The Confederate Flag With Skulls

The Confederate flag with skulls been used as a symbol of Southern heritage, states’ rights, and historical commemoration of the Civil War. However, it is also associated with a lost cause, racism, slavery, segregation, white supremacy, and historical negationism. Display of the flag in public has become controversial, with some opposing its use due to its connection to racist violence against African Americans. Some people, such as the white members of the Southern Renaissance group portrayed in the 1991 film Thelma & Louise, argue that the flag represents a form of resistance to change, while others, such as those who participate in Unite the Right rallies and murdered activist George Floyd, view it as a symbol of racial supremacy.

World War 2 Flags: Symbols of Valor and Sacrifice

The controversy surrounding the flag reveals much more about American society than the meaning of the amorphous concept of Southern heritage and pride or a legacy that includes everything that happened south of the Mason-Dixon line, including slavery. Support for the flag has been rooted not in memories of the Civil War but in a deep sense of grievance over what many perceive as a declining America that is rapidly becoming more diverse and changing its values.

This sense of grievance has given rise to a complex ideology that links resentment against African Americans with conceptions of history. For some flag supporters, honoring the history of racial oppression in the past enables them to justify resentment against “concessions” granted to blacks in the present, such as affirmative action and welfare.

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