by TRINITI BRYANT
American citizens should be aware of our country’s past, the good and bad. Discussing and critiquing it will help to learn from it and will improve our future. While some represent or advertise the Confederate Flag because their ancestors fought in the war, others do not agree with the constant reminder of the Civil War. I understand the desire to show one’s appreciation to their former veterans; however, I do not believe that the displaying of the Confederate Flag is appropriate because of the progress our country has made.
Several people wave the Confederate Flag proudly because their ancestors fought in the Civil War. To pay respect for fallen soldiers is understandable and acceptable, but think about what is actually being displayed. When one waves the Confederate Flag loud and proud while yelling “Merica!,” they contradict themselves. We speak of how America is the greatest country because of our freedom, but we promote the Civil War which was a war fought to keep slavery alive. Slavery: the dehumanizing act of forcing others to work for one. Sounds like the complete opposite of freedom, right?
The Confederate Flag not only represents over two hundred years worth of slavery, but the years of segregation following it–the Confederate Flag is the line between whites and blacks. Martin Luther King Jr., for example, gave his “I Have A Dream” speech well after slavery had been abolished. However, segregation was very alive. Shortly after his speech, he was shot and killed by a white man: A white man who did not have a dream of his white children being friends with black children, a white man who did not have a dream of being able to sit in the same restaurant as blacks, a white man who did not have a dream of going to the same church as blacks.
Violence between whites and blacks has been practiced for years and continues today–from slavery, to the Civil War, to segregation, and up until 2016 with racial injustice. The Confederate Flag represents violence. Rodney King, for instance, young man who was pulled over by police and nearly beaten to death because he was black. Four Los Angeles Police officers brutally beat him, leaving him with several injuries that caused him to be hospitalized for days. Rage filled the hearts of African Americans all over. It made them feel hated and as if there would never be such thing as peace between blacks and whites. So the Confederate Flag represents the Civil War, but the Civil War represents violence and slavery. Slavery, as cruel as it is, represents the complete opposite of equality. Aren’t “all men created equal” in America? Isn’t America “the land of the free?” Aren’t we supposed to be “the land of the brave?”
So when we speak of the Confederate Flag in such high favor, we go against everything our country stands for. Every sentence in The Constitution, every lyric in The National Anthem, every word in The Pledge of Allegiance means nothing when one yells “Merica!” loud and proud with a Confederate Flag waving in the wind by their side, reminding everyone near of what we fought so hard to forget.