Student delegates from Southern colleges and universities waved battle flags on the floor of the Southern States Rights Party convention in July The Confederate flag became a symbol of protest against civil rights and in support of Jim Crow segregation. But most observers concluded that the flag fad was another manifestation of youth-driven material culture.
Confederate heritage organizations correctly perceived the Dixiecrat movement and the flag fad as a profound threat to their ownership of the Confederate flag. All those efforts proved futile. Dixiecrats jubilantly wave Confederate flags at their Birmingham, Ala. Meanwhile, as the civil rights movement gathered force, especially in the wake of the U.
Board of Education decision, defenders of segregation increasingly employed the use of the battle flag as a symbol of their cause. Although founded by Confederate veterans almost immediately after the Civil War, the KKK did not use the Confederate flag widely or at all in its ritual in the s and s or during its rebirth and nationwide popularity from to the late s. Only with a second rebirth in the late s and s did the battle flag take hold in the Klan. The Civil Rights Era has profoundly affected the history of the Confederate flag in several ways.
The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem by John M. Coski
Americans 50 or older came of age when a symbolic landscape dotted with Confederate flags, monuments and street names was the status quo. That status quo was of course the result of a prolonged period in which African Americans were effectively excluded from the process of shaping the symbolic landscape. As African Americans gained political power, they challenged—and disrupted— that status quo. The history of the flag over the last half-century has involved a seemingly endless series of controversies at the local, state and national levels. As students of history, we tend to think of it as something that happens in the past and forget that history is happening now and that we are actors on the historical stage.
The Confederate Battle Flag - John M Coski - Häftad () | Bokus
Because the Confederate battle flag did not fade into history in , it was kept alive to take on new uses and new meanings and to continue to be part of an ever-changing history. John M. Heritage Auction, Dallas, TX. My mother and her parents attended segregated schools in Southside Virginia.
My great-great-great-grandmother and her children were free blacks before the war, but they lived in constant fear of slave patrollers—and were unable to obtain a legal education or vote. It is true that many Confederate troops did not own black people. But the Confederate leaders did not stutter when it came to their support of slavery and white supremacy. The battle flag represents a gamble by 11 states and another two states with representation in the Confederate Congress to create a separate slaveholding republic.
It symbolizes the struggles of men on well-known battlefields like Manassas, Shiloh, Chickamauga and Gettysburg. That same banner, in addition to images of Robert E.
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- The Confederate battle flag : America's most embattled emblem / John M. Coski.
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They view the flag, and variations thereof, with understandable contempt. Because the Confederate battle flag is seen as a symbol of that prejudice, the call to remove it from public display is warranted in government spaces such as the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol.
Original flags should be preserved and exhibited in museums. Yet removing the flag from public display in South Carolina or Mississippi does not resolve issues such as equal access to the ballot box.
The Confederate Battle Flag
It does not change the fact that this nation still jails disproportionate numbers of minorities, or mitigate the unfairness of the justice system for those people, or improve the way they are treated after they have served their time. I am interested in resolving actual problems, so we can move beyond arguing about a piece of fabric. But we also need to make sure we do not further contribute to divisiveness.
T he Confederate battle flag does not belong anywhere near a public statehouse. It should be displayed within its historical context, such as at museums, reenactments, living histories, etc. It is also, I believe, appropriate to own one if you are an avid historian and lover of the time period, but take care to remember and be sensitive about what it can symbolize to others. That being said, after a lengthy discussion in our home, I had to furl the small Confederate flag that was displayed with other Civil War memorabilia.
The battle flag was in the canton, or upper corner, of the flag. The rest of the flag was white, which was mistaken as a flag of truce or surrender.
The Confederates added a red bar to the edge of the flag to correct this. The battle flag was intended to be used by the entire Confederate Army, but not all of the various units or regiments used a uniform flag.
Several had their own version of it or even a totally different flag. The soldiers would put on the battle flag the names of the battles they were in. These flags were considered almost sacred and were not given up without a fight; many flag bearers on each side were killed rather than giving up their flags. Coski researches how the battle flag has been used since the Civil War ended.
ISBN 13: 9780674017221
At first it was hidden and only came out for special events like the funerals of Confederate soldiers. There were organizations of Confederate veterans and their successors who regulated the proper use of the flag. Over time different groups and individuals would abuse these rules and use the flag for their own interests - the battle flag has been used by hate groups like the Klu Klux Klan and then by individuals using it as an advertisement tool or gimmick.
Those interested in flags or those interested in the Civil War and the material things associated with it will enjoy this book.
Related The Confederate Battle Flag: Americas Most Embattled Emblem
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