In an America that boasts of Constitutional equal rights, many people simply ignored that a symbol of oppression and slavery still flies at one of its most important buildings, legitimizing murder and festering racism. However, after a string of racially charged crimes and a domestic terror attack, Americans are beginning to come to terms with the reality of the Confederate flag that flies on capitol grounds in South Carolina.
A large crowd gathered outside the capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, demanding that the Confederate flag be taken down. The demonstrators held placards, affirming that the flag is racist and legitimizes violence against African Americans. Many had been working for years for the flag to be removed, and their cause has only recently found widespread support.
Outrage against the flag amplified after Wednesday when nine people were gunned down in Charleston. The accused culprit, Dylann Roof, was reportedly motivated by a white supremacist ideology and can be seen in one of his photos holding a Confederate flag, among other racist insignia.
Confederate flag fans calls the stars and bars an important cultural symbol of the south. That half-baked defense has won time and again in a bid to display the Confederate flag, which to black Americans is a stark symbol of hatred, abuse, torture and murder.
Lynchings were carried out as the Confederate flag flew. Horrific hate crimes, like the dragging death of James Byrd, came at the hands of killers tattooed with the Confederate flag. Nooses and Confederate flags appear alongside each other in warnings to black families.
The list could go on and on, but it would have one thing in common: The Confederate flag is a symbol of hate, of racism and of murder. It has no place in American society, much less on government grounds. Southern pride should not be tied up in the Confederate flag.
A petition to take down the flag on MoveOn.org has almost 388,770 signatories. Mitt Romney has also lent his support to the movement via Twitter.