Students Weigh in on Whether the Confederate Flag Should Be Allowed to Be Displayed: Con

Ziad Ahmed, Staff Writer for Spokesman

As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematic of our cause,” said William T. Thompson in 1863, designer of the second Confederate national flag, which is the Southern flag most Americans are familiar with. The Confederate States of America (CSA) seceded from the Union in 1861 illegally, and largely due to the fact that the North was unwilling to allow the evil institution of slavery. The secession of the CSA prompted the Civil War, in which over 350,000 Union soldiers were killed.

Treason is defined as “the offense to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.” The Constitution clearly outlaws treason as it levies war against one’s own country or assists in a war against one’s country. The CSA committed treason when they engaged in war against their own country, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Thus, the CSA was founded upon the grounds of racism, violence, and treason.

Throughout American history there have been a slew of court cases which have affirmed that it is illegal to advertise something that incites fear or violence. The recent Patriot Act affirms that the American legal system will not tolerate terrorism, apologists of terror, or the incitement of violence. We are blessed to live in a country where we are entitled to certain freedoms, protection by law, and value as citizens. We, as citizens of the United States of America, must prioritize our collective well-being. Therefore the display of symbols which pertain to terrorist groups, treasonous acts, or provoking violence cannot be tolerated. We have a responsibility to uphold our country’s stability, safety, and security, and the Confederate flag prevents us from doing just that. The Confederate flag incites fear and violence in so many ways. The CSA was founded with the premise of violent opposition to our country, and it has led to the deaths of more American citizens than any other group in our history. The symbol of the CSA is anti-American and detrimental to the progress of our society, patriotism, and safety.

Most importantly, but perhaps most controversially, the CSA terrorized a people. In their pursuit to enslave a race, the CSA terrorized Americans through the captivity, abuse, and murder of millions of African-Americans. The Confederate flag is a clear advocation of racism, treason, and slavery, and thereby incites violence in a most terrifying way. The United States of America is meant to be a melting pot where all citizens should be treated equally and not discriminated against, regardless of their race, religion, color, gender, or sexual orientation. The Confederate flag encompasses the capability to agitate hate crimes through its white supremacist background, and assertion that a huge group of our population is inferior, and we simply cannot tolerate it.

Some might argue that to prohibit displaying the Confederate Flag is to infringe on the rights of citizens, to violate freedom, and to deny the South its cultural history. Their argument is unfounded as while all citizens of this country are entitled to their rights, our collective safety must be our priority. Regulation is not a violation of freedom, but rather a necessary measure to ensure the safety of all citizens. The Confederate flag and its history may have significant cultural history in the South, but just because the CSA was more than a treasonous terroristic group does not mean they were not a treasonous terroristic group at all. We would not allow the display of flags bearing the names of other terrorist groups, asserting the dominance of a race, advocating for violence, or promoting treason, so we cannot allow for the display of the Confederate flag. I believe in a United States of America which respects and maintains our freedoms but first prioritizes our safety, well-being, and equality.