The Confederate Flag: Heritage or Hate?

Email a Friend
Confederate flag supporters demonstrate on the north steps of the capitol building 06 April, 2000 in Columbia, SC.
From and

The Confederate battle flag flies high above the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, less than 120 miles away from the site where nine parishioners were brutally murdered at a historically black church last week.

The man who took the lives of the churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Church partially turned to the Confederate flag for his motivation.

For decades, the flag has raised questions about heritage and hate, and for many it has become a symbol that represents a long history of American racism, slavery, and the Jim Crow south. 

Is there ever really a case for tradition when a symbol becomes twisted, gnarled, and repurposed throughout history? Not according to Kareem Crayton, associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

"We can all respect that some people do not view the flag that way. But the flag has also become inextricably associated with ideologies that most American should find disgusting," writes Crayton. "Symbols embraced by the state ought to bring people together rather than divide them. The evidence shows that this one does far more of the latter."