Misunderstood or Racist?

Brittany - posted on 09/27/2011 ( 61 moms have responded )

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http://news.yahoo.com/rebel-flag-still-f...

This link goes to an article about a woman in South Carolina. She is flying a Confederate Flag, used by the Confederate Army (no this is not the same design used by the Confederate Army). Her town rallied against her calling her racist.

Do you think the Confederate Flag is a sign of racism? Why or why not?

What does the Confederate Flag ACTUALLY stand for?

Do you think her neighbors were right in protesting her home?

Give me some good opinions ladies!!

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[deleted account]

The flag represents a group of people who rebelled and declared war against the United States of America. If that happened today, they would be called TERRORISTS.

[deleted account]

I once saw an interview with Darrius Rucker (from Hootie and the Blowfish fame) discussing this very issue. He was pointing at a building that was flying the Confederate Flag and the controversy. He made a statement to the affect that the flag represents Southern pride to a lot of people but that it also represents pain and suffering to a bunch of other people. I thought that summed it up perfectly. You can express Southern pride without being hurtful to others by choosing other symbols. I don't think it is necessary a sign of racism, but it is certainly a sign of a lack of compassion and a lack of respect for the feelings of others.

[deleted account]

Yeah America who cares about others feelings, screw them as long as your happy! The fact is the past matters, wars may be over but they still matter. We should never forget our past and should not act as though it never happened, we should learn from it and move forward. Part of learning from it is being respectful of the past and caring about the meanings of certain symbols like flags!





Eta: That doesn't mean your not free it means you are a compassionate human being, who actually cares about your fellow human beings!

Becky - posted on 10/06/2011

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If you're all one now, then why not just fly the American flag? Why do you need a symbol of a war that is over and was lost?

Candice - posted on 10/04/2011

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It is my understanding that the Confederate flag was created as a symbol of the south's secession(sp?) from the Union. Which was done because of ending slavery. Therefore, the flag is in fact racist.Enslaving people because they are brown is pretty damn racist in my book.

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Michelle - posted on 07/23/2013

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Hi; I am white and had a child of American Indian and African American after a brief few month relationship while I was trying to heal from alcohol abuse.

Just recently I asked my mother if it was OK if I brought my sons father with for a visit as I have been hoping we could work out our issues and form a family.

To my surprise she said. "Absolutely not" as we spoke she said that she has been telling people who know me that my son is adopted and how her parents and there parent did not ever approve of such a relationship.

My mother is in her mid 70s and I would like to get her and me proactive information so she and I may be better educated on this racism issue.

The love I have for my son is immeasurable and I truly feel he is the most wonderful gift GOD allowed me and us to temporarily guide and direct.

What would you do?

Ms out of state mother.

[deleted account]

The flag she's flying is pretty darn close to the square battle flag. Enough to show she still hasn't given up on some ignorant pride or affiliation to that part of history.

The flag was designed to represent the south, who was pretty much fighting to secede so they could retain human slavery. The agricultural biz was completely dependent on slave labor for their profits. Thousands upon thousands of people down there were lied to and fighting age boys were pulled from their homes to die for these few southern wealthy.

Any affiliation to slavery is not racist, but inhuman and goes against moral human rights. If she's feigning misunderstanding she thinks we're all ignorant.

Lacye - posted on 10/06/2011

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Toni, I apologize. I misread your last post. I wasn't really pointing the racism part at you but as it was part of the original post I figured I would put that in there. Once again, I apologize.

[deleted account]

Lacye where did you get I thought it was ok to discriminate against anyone? Throughout this thread I have said I don't feel this woman was racist, just very rude and inconsiderate.

Where did you get racism from in my last post? I was talking about feelings and history and being considerate to them, I never even mentioned racism. I don't think she should fly the flag so publicly not because I think she is racist but because it has offended her community. we as human beings may have freedom to do many things but we should have the compassion to do our best not to hurt others while using our freedom of choice....this woman didn't, she blatantly tried to hurt and offend her neighbours, does that make her racist not necessarily but it sure as hell makes her a jackass!

