The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

    Pride For Some, Pain For Others

    The issue of whether or not the Confederate Flag should be allowed to fly has, since its beginnings at the end of the Civil War, been a controversial one.

    Where many in the South consider the flag a point of pride and a symbolic representation of their heritage, many others feel it to be a painful reminder of slavery and the ugliness of war.

    I am here to make the argument that the flag should not be allowed to fly, and I intend to make you understand why.

    The most glaring opponent I must seek to dismantle is the idea that banning the flag is an attack on our liberty of free speech and expression as listed in a personal favorite, the Bill of Rights. Would denying the right to fly the confederate flag be contradictory to the freedoms guaranteed by that great document?

    If my side demanded the flag never be allowed to fly, anywhere, then it is simply ignoring a part of its nation’s history and doing that time period a great disservice.

    The Civil War was a time in which the United States truly learned something about itself. We learned about identity, about values, and most importantly about how defending those values sometimes require great sacrifice. As evidence, many in the South must still remember General Sherman’s devout commitment to “total war” and his legendary march to the sea, burning as he went.

    However, simply because I don’t feel we should ignore the truth doesn’t mean we should be reminded of it more than is necessary. Flying the confederate flag on governmental buildings, such as over capitol domes, shows support for the ideals on which the confederation once stood and an inability of the South to accept defeat.

    The confederate states no longer exist, and as such, should not be associated with our government in any way. Our nation is built on the strength of its unity and its ability to move forward, not a symbol that reminds its people of a time when slavery was legal and brothers killed each other in the grip of a bloody war. The flag is now a symbol of history, and as such, should be seen in historical museums, documentaries, and books. Not flying high over a state capitol building.

    I understand that some people like to show thier pride by emblazing the confederate flag on a shirt, hat, or even on the hood of a 1969 Dogde Charger, but that doesn’t mean it chould be done, especially if they don’t understand the meaning behind it.

    Its just like when someone wears a Che Guevara shirt. Some may see him as a revolutionray, and some may see him as a murderous socialist. It doesnt mean one side is more accurate in their depection, it just means that they identify with certin aspects of his history and choose to represnt that idea. The same applies to this flag.

    This brings up the issue of free speech and expression on the personal level. While I do believe the confederate flag should be allowed to fly on one’s own personal property, I don’t think the flag should be displayed prominently in areas where people who do not wish to view it.

    For example, the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tampa have recently made news for planning to raise a 50 by 30 foot confederate flag near where two interstate highways meet.

    Although they will be raising the flag on private property, the size and placement of the flag infringe upon others’ right not to view it and shouldn’t be allowed. Once one uses their right of free speech to infringe on the rights of others, they give up that right, and as such, flying the flag with such obvious intent to provoke incendiary response should no longer be protected.

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