The Confederate Flag is a popular graphic icon in America, North and South, East and West. It is historically associated with the Civil War, of course, being the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and all that, but actually its contemporary display usually has only the dimmest possible connection to the War for Southern Independence.
The Confederate flag has genuine Confederate associations when used to decorate graves in Civil War cemeteries or when displayed at war memorials, but such cases represent only a tiny minority of instances of its appearance.
One sees the Confederate flag much more commonly on cars, pick-up trucks, tractors, ATVs, and motorcycles, on key-rings, sports team mascots, lunchboxes, and on souvenir coffee cups, and every variety of tourist kitsch.
Left-wing hysterics are presently screaming that Confederate flag must be taken to symbolize the “malignant spirit” of slavery and white supremacy, but this is all a bunch of entirely subjective nonsense really represent their own personal demons, hatreds, and obsessions.
The Confederate flag is almost always seen today simply as an attractive graphic device taken by popular culture as a symbolic expression of a generalized Southern or Appalachian, or even merely rural, regional identity, or as a symbol of some kind of elusive and indefinable spirit of masculine rebelliousness. The Confederate flag is about as popular in rural Oregon and Pennsylvania as it is in Alabama. West Virginia came into being as separate state because the residents of Virginia’s Western mountains were Unionist and against Secession, but West Virginians happily display Confederate flags as regional (and class) identity symbols.
The Confederate flag, as near as I can tell, has today far more intense and intimate associations with a passion for the internal combustion engine than it does with States’ Rights. All the talk about black people recoiling from Confederate flags, like vampires from crucifixes, is simply a very recent activist invention.
If you want to read a bunch of complete malarkey and poppycock served up as agitprop by a hate-filled American Studies professor from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, try this bunch of dreck out of Salon. Its author, Nick Bromell, wants to repeal the First Amendment and make any display whatever punishable as a hate crime.
These people like playing a seriously nasty game. The way it works is your race-baiting agitator, democrat pol, or radical leftist prof gets to define what you mean when you display a symbol. His interpretation is lurid, colorful, and spectacularly uncomplimentary. When you put that Confederate flag on the side of your Harley, you meant to say that you are some kind of a rebel. But Professor Bromell and Congressman John Lewis and Al Sharpton will jump in, and put words in your mouth for you. According to them, you are saying: “I hate black people. I want to restore Slavery.”
These left-wing troublemakers are not just having fun at your expense either. Their game is serious. They are angling for power. If they can define what you mean by your symbols, then they hope they can ban them, and along with them any and all of your beliefs and ideas that they don’t like.