Is The Confederate Flag a Big Deal?

Is The Confederate Flag a Big Deal?

Nate Snyder


Some students at West Ottawa are not afraid to display the Confederate flag on their vehicles and elsewhere. Most of those students share the same reasons for supporting the flag.

  “It’s just not as big of a deal as people make it; the flag is a part of our past and it really isn’t that big of a deal,” said one WO student who had a flag on his vehicle. “It’s a stupid reason for people to get all worked up about,” another WO student said.

  Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but offending others is not right. Confederate flag supporters fail to understand that the flag truly is a big deal because it is offensive to many. Teenagers representing a Confederate flag should take a critical look at the various meanings of what the flag stands for. For one, the Confederate flag actually was a battle flag used in the Civil War by Rebel troops. Does this represent patriotism? No, it represents the opposite, and can be viewed as unpatriotic. Although the Confederate flag might be part of the United States’ past, it represents a divisive time in American history. This contradicts what the  United States represents, which is unity as in the word United. An icon or flag reminding those of such a horrible past does not promote nationalism, but rather separation and exclusion. It should not be something to display in order to receive attention or to inspire. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center poll only 1 in 10 Americans feel positive when they see a Confederate flag.

   The flag is a bitter memory for those with historical connections to slavery. This bitter memory makes the Confederate flag a symbol of disrespect to many.

 For many people the flag is immediately correlated with racism, and some can be personally insulted by this.   “Just the fact that the flag was associated with slavery makes it offensive to me,” said Sr. Jarrit Scholten.

  It is difficult to accept any justification for a teenager, or anyone, to explain why they would wave around a Confederate flag in the United States in 2015. There is just not much that they could say that would hide the flag’s troubled history and heavy handed symbolism. The flag can be very disrespectful to a lot of people and that alone is a significant reason not to flaunt it.  

  As Americans, we should avoid being purposely offensive and refrain from disrespecting people with the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag is a big deal and not acceptable because it refers to racism and slavery. It’s unpatriotic, and it should be reserved for museums, not cars or t-shirts.