Lacye - posted on 10/06/2011

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Toni: so the person who has the flag should be discriminated against and called racist? That's still going a little too far. Yeah she could have been more compassionate about the whole thing and taken it down when first asked, but her being racist was just too much.

Becky: The Confederate Flag is also part of some of our state flags, if that helps any. People still fly it in remembrance of the Civil War. Then like some people have said, some dumb asses use it to show hate.

America3437 - posted on 10/05/2011

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One nation under God! Confederate or union it reaaly doesn't make a shit now! The war is over and we are now one and should fly whatever flag we want! What about the Don't tread on me flag? It's perfectly acceptable and her given right as an American..... Home of the FREE and brave!!!

Charlie - posted on 10/04/2011

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No one is blaming the symbol however the symbol can and is used to incite hate just by it's very presence.

For the record the (peace) swastika is actually different to the German Nazi Swastika, the design was simply taken but changed to a symbol for hate. The Nazi swastiki is a symbol on its own and differs from the original, it is a representation of the group and it's acts, yes it is an inanimate object however the object has history and meaning denying it means nothing.

Lacye - posted on 10/04/2011

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A flag cannot be racist because it's an inanimate object. It is how the person who is holding the flag is reflecting on it. Believe it or not, one of the main reasons why the southern states tried to succeed from the Union wasn't because of slavery. The southerners at the time felt like they were being screwed out of money for the crops that they grew. Now I'm not going to sit here and say slavery didn't have a part in it because it did, but it wasn't the only reason. It is like the example of the swastika. It is how the symbol is used by ignorant people that makes people automatically think of racism. Why blame the symbols for humanity's stupidity? Don't blame the swastika or the Confederate Flag. Blame the dumb asses who hate.

Stifler's - posted on 10/04/2011

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enslaving anyone is pretty fucking bad, i'm not sure what there is to be proud of.

Charlie - posted on 09/29/2011

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The stolen generation is attrocious, I cannot imagine in what world someone thought they could take a baby from its mother purely based on race .....I also cannot imagine how one race could not only enslave others , oppress them and segregate them but also fight for the right to do so and yet it happened.
I know people like to bury their heads in the sand about attrocities because it is easier on their own concious but refusing to understand and empathise with those who were wronged in the past means mistakes will be made again, it is only when we can accept past wrongs that we as humans can learn and grow from it.

Jakki - posted on 09/29/2011

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Hey Becky this is a huge issue in Australia too. If you are on the political right, you tend to deny that any wrong was done or say things like "well at the time people thought it was good to take Aboriginal babies away from their mothers", while those on the left try to make people acknowledge what was done and apologise for it. Those on the nleft are accused of having a Black Armband view of history, while those on the right are told they have a White Blindfold view.

My personal view is - be honest about history, do not flinch from what your ancestors have done, ackowledge that there may be effects continuing today from past injustices, do what you can about that... and then move on and make the best of everyone's future...

Becky - posted on 09/29/2011

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Jakki said it well. You can be proud of where you came from and still be ashamed of elements of your family or national history. I am a proud Canadian, but their are elements of Canadian history I am ashamed of. Like what we did to First Nations people with the residential schools. I don't feel it is unpatriotic of me to acknowledge that there are some shameful parts of my country's history and to not like those parts. There is nothing wrong with hating a part of your country's history, it doesn't equate to hating your country.

Charlie - posted on 09/28/2011

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I have German blood ...should I be proud of Nazi history ? Should I fly a nazi flag ? celebrate my family history a little even though its wrong?

Charlie - posted on 09/28/2011

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I think if someone cannot see that a symbol steeped in hatred and pain is a bad choice to fly in their yard than that person seriously lacks compassion , empathy and the ability to think outside of their trucker cap.

Jakki - posted on 09/28/2011

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Jennifer you said "My family is from Georgia so yes I am proud of what I came from, whether they were right, wrong, or purple it is part of my family history."

