“It’s Heritage, Not Hate” “Well Sorry To Inform You That The Heritage Is Hate”

Confederate Flag

The debate over the Confederate Flag is steadily continuing to heat up.

The Confederate Flag has always been a touchy subject in the South, but the conversation has been taken to an all new high since the Charleston Shooting. Currently, the states of South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, and Kentucky have all made announcements to remove the confederate flags from various places to “move forward” in our country; however, it’s not just the states feeling the effects of the rising tension.

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The television show “Dukes of Hazard” is also feeling the publicly growing backlash to the flag. According to ABC News, Warner Bros. announced it would no longer sanction the manufacturing of “Dukes of Hazzard” merchandise featuring the flag, and TV Land announced that it’s pulling reruns of the 1980s’ TV series making a lot of Americans very angry.

America is not seeing eye-to-eye on this controversy, and some are taking the situation into their own hands like activist Bree Newsome. Newsome climbed a 30 foot pole last week to remove the confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse saying, “You come against me with hatred, and oppression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.” (Watch the video below)

Those are strong words, but was she crazy?  Should she be in jail for her actions? Does she have a point? Do any of these people removing flags and merchandise have a legitimate reason? The Confederate Flag symbolizes a long proud heritage and not hate right? Well, let’s discuss and gets some facts on the table. (stay with us)

Fact: The Confederate Flag that everyone is split on is actually the Battle Flag (we’ll keep referring to it as the Confederate Flag to not cause confusion). It never represented the nation. The Confederate States Of America had 3 national flags that were redesigned for several reasons, but it was never the Battle Flag.

Fact: The Confederate Flag does hold heritage. It represents a people who fought for what they believed in. They fought for the freedom to govern themselves how they saw fit.

Fact: HOWEVER, the people who flew the Confederate Flag in battle were fighting to keep Blacks enslaved.

It’s hilarious to watch people try to minimize the fact that the South was fighting to keep an entire group of people in chains. Yes the Confederate Flag does represent heritage, but the heritage that it represents is full of HATE.

President Obama hits it right on the head while delivering the eulogy for Senator and Pastor Clementa Pinckney (victim of the Charleston Shooting). “The cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.”

The enslavement of Black people was not a minuscule thing. It can’t just be attached to the Confederate Flag as a only a small part of what those who stood behind it fought for, but if you want to deduce it to that and say slavery has been over since the 1860s, let us look at how the flag has been used since the Civil War.

The flag stayed around after the Confederates lost, but according to CNN it regained it’s popularity in 1948. People were waving it left and right when South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond ran for president under the newly founded States Rights Democratic Party (also known as the Dixiecrats). The party’s purpose was clear: “We stand for the segregation of the races,” said Article 4 of its platform.

Over the years it has reappeared at many events like the Supreme Court case of Brown vs. The Board of Education whose ruling was suppose to desegregate schools; yet, the flag was flying in favor of segregation.

Even past the Civil War, the flag has been used as symbol that stands for the oppression of Blacks. That sentiment doesn’t just disappear.

In the debate over the flag, some people are arguing that it’s the hate from people’s heart that needs to be removed not the flag. No. It’s both. The flag is a step. It’s not a huge step, because frankly the same people that used the confederate flag for demeaning reasons are still going to feel the same way when it comes down, but it is definitely a necessary step in continuing to right the perpetual wrongs slavery inflicted.

There are many Southern Americans with direct ties to those who fought for The Confederate States of America, and while you may love that your ancestors stood up for what they believed in, what they believed in was fundamentally wrong.

That can’t be argued. Arguing it is part of the problem with the progression of America.

Nobody is asking anyone to leave out the Confederates in the U.S. History books (like other people are left out), but in Present Day America it is time to stop trying to deflect slavery and racism. Slavery occurred. It wasn’t pretty. Racism exists. It’s not as bad as it use to be, but it is still thriving in our country. The bottom line is that the heritage of the confederate flag stands for both slavery and racism. 

Let’s take it down.

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Bryant Smith

Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.

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