After the shooting at the historically African-American church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal, in Charleston, S.C., America started to reconsider how it should view the Confederate flag.
According to Google Trends, use of the search term “confederate flag” spiked in June 2015, the same month of the Charleston shooting. Use of the search term remains higher since June than it has in the past 10 years.
Associate professor of history, Trisha Posey, said that the Confederate flag that we use today is not the Confederate flag that the Confederacy hung at their capital.
Posey explained that the United States flag and the Confederate flag looked so much alike that it confused soldiers. In order to solve this problem, the Confederates made a battle flag, which is the one that is used to represent the Confederacy today.
Freshman English education major, Josh Estes, said he believes the Confederate flag is a symbol of the South. Estes is from Pea Ridge, Ark., where a Civil War battle took place. He said that the people in his hometown still fly the Confederate flag, not out of hatred but to remember the history of their town. Estes also said that people in the United States are proud of the region of the country they come from and, to him, the flag represents southern pride.
Senior graphic design major, Abby Servaes, said that she believes the flag is a symbol of the discriminated against African-Americans during the time of the Civil War. She also said she feels that the flag should not be kept around.
The Dixicrat party, which formed in 1948, used the Confederate flag, or “Southern Cross,” as a political symbol. The Dixicrats protested the Democratic platform of the civil rights movement and supported segregation laws. According to CNN, the Ku Klux Klan began using the flag more widely around the same time.
“The Bible tells us to identify those who have been oppressed,” Posey said while describing how Christians should handle issues concerning the Confederate flag.
Posey also encouraged students to try and find a way to identify with the oppressed and, at a minimum, try to see issues from their point of view.
“As Christ came to reconcile us to him, we should be people that are the work of reconciliation, and anything that is not a part of reconciliation, we should not be a part of,” Posey said.