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Contextualizing The History And Symbolism Of The Confederate Flag




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.
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.
RORY DOYLE/AFP via Getty Images

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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 @mattdelmont

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)