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The Accomplice Flag: A Controversial Piece of American Historical past

In 1956, two years after the Supreme Court docket ruling in Brown v. Board of Training had declared college segregation to be unlawful, the state of Georgia included the battle flag into its official state flag as a logo of resistance to integration. In 1960, when six-year-old Ruby Bridges grew to become the primary Black little one to attend an all-white college within the South, she was met by crowds of white individuals who threw stones at her, known as her the N-word, and waved the Accomplice flag.

“White Southerners didn’t a lot reinterpret the that means of the flag as a lot as they rediscovered a that means that had all the time been current going again to the battle itself,” wrote Civil Conflict historian Kevin Levin in a 2016 article in regards to the flag for The Each day Beast.

How is the Accomplice Flag used right this moment?

At this time, the Accomplice flag’s historical past facilities much less round its early beginnings and extra on its use as a insurgent flag. It’s broadly used to symbolize opposition to fairness amongst all races and creeds. That’s why many individuals opposed the truth that the Accomplice flag was flown above the statehouse in South Carolina for a few years. Dylann Roof — the 21-year-old who shot and killed 9 Black individuals in a Charleston church in June 2015 and had expressed his want to begin a “race battle” — was photographed stomping and burning the American flag and waving the Accomplice flag.

Roof’s brutal act renewed debate in regards to the flag’s that means and use in public areas. In response to the capturing, activist Bree Newsome ripped down the flag at South Carolina’s statehouse earlier than it was completely taken down weeks after the shootings.

The next yr, in Might 2016, the U.S. Home banned Accomplice flags from being flown at cemeteries run by the Veterans Administration. As well as, main retailers, together with Wal-Mart, eBay, and Sears stopped promoting it, and varied flag producers have additionally ceased manufacturing of it.

Regardless of these adjustments, there are nonetheless Accomplice flag defenders who insist that the reply to the query, “Is the Accomplice flag racist?” is not any. In December 2019, Nikki Haley, the previous South Carolina Governor and United Nations ambassador (who really ordered the flag faraway from the Charleston statehouse), was criticized after saying Roof “hijacked” the Accomplice flag, and that to the individuals of South Carolina, the flag represented “service and sacrifice and heritage.”

What heritage does the Accomplice flag honor?

White Southerners who help using the flag say it’s consultant of their Southern heritage. However for a lot of African Individuals, the insurgent flag is a logo of their Southern heritage as properly: one in every of terror, torture, and oppression. They interpret the flag the identical manner Roof did, and presumably the identical manner as those that waved the flag throughout the Civil Conflict, throughout the Civil Rights Motion that adopted, and at present-day occasions like Charlottesville and MAGA rallies. In honoring their ancestors with that flag, Black civil rights leaders say White Individuals are honoring the ache and struggling that Black Individuals’ ancestors endured and proceed to endure greater than 150 years after Lee’s give up at Appomattox.

Need extra from Teen Vogue? Test this out: The Racist Historical past of America’s Patriotic Anthems

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