So do you believe everybody should be proud of what their family did, no matter what it was, just because it's where they come from?

I'd like to think we are all a new generation and if our ancestors did wrong, stupid, mininformed or even evil things, we wouldn't have to continue supporting it just because they were our ancestors. Like say if your grandfather had supported apartheid, been a Nazi stormtrooper or had owned slaves... I'd hope you would say "it sickens me but I'm not responsible for what they did".

Becky - posted on 09/28/2011

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Okay, well, then, hypothetically, if it were a mosque and it was right on the site of the WTC?

For the record, I have no problem with it either way, mosque or community centre. I was asking the question to make a point. I think that for some Americans, Islam and its symbols have become symbolic of fear and terrorism. I believe wrongly so, but anyway. So they may take it as a personal affront for a Muslim building to be built on the site of an attack perpetrated by Muslims (albeit a few extremists, not all Muslims.) So, I don't really see that as different from a woman flying a flag that to some, represents racism and oppression, in a neighborhood full of people who may have experienced, or be descendents of those who experienced, that very racism and oppression. I see them as the same thing, just reversed. So I feel like if you support the one, you'd have to be fine with the other too. But I suspect that many - not necessarily on this board - would say she has a perfect right to fly her flag but would fight tooth and nail to prevent the building of a mosque on the site of the WTC. (hypothetically)

Kate CP - posted on 09/28/2011

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*sigh* It's not a mosque, it's a community center, and it's at the sight of an old Burlington Coat Factory a few blocks away. So...no, I have no problem with that.

I'm a Texan. I don't like the state of Texas (it's too fuckin' hot and the politics here are NUTS) but I do take pride in being southern. I take great pride in being southern. To me being southern is more about family, manners, honor, respect, and honesty than anything else. We say "Yes sir. No, Ma'am", we have big Sunday dinners with the whole family (even if we don't go to church), we keep our promises, pay our debts...and are just good southern folk. Now obviously this isn't true for all southerners...I've met a few straight-up southern dicks. But it's a culture thing here...I dunno. It's hard to explain. So yes, there is a southern pride and I am proud to be southern.

On to the flag...I don't know how I feel about it. It's still used as a symbol in the south as a sign of unity. For many southerners it symbolizes the right to unify and rebel against oppressive government. For other southerners that's a crock of shit and it's racist as hell. From where I sit...it's just a flag. It's the same as taking offense to a pentagram if you're Christian or the cross if you're Jewish. Yes, it can and does have a nasty history associated with it and it's not exactly the smartest thing in the world to fly it in a predominantly black neighborhood. I wouldn't do that just because it could be considered rude and offensive and personally I wouldn't want to alienate my neighbors.

*shrug* Maybe it's because I see it so often but the flag doesn't effect me one way or the other. To me...it's just a flag.

Becky - posted on 09/28/2011

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Just out of curiosity, those of you who have no issue with this woman flying a Confederate flag in a black neighborhood, do you also 100% support the building of a mosque on the site of (or near) the site of the 9/11 attacks?

Lacye - posted on 09/28/2011

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It is still a part of American history so I don't see how it would be unpatriotic. As some have mentioned before, it is a part of some of the state flags. To you it might be "crap" but to others it's not.

Rosie - posted on 09/28/2011

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i honestly don't get this "southern pride" crap that people claim to be expressing with this flag. where's our "northern pride" flag?

i'm simply astounded that anybody thinks this flag isn't unamerican or unpatriotic. it's a sign of the south seperating from the union. pick another symbol to use for having pride in things southern that dont have anything to do with that time in history. it makes them look like bigoted, unpatriotic assholes IMO.

Becky - posted on 09/28/2011

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Mary, I agree! That's why I said I associate the Confederate flag with being a redneck! :) Because I live in Canada and probably the only place I've seen one is on the Dukes of Hazzard!

