Edward Stojakovic/Flickr

You might have heard that the Confederate flag is merely an acknowledgment of family and heritage, or of states rights. But these claims amount to a gross simplification of the horrors that were commited in the South during the era of human slavery.

Thanks to educational efforts, many people are aware of the flag's legacy and what it means for the descendants of the formerly enslaved population. But there are still others who fly it and defend it. The flag was prominently displayed a year ago, during the storming of the United States Capitol amid a nationwide discussion about racial justice and reconciliation.

Naturally, the flag inspires many opinions. People were keen to share their thoughts and experiences surrounding the flag after Redditor itsdatanotdata111 asked the online community,

"To the Americans of Reddit, what does the Confederate Flag mean to you?"

"For black people..."

"For black people it brings up the same feeling as in a Nazi salute."


Understandably. The flag is a symbol that tells black people that those who fly it do not consider them human beings.

"It's a symbol..."

"It’s a symbol of treachery and oppression. Many of the generals who fought under that flag betrayed their paths to support the Union, and the flag symbolizes a nation founded to continue the oppression of slaves. I live in the north and still see that flag far too often."


That it even exists in the northern states is wild. Take a drive through Pennsylvania sometime.

"It’s honestly the same as the Nazi flag to me. A flag that has no place in society. They lost the war for Jebus’ sake!!"


Don't tell them that – they'll refuse to listen.

Or maybe do tell them. Tell them all the time.

"The Confederacy is a stain..."

"Southerner here. The Confederacy is a stain on America. People will say it’s about many things and refuse to listen to those who point out what it really was: a horrible racist group of traitors and terrorists. I’m ashamed to live in a place even associated with it."


I can only imagine what it must feel like to live in the South and hate to see it, knowing what it represents.

"It's a symbol of how easy it is..."

"Tennessean here. It's a symbol of how easy it is to twist history and how vulnerable our educational system is, as well as how rotten the people in power are to make both of those things happen."


Indeed, many people who fly the flag would benefit from a proper education. Public education continues to face cuts nationwide.

"When I was younger..."

"When I was younger, I didn't understand all too much, but now, it just seems sad... like real sad. Like it ain't even the real flag, and it celebrates so much evil."


The moment you realize what it represents is a gamechanger. You can't help but feel revulsion any other time you see it.

"It is a historical document..."

"It is a historical document and nothing more to my mind. It is used as a symbol of a past that some people wish was still the present, but it has no meaning other than a reminder of a history that we should have moved on from by now."


To say it's merely a "historical document" is simplifying it, no? Certainly it is, but its effect on politics to this day is significant.

"Treason plain and simple."

"Treason plain and simple. Whether it be over slavery or some other dumb reason (as they like to claim) doesn’t matter. Should be treated like the swastika in Germany."


Perhaps one day the country will get there, but who knows?

"As a man from the South..."

"As a man form the South, it just helps me know who the uneducated, ignorant and stupid are. It was already pretty heavily frowned upon."


It's a pretty good indicator. You know not to hang around or invite to your next dinner party.

"It's not even the actual flag..."

"It stands for racism. It's not even the actual flag flown by the Confederacy during the Civil War, it only became popular after the formation of the KKK as a symbol of white supremacists in southern states."


This is a very good point. The KKK amplified it, breathed life into it, and now we're living and dealing with the results.

Believe it or not, the Confederate flag was only removed from the South Carolina capitol grounds in 2015, just seven years ago. There is still so much work to be done.

Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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