Remove it now to honor Charleston victims. Here are eight things you may not have known about this contentious Confederate emblem. The Confederate battle flag was never the official flag of the Confederacy.
Instead, the flag that most people associate with the Confederacy was the battle flag of Gen. Robert E. It only came to be the flag most prominently associated with the Confederacy after the South lost the war. Roughly one in ten Americans feels positively when they see the Confederate flag displayed, according to a Pew Research Center poll.
The same study showed that 30 percent of Americans reported a negative reaction to seeing the flag on display. But the majority, 58 percent, reported feeling neither positive nor negative. The poll also showed that African-Americans, Democrats and the highly educated were more likely to perceive the flag negatively.
Mississippi fans in stands with Confederate flags during a sporting event in The flag took on new associations in the s, when it began to appear more frequently in contexts unrelated to the Civil War, such as University of Mississippi football games. In , the newly-formed segregationist Dixiecrat party adopted the flag as a symbol of resistance to the federal government. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Texas could refuse to issue Confederate flag specialty license plates. In a decision, the court ruled against the nonprofit Sons of Confederate Veterans in Texas.
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Although the ruling came the day after the massacre in Charleston, the court heard arguments in the case in March. In , activists managed to have the flag moved from the dome of the capitol building to a memorial to Confederate soldiers nearby on the Statehouse grounds, but the boycott remains in effect. The U. Although the American flag and South Carolina state flag were lowered in mourning for the victims of the church shooting, the Confederate flag on display at the statehouse was not, because it is affixed to the flag pole and cannot be lowered, it can only be removed, The Washington Post reported.
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Five Southern states have legal protection for the flag, but California bans it. Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana all have laws on the books that ban desecration of the Confederate flag. The laws are unenforceable, though, because the Supreme Court has ruled that desecrating a flag is protected by the First Amendment. California passed a bill in that banned the state government from displaying or selling merchandise bearing the Confederate flag.
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Mississippi is the only state whose flag still contains the confederate flag since Georgia changed its flag in In a statewide referendum in , Mississippians voted 2-to-1 in favor of keeping the flag, which features the Confederate emblem as a canton in the top left corner. Support Provided By: Learn more.
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