For The Root on Tuesday I penned an explainer on the Confederate flag, including facts like how the flag we see the most isn’t actually the official flag of the Confederacy, but a North Virginia battle flag, and how the flag only became popular as desegregation gained steam. I also write about what it will take to get the flag removed from South Carolina’s state grounds — a majority vote from the South Carolina legislature. Check it out.
For a flag said to represent “Southern pride,” it sure shows up a lot as a representative of Southern hate.
Countless white supremacist groups use the flag often, and the 21-year-old white man who confessed Friday to killing nine black people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., rocked the “rebel flag” on his license plate and took numerous pictures with the controversial flag.
Now the Confederate flag is back in the news as scores, including 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), call for South Carolina to take it down from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia in light of the massacre.
But how did the flag representing the Civil War’s losing party end up outside that Statehouse to begin with?
The Confederate flag’s proponents may want you to believe it’s because the flag has always been around, representing the South, but that’s purposeful misinformation about an artifact of a rebel past that didn’t truly become popular until Jim Crow was on its way out.