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Contextualizing The History And Symbolism Of The Confederate Flag

TOPSHOT - Members of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Honor Guard retire the state flag outside the Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi on July 1, 2020. - Mississippi's flag, the last US state banner to feature a Confederate emblem, was permanently retired Wednesday when it was lowered from the state's capitol and removed from the grounds. The move comes one day after Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill ordering the rebel-themed flag's removal, which comes in the wake of coast-to-coast protests over the police killing of African American George Floyd in May. (Photo by Rory Doyle / AFP) (Photo by RORY DOYLE/AFP via Getty Images)
RORY DOYLE/AFP via Getty Images
Members of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Honor Guard retire the state flag outside the Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi on July 1, 2020.

NASCAR announced it will ban it from being on display at racing events. Mississippi's governor finalized the legislature’s decision to remove the symbol from the state flag.

NASCAR announced it will ban it from being on display at racing events. Mississippi's governor finalized the legislature’s decision to remove the symbol from the state flag. Commanders of the Confederate army founded the Confederate flag as a battle flag, but the symbol has long been used to convey resistance to civil rights. 

According to experts, the symbolism of the flag has long been debated and its path through history has not been straightforward. Throughout different eras in time, the flag has been glorified in various ways. Some people argue the flag symbolizes southern pride and heritage. But for many black Americans, it’s a symbol of hatred and white supremacy. These same arguments rage on as protesters across the country topple confederate memorials and statues. Today on AirTalk, we dive into the deep-rooted symbolism of the Confederate flag, how it has changed over time and what it means today. Do you have questions? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Matthew Delmont, professor of history at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, he’s the author of several books and is currently working on another titled “Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad” (under contract with Viking Books, publication anticipated in 2022); he tweets

Daniel Pierce, professor of history at the University of North Carolina Asheville where he focuses on southern and Appalachian history, he’s the author of “Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay And Big Bill France” (University of North Carolina Press, 2013)

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