JL - posted on 09/28/2011

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As a professional American historian I have to say the dependence on the "Lost Cause" version of Civil War history used by flag supporters always makes me shake my head, sigh, and wonder what the hell is being taught in our high schools. You can't rewrite history to hide the dark ugly spots in order to revel in a false mystique that the Lost Cause upholds. The Lost Cause version that is touted by those who display the Confederate Flag is just an ideological vision of misinterpreted history. The reality that is based on defined deeply entrenched research is that Secession was motivated by slave ownership and to deny that is to deny a distinct part of American history.

Historian Allan Nolan said it better than I can, ".the Lost Cause legacy to history is a caricature of the truth. The caricature wholly misrepresents and distorts the facts of the matter. Surely it is time to start again in our understanding of this decisive element of our past and to do so from the premises of history unadulterated by the distortions, falsehoods, and romantic sentimentality of the Myth of the Lost Cause"

[deleted account]

I live in SC. I know that the meaning of that flag has been twisted and ruined for so many years that it's original meaning may never be mainstream again; however, there is a movement here to "bring back the true meaning" in the confederate flag.

Most people know that SC was the first state to leave the Union. Because slaves were freed as part of the Civil War, many believe that the Civil War came about as a result of slavery. It did not. It was about taxes, and, big surprise here, was a revolt against big business, which was harming the smaller agricultural businesses which made up the majority of the Southern economy. Slaves didn't come into play in the Civil War until the Union decided it would harm the battle plans of the Confederacy to free them. The industrial sector depended on free workers to thrive--they needed people to buy their products--so they did not need slaves, but the agricultural sect needed businesses to buy their products, not individual free people.
The Union did not free slaves because they thought slavery was wrong or immoral, they did it because it helped them get ahead in a war about something completely different.

The Confederate flag NEVER stood for slavery or oppression of anyone, but has been twisted into that by people who have little understanding of that war.

Thus, many people in the South see the flag as a symbol of bravery, to stand up to the big guy and make a difference. A lot of our ancestors fought and died in that war, and they were not fighting and dying just because they wanted to keep slaves. They were fighting for fair taxation so that their farms, plantations, and ranches could remain profitable.

That said, I don't fly a confederate flag. I don't fly an American one either. Call me unpatriotic, I don't care, but my ancestors were killed in droves for no reason. At least the South had a reason to fight the North. my people had no warning, our weapons were less sophisticated because we didn't fight and kill each other over land, we didn't stand a chance. Then, when they "compromised" with the settlers, they forced them to walk across the country in a procession that would kill more than half of our population. When *I* see an American flag, I think of entitlement, violence, intolerance and dishonesty. Am I going to ask everyone to stop flying those flags? NO. I am going to understand that the flag means something different to everyone and respect their beliefs.

I have dual citizenship in the US, I am a citizen of SC where I reside and pay taxes, and a citizen of my reservation. I do love America, but I see both meanings of the flag, and while I do hate one aspect of it, I love the other aspects of it. People need to educate themselves on the full meaning of the Confederate flag, so that they are familiar with the respectful parts. No great accomplishments in our history came about without someone getting hurt. All of our flags are symbols of hate to someone, we just have to look past that, to the better part of the meaning. The History is there, it won't go away no matter how hard we try to forget it.

Mary - posted on 09/28/2011

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I do agree that certain symbols have different associations for different people. I see that rebel flag, and honestly , the images that pop into my head are mostly from that cheesy early 80's TV show The Dukes of Hazzard :P

So, for me, if you are flying that flag in front of your house, I have to confess to half expecting you to having a fondness for denim cut-offs, moonshine, a basset hound lazing on your porch, and family members with names like Cletus, Enos,and Mabel.

[deleted account]

I can't change my mind on this. Flying any confederate flag is distinctly un-American and I hate that term.

Johnny - posted on 09/27/2011

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I suppose if you think that YOU are the only one that matters and you like the confederate flag for whatever reason, then you should fly it. But for some people, even those who may feel an affinity or have connections to the history of this flag in a myriad of ways (not all of them racist), they realize that while it does not offend or hurt them, it does so to other people. And being the type of people who care about other people's feelings, they would choose not to fly it. I don't really think it is about racism, I think it is about caring, compassion, neighborliness, empathy and sensitivity. So when I see someone flying a confederate flag, I do not automatically assume they are racist. But I certainly do not think all that well of them.

Jennifer - posted on 09/27/2011

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I don't think the flag stands for racism or hatred. I'd love to fly it in my yard. BUT I know people who DO use it to stand for their racist and hatred, and I know it offends other people, many of them my friends. I could never hurt my friends or offend people I don't even know, so it will never fly here.

Brittany - posted on 09/27/2011

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My parents were both born and raised in Alabama. I was born and raised in PA. The Confederate Flag has always been a part of my life. As long as I can remember. My parents had one right next to the American Flag. The most important piece of information my Father gave me about it was, that it is not a symbol of hatred or racism but, a symbol of part of our family and who you are. So this is when I began to study the 4 different flags.

The first Confederate Flag, "The Stars and Bars" was based on the current US flag. The flag contained two red stripes, one white stripe, 1 blue square and 7 stars. They stopped using this flag because, it caused to much confusion on the battlefield.

The "Stainless Banner" came next. Stainless referring to the pure white field located on the flag. Favored at first but, then critized as look to much like a flag of truce. THIS FLAG WAS THE FLAG USED DURING THE CIVIL WAR.

Then we had the "Bloodstained Banner". This was the same exact flag as the Stainless but, had a red stripe on it. Major Rogers stated he want "as little Yankee Blue" and described it as symbolizing the primary origins of the people in the south with the Cross of England and the Red Stripe of France.

The "Battle Flag", which is what most of you know of, is often incorrectly refereed to as the "Stars and Bars". The number of stars represents the number of states in the Confederacy and HISTORICALLY NEVER represented the CSA.

One of the best things I learned in Anthropology is how symbolism works. The symbol in question is only given meaning by those who give it meaning. Thus, if you look at a cross and automatically think Jesus that does not mean the person standing next to you will think the same thing.

The Battle Flag to my family and I does not mean racism nor do I teach or condone that in my home. This is a part of my family and where I came from. This is a part of my history. I can not help what some other jackass thinks it means. It simply does not mean that to myself, or anyone with respect.

All in all I think the flag, something that should mean a lot to this country, has been abused as a symbol. Individuals from around the world look down it.

Then you have the stereotype that comes with it. I am in no way shape or form "white-trash", racist, a "redneck" or any other term that has been associated with it.

Would it be ok for me to ask my African-American neighbor to take down their African flag because, I was raped by a black man and it reminds me of that? OR Is that racist of me? (Yes, I really was raped by a black man and no I would never dream of asking my neighbor to do so.)

Lacye - posted on 09/27/2011

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I don't see what the big deal is about the Confederate Flag. And before I get jumped on, I live in Mississippi and I have even seen black people fly it as a sign of southern heritage. It has been used by stupid people who try to use fear to get what they want. It has been mistreated by those people. To hate the flag, is to hate a part of US history. It's always going to be there. People may not like it, but it's not going anywhere. The woman may have handled the situation a little bit better, but it is completely her right to fly the flag in her yard. She was not physically hurting anybody with it. Yeah some people were insulted, but that was about it.

On the flip side, her neighbors did have the right to protest the flag but there was nothing they could have really done about it without taking away her rights as a citizen.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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I do understand your point. The unfortunate fact is that some people have taken these symbols and tainted them to the point where it is hard for anyone to see them as anything else any longer. It's unfortunate for those who honestly do only see them as a symbol of pride in their heritage, but I do think a person needs to be sensitve to the community in which they live. If you live in a community where the Confederate Flag holds the same meaning for everyone, I don't see a problem with you having one in your yard. But when you live in a predominantly black community, where you know it is a symbol of oppression, slavery, and discrimination, I think flying one is extremely insensitive. Like I said, if you want to put one up inside your house, more power to you.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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Well, a swastica may mean something other than hatered and racism to some too, but if someone paints one on the side of their house, is anyone honestly going to see that person as anything but extremely disrespectful at best, and a hateful, racist Nazi at worst? Really?

