Confederate Flag Stirs New Debate After Charleston

by Elizabeth King

Even after the terrifying murder of nine black members of a Charleston AME church, the confederate flag is still flying high outside South Carolina's capitol building. To many in South Carolina, the presence of the confederate flag at the state capitol feels disrespectful and insulting, particularly in light of the very recent racially motivated tragedy. Others maintain that because the right to display the confederate flag is protected by state law, and is symbolic of southern heritage there is no reason to remove the flag. Needless to say, there is a hot debate over whether or not Confederate flags should fly.

Over the last few days, major news outlets have been running headlines about the Confederate flag, and Twitter has been buzzing with opinions about the issue. Most of the dialogue has centered on the need to remove the flag from the South Carolina capitol, saying that it is offensive and hurtful. Mitt Romney has called the flag a "symbol of racial hatred." Opponents of the flag have even started a petition to get the flag taken down. Those who wish to continue displaying the Confederate flag say it will preserve Southern heritage and history. Here is what both sides have been saying about the Confederate flag controversy over the last several days.

Take It Down

Those who would like to see the Confederate flag removed say that though it is a part of our nation's history, it is a hurtful symbol of racism and hate and should not be displayed by government entities.

Let It Fly

The basic argument here is that there is a legal right to fly the Confederate flag in South Carolina, and that the flag represents Southern pride and heritage.

Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham was interviewed about this topic and stated that the Confederate flag "is a part of who we are," and that the flag "represents a civil war" to some.

Removal Is Not Enough

Still some others are saying that it is not enough to simply remove the flag, that larger changes need to be made to undo the damage of racial ideology.

It is clear that many are concerned by the flag and what it represents, and take issue with any government entity flying it publicly. South Carolina Rep. Norman Brannon announced Friday that he plans to push legislation that will get the flag removed from the capitol grounds. With South Carolina residents grieving the Charleston tragedy, the future of the Confederate flag will likely continue to be debated in the coming months.