not be revered as a notion of patriotism.
Others consider the flag to be a symbol of rebellion, which is also a poor argument. It was a rebellion caused by one person’s assumed superiority over another, and our modern age has no room for it.
If hurting other people is what you equate to heritage, then you are the problem.

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