Medic - posted on 09/27/2011

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I guess I just don't see why people get all up in arms over what symbol someone else wants to use. Why can't we just give people the benefit of doubt that what whatever symbol they are displaying means something to that person. We have the right to display numerous things that may be construed as rude or racist. I really think and people as a whole should stop getting so worked up over symbols and giving them so much power. Take them for what they are and move on.

[deleted account]

I'm also from the south and maybe in your neck of the south Jennifer, it's not a big deal. But from where I come from, that flag is a HUGE deal. I understand that for some people, it honestly represents pride in their heritage. But for the vast majority of modern people, it represents horrible things that have been done by horrible people.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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When I see it, I assume the person is a redneck, and I associate being a redneck with being racist.

Medic - posted on 09/27/2011

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I am sure one could....but one still has the right to express how they feel. I have since folded up my flag and its now in a nice little display flag holder. I do think that Darrius Rucker said it right, and for me it represents southern pride.

[deleted account]

BTW, my father's family is from the south and we have never flown a confederate flag. You can certainly have Southern pride without it.

Medic - posted on 09/27/2011

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That is fine that you feel that way. To me it represents the south and I was born southern and live southern. You have the right to feel how you do just as I have the right to feel as I do. What the south was happened..it cannot be changed, how people lived is how people lived. My family still owns our plantation house in Georgia, and our row house and a few other properties. The racism card is always pulled for lots of things whether it was racist or not.

[deleted account]

It should be a big deal. It represents racism to a great deal of people. I live in Canada and if i seen someone flying the flag i would assume that person was a racist. If its no big deal, that's like saying racism is no big deal. That its still accepted.

Medic - posted on 09/27/2011

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I do think that is true for some. I also think that a lot of it is regional. Would I go up north and fly it? Probably not, but I live in the south, and it is not made into a big deal.

Medic - posted on 09/27/2011

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I think the fact that she is in an all black neighborhood makes it stupid. But when I was a teen I flew the confederate flag off the back of my truck along with the Texas flag. It is still a popular thing to do here among the younger adults/ teens. My family is from Georgia so yes I am proud of what I came from, whether they were right, wrong, or purple it is part of my family history.

Erin - posted on 09/27/2011

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Nobody can be that ignorant. She is either a total bigot or is completely thoughtless. It doesn't matter what it means to her personally. It is socially unacceptable and she would have to know it.

[deleted account]

Yea, it is rude. Horribly rude. She moved the flag when they put up fences. She KNOWS what it means to her neighbors yet she continues to do it. I mean, if i moved to a town, and put up something in my yard, then my neighbors came to me and said "we don't like that because it symbolizes hate against our race could you remove it." I would, I would be horribly ashamed and embarrassed.

Now if I absolutely hated the people it was offending..I would leave it there, tell them to deal with it and oh i don't know, make sure every attempt they have to remove the object only made it more visible..

Now i don't know the woman personally, but her actions scream hate and racism. So i say shes a racist.

[deleted account]

I don't know about racist but it is ignorant and rude of her to fly the flag. The thing that made it worse for me was after the fences were put up she raised it above the fences to make sure everyone could see it...that's just rude.

Becky - posted on 09/27/2011

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I think that regardless of what it means to you personally, flying a Confederate flag in a predominantly black neighborhood is just thoughtless and asking for trouble. It may mean nothing more than pride in her southern heritage to her, but she has to know that it means much more than that to her black neighbors.

Also, I have to think that if she was the type of person who got along with everyone, who clearly didn't have a racist bone in her body and who went out of the way to help her neighbors, people might be a little more willing to overlook her flag. The fact that people are so upset over it suggests to me that maybe they have other reasons to believe she is racist too.

If it really is such a meaningful personal symbol to her, she could put it up inside her house where it would not offend anyone else.

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