Do flags promote the continuation of racism?

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Racism is a topic that may never die. No matter how hard we try I don’t think the general population can ever put aside their differences to see each other for what they really are, human. But I hope I’m wrong. Recent events show there are several bumps in the road to equality.

In light of last week’s atrocious shooting and subsequent discussions by politicians of that state, calls are being made for the removal of the Confederate flag from public buildings. According to the Clarion Ledger, an online petition aims to have Mississippi remove the Confederate battle cross from the state flag.

I remember when our state held a vote on this same matter in 2001. It was voted down leaving Mississippi as the only state with the symbol of rebellion on its flag. The question is, should that change?

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I am not the one to answer that question.

You see I count myself lucky to have grown up in a southern household free of racism, so I see the banner as just a flag. But I don’t share the experiences of those born a decade or so before me.

Some may argue that to keep the symbol on our state flag would lead to forgetting about our nation’s past. Certainly, as the old saying goes, and I paraphrase, forgetting history is a path to repeating past mistakes.

In that regard keeping the flag as it is preserves the lessons learned from past mistakes. But do we really need a graphic on a flag to remind us that racism is bad and that all people really should be treated equal?

I’d like to think people are smart enough to remember those facts on their own. But at the same time consider this; by removing the symbol from our flag, will it erase the scars left by so many centuries of slavery, or does more have to be done?

In spite of all this country has achieved, there’s a long road ahead to true equality.