Archived: Why Fly the Confederate Flag

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

I live in a small suburb of Kansas City, Mo. I have noticed more frequently that individuals in the area have confederate flag bumper stickers, flags hanging as windows, etc. What’s the deal

I find the flag very offensive. If people claim it’s a part of historyI can’t deny that it was, but it WAS a very horrid part of U.S. history that hatefully divided the country and families on the very foundations they were built on. It wasn’t only about remaining economically independent of the North but the extreme moral debates on slavery. What’s the deal

Answer:

About 600,000 people died in the Civil War. In proportion to today’s population, that is like 3.5 million Americans dying today.

The Confederate Flag came to symbolize resistance to the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1950s. For example, the state of Georgia incorporated the Battle Flag in its state flag in 1956 (and removed it in 2001). In my opinion, it is widely used today to rally people who think alike. When I see it, I understand exactly what the person is trying to say.

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