The Confederate Battle Flag, otherwise known as the Confederate Cross, is seen by Americans in many different ways. Americans who view the flag as a symbol of freedom and southern heritage often display the Confederate Battle Flag proudly from the beds of their trucks as well as on their t-shirts, coffee mugs, and jewelry. On the other hand, many other Americans view the flag as a symbol of racism and hatred. Recently, some schools have banned the Confederate Battle Flag to protect the feelings of those who view the flag as a negativity, but for those who view the flag with pride, this recent occurrence is unwelcome. Although it is important to make sure that every student feels comfortable at school, it should also be a priority that students have a clear education available to them. The Confederate Battle Flag should not be banned from schools and should be seen as a piece of history.
The Americans who see the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of hate tend to compare the Confederate Battle Flag to a Nazi Swastika. The Swastika, as we all know, represents the wanton killing of six million Jewish people, not because they committed a crime, but simply because of the fact that they were Jewish! On the other part, many people think that the War of 1861-1865-- the Civil War-- was fought over slavery, but it was truly not. The War of 1861-1865 was fought by the North because of money. As the South started their separation, President Abraham Lincoln was questioned as to why he wasn’t going to let the South go. Because Lincoln sensed the monetary ruin for the North, he waged war with the South. The South fought the war solely to resist Northern infiltration and encroachment. The war was not fought over slavery, as many think; therefore, the Confederate Flag did not represent slavery during the War of 1861-1865.
However, some Americans still believe that it represented slavery. At a school in the Folsom Cordova United School District in California, the Board of Education forced an American history teacher to retire for displaying a Confederate Battle Flag in his classroom during a lesson on the U.S. Civil War. He had set up the Confederate Battle Flag on one side of the classroom and the Union Flag on the other side. This teacher had always had his students very involved in his lessons, and he tried his best to make his lessons more visual, so he could reach to every learning type. One of the teachers students was interviewed about her opinions on the occurrence, and she said that she actually appreciated the way he taught because she felt that she was more involved in his lessons than in any of her other teacher’s lessons. If the Confederate Battle Flag was banned from schools, students wouldn’t be able to be as involved in their Civil War lessons, therefore causing them to not have the opportunity to learn about it thoroughly.
The Confederate Battle Flag was not a national flag. It was simply just a battle flag. The Confederate Battle flag never flew over the slave ships. It didn’t fly over a nation comprised of slavery, and it never represented slavery or racism. The Confederate Battle Flag represented the confederates-- the south --during the War of 1861-1865, and, as many don’t realize, the south was in the process of freeing their slaves even before the war had started. Even though the American Flag flew over a nation of slavery, it is still believed that the Confederate Battle Flag, which was not flown during a war fought over slavery, is closer tied to slavery. The KKK, a racist group, has, on each sleeve of their jackets, a Confederate Battle Flag and an American Flag displayed, yet, the Confederate Battle Flag is considered to be more racist than the American Flag.
If schools banned the Confederate Battle Flag, students would be missing an essential piece of history, and they would develop a sense of misunderstanding towards it. The only reason that Americans assign a negative connotation to the Confederate Battle Flag is because they were never taught the proper meaning of it. Instead of banning the flag, teachers should spend more time teaching students of its actual meaning and importance, rather than developing a false connotation on the flag.