The Rebel Flag

The Rebel Flag is a rectangular flag with a blue saltire and six white stars, typically associated with the Confederate States of America (the “Southern States” or the “rebels”) during the American Civil War. Known as the Confederate Battle Flag, it is frequently used as an emblem of Southern heritage and states’ rights, historical commemoration of the Civil War, segregation, white supremacy, and treason. The flag is not the official flag of the Confederate States of America, and the display of it in public spaces has long been controversial. Supporters associate it with pride in Southern heritage and States’ rights, while opponents associate it with glorification of the Civil War and its Lost Cause, slavery, racism, segregation, historical negationism, and treason.Find

Rebel Flag Confederate Battle Flag: History and Controversy

Throughout the 20th century, debates about the flag’s use grew increasingly centered on the issue of race in the United States. By the time of the Civil Rights Movement, many people viewed the Confederate flag as the symbol of a racist South and its continued anti-black policies. This is especially true of the elongated version of the flag, known as the Battle Flag of the Army of Tennessee and the Second Confederate Navy Jack, which was in use from 1863 until 1865.

It was also the banner of choice for groups that promoted racial segregation in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as for state governments resisting federally-mandated integration. The ubiquity of this interpretation of the flag has led to its association today with white supremacy, and in many places, it is still forbidden from public display.

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