Variations of the battle flag of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia nicknamed the Southern Crossrebel flag, or Dixie flag continue to be displayed in modern times, most frequently in the United States.
The phenomenon began in the lateth century; the use and acceptance of the flag generally expanded during the nadir of American race relations and the Jim Crow era. Board of Education ruling, civil rights movementand passage of federal civil rights laws in the s and s.
The display of flags associated with the Confederacyespecially the battle flag, is thus controversial. It is commonly associated with racismslaverysegregationwhite supremacyracially motivated violencetreasonpride in Southern heritagedefense of states' rightshistorical commemoration of the Confederacyglorification of the Civil War, and adherence to the pseudohistorical ideology of the Lost Cause.
Inthe Charleston church shooting prompted a widespread debate regarding the flag's display on public grounds after it was revealed that the perpetrator had posted numerous pictures of himself with the flag and other white supremacist iconography on his personal website. Following then-Governor Nikki Haley 's ature of the bill, the flag was taken down. The May murder of George Floyd and ensuing protests renewed the intensity of the debate.
The US Department of Defense banned exhibition of the flag by uniformed military personnel and on all US military installations around the world. Mississippi voters approved the measure by a wide margin and the new flag went into effect on January 11, During the storming of the United States Capitolseveral rioters flew Confederate battle flags. The "Stars and Bars" was unpopular among Confederates for its resemblance to the United States flagwhich caused confusion during battle.
Both subsequent national des also failed to gain traction in the South.
The "Stainless Banner" was criticized for its excessive white de, creating fears that it could be mistaken for a flag of truce and causing it to be easily soiled. Deed by William Porcher Milesthe chairman of the Flag and Seal Committee of the Confederate Provisional Congressthe flag now generally known as the "Confederate flag" was first proposed and rejected as the national flag in Lee  and grew in popularity throughout the Confederacy. To conserve material, the ANV changed Miles' de from a rectangle to a square for the battle flag.
The rectangular version, similar to the battle flag used by the Army of Tennessee under General Joseph E. Johnston  is the most popular today and common in modern reproductions. Despite never having historically represented the Confederacy as a country nor been officially recognized as one of its flags, it is commonly referred to as "the Confederate Flag" and has become a widely recognized symbol of the American South.
During the "memorial period" that ran from the late 19th century through the s, the use of Confederate flags broadened and became the symbolic embodiment of the Lost Cause.
The flag of Mississippi included the battle flag from until and the flag of Georgia did from until The flag appears prominently in The Birth of a Nationa highly successful and influential film. Margaret Mitchell 's novel, Gone with the Windled to a brief but intense period of nostalgia for the Old South during which the Confederate flag appeared widely.
Some soldiers carried Confederate flags into battle. It was visible for miles and was taken down after three days on the orders of General Simon B. Buckner Jr. It was replaced with the regulation, star flag of the United States. Following the May murder of George Floyd and ensuing protests, Commandant of the Marine Corps David Berger directed Marine Corps leaders to remove all Confederate-related items from all the Corps' bases throughout the world.
Navy soon followed suit, disallowing the exhibition of the Confederate battle flag in all public places on installations, ships, and aircraft.
The Dixiecrat political party extensively used Confederate symbols, including the battle flag, and it contributed to the flag's post- World War II re-popularization. As a result, Coski stated that "There could be no more fitting opposition" to desegregation "than the Confederate battle flag. Although segregationists lost their battle and their cause was discredited, attitudes of white supremacy live on. In Georgia, the Confederate battle flag was reintroduced as an element of the state flag injust two years after the Supreme Court decision Brown v.
Board of Education. It was considered by many to be a protest against school desegregation. Supporters of the flag's continued use claim that it is a symbol of Southern ancestry and heritage as well as a symbol of the cultural tradition of the Southern United States which is distinct and independent from the cultural tradition of the rest of the country.
Some groups use the "southern cross" as one of the symbols which are associated with their organizations, including groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. For other supporters, the Confederate flag only represents a past era of Southern sovereignty.
Historian John Coski noted that the Sons of Confederate Veteransthe "most visible, active, and effective defender of the flag", "carried forward into the twenty-first century, virtually unchanged, the Lost Cause historical interpretations and ideological vision formulated at the turn of the twentieth. From the SCV spokesmen reiterated the consistent argument that the South fought a legitimate war for independence, not a war to defend slavery, and that the ascendant "Yankee" view of history falsely vilified the South and led people to misinterpret the battle flag.
The allied United Daughters of the Confederacy and other historical societies also used the flag as one of their symbols.
In Petersburg, Virginiathe Ladies Memorial Association of Petersburg in had a Tiffany stained-glass Confederate flag included in a window over the door to the former Blandford Church. At its annual meeting Inthe Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution calling for Southern Baptist churches to stop displaying the Confederate flag, as a " of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ.
The Confederate flag is a controversial symbol for many Americans today. A similar poll taken in revealed little change from As a result of these varying perceptions, there have been a of political controversies surrounding the use of the Confederate battle flag in Southern state flagsat sporting events, at Southern universities, and on public buildings.
The battle flag was never adopted by the Confederate Congress, never flew over any state capitols during the Confederacy, and was never officially used by Confederate veterans' groups. The flag probably would have been relegated to Civil War museums if it had not been resurrected by the resurgent KKK and used by Southern Dixiecrats during the presidential election.
It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinhe. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: ' that the negro is not equal to the white man '. The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?
Symbols of the Confederacy remain a contentious issue across the United States and their civic placement has been debated vigorously in many southern U. In a essay, "Old Times There Are Best Forgotten", Emory University professor Lucas Carpenter observed that "Contemporary Confederate sympathizers want free use of Confederate symbolism because they say it represents their 'heritage. The most important thing to know about the South is that until recently it was a region ruled by slavery and apartheid. The Anti-Defamation League says the flag is "still used by non-extremists, especially in the South, as a symbol of Southern heritage or history.
The flag has found some popularity in places far outside of the former Confederacy, especially in rural areas in the United States. When researching his ethnography of white Americans, Searching for Whitopiascholar Rich Benjamin kept a notepad while traveling the Pacific Northwest. Calls for the removal of Confederate flags from Jefferson Davis Park in southwestern Washington state began inafter the Charleston church shootingby Rev. Their visibility, and events in other parts of the nation regarding Confederate memorialsstill make these symbols a local focus of strong emotions, especially in the aftermath of the white nationalist Unite the Right rally August 11—12, In a "limited" degree of reciprocity with its use beside the First Amendment -protected display of Nazi flags at far-right events within the United States, there has increasingly been seen at far-right group gatherings within some European nations' borders, the use of the rectangular "rebel flag" form of the Confederate naval jack, in place of often-banned Third Reich flags.
Washington Post reporter Adam Taylor, in an article of June 22, about use of Confederate flag in Italy, reports that the first time S. Napoli supporters were noticed flying the flag abroad was during their quarterfinal match of the UEFA Champions League against English side Chelsea in He quotes an explanation, given several years before to historian Don Harrison Doyle and reported in "Divided Nations" by a professor of American Literature in Naples: "We too are a defeated people. Once we were a rich and independent country, and then they came from the North and conquered us and took our wealth and power away to Rome.
For Napoli FC supporters, [ The film Smokey and the Banditset in the Southern United States, featured a Pontiac Trans Am displaying the Georgia state flag on the front plate of the vehicle; the Georgia state flag prominently featured the Confederate battle flag. The — American television series The Dukes of Hazzardset in a fictional Georgia county, featured the General Lee stock car with the flag prominently painted over its roof throughout the series' run.
The film Battle Beyond the Stars shows a spaceship used to haul freight piloted by a man calling himself Cowboy.
The space truck sports a rectangular variant of the Mobile Depot flag. The film The Breakfast Club has a portrayal of the Georgia state flag which incorporates the battle flag de.
Kelly in the — television sitcom Married The film Shag has a character wearing wearing a flag bikini. The Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd has made heavy use of the flag.
Init tried to distance itself from the flag because of its divisive history as a symbol of racism. In an interview with CNNGary Rossington stated, "We just had it in the beginning because we're Southern and that was our image back in the '70s and late '60s. But I think people through the years, people like the KKK and the skinhe …kidnapped the Dixie rebel flag, the Southern tradition and the heritage of the soldiers, you know, that's what it was about.
We didn't want that to go to our fans or show the image like we agreed with any of the race stuff or any of the bad things. Until Julythe metal band Pantera sold numerous items that featured the flag in its official online store. As of Julysinger Phil