What is the Confederate Flag?

Both the Second Confederate Navy Jack flag and the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia are referred to as the Confederate Flag.

The thirteen-star satire in blue, red and white Confederate flag is recognized for its association with the American southern states. The Confederate flag design is based on numerous flags which the southern states used in the civil war between the seven southern states and the other United States from the north prompted by the anti-slavery legislation passed by President Lincoln. The most popularly used confederate flag was the banner used by the army from Northern Virginia led by General Lee. The Confederate states used three successive designs of the flag from 1861 to 1865.

History of the Confederate Flag

Nicola Marschall designed the first Confederate flag also referred as the "Stars and Bars." The flag resembled the United States flag with a blue square filled with five white stars in the top right corner and white and red stripes. The second Confederate flag, known as the "Stainless Banner" was adopted on May 1, 1863, after many people saw the resemblance between the first flag used during the war and the United States flag. The second flag featured the popular battle flag on a white field. The third flag, known as the "Blood-Stained Banner," was adopted March 4, 1865. It added a red vertical stripe to the flag to decrease the chances of the large white field of the flag mistaken for a truce flag.

Continued Usage of the Confederate Flag

Since the American Civil War ended, official and private use of the flag has continued under racial, cultural, political, and philosophical use in the United States. The Flag of the state of Mississippi has the Confederate flag on the upper-left corner. The official Georgia state flag resembles the first national confederacy flag; in fact, their previous flag which was used until 2001 incorporated the Confederate war flag. The confederate existed from 1861 to 1865 and had three flags, but only the second Confederate Navy Jack flag and Northern Virginia’s battle flag are known as the Confederate flag.

Why Is the Confederate Flag Associated with Racism?

The Confederate states came together to fight the anti-slavery bill which had been signed by President Lincoln. Although many Americans take pride in the flag's history, to others it symbolizes racism and slavery alongside the history of oppression of the African Americans. During the late 20th century, the Ku Klux Klan adopted the flag while waging their white supremacist terror campaign against the Africa-American community. Many people who were against racial segregation ending in the 1950s and 1960s used this flag. Across the south, many city halls and the state capitol buildings still use this flag.

Where Has the Flag Been Banned?

The association of the flag with racism means that most parts of the United States still consider it offensive. After the Charleston shooting on June 17, 2015, the governor banned the flag and it was removed from the Carolina state-house where it has been for fifty-four years. In Alabama, the Governor ordered the same ban in the state. Some of the leading United States retailers like eBay, Walmart, and Amazon banned the sale of the Confederate flag merchandises.

More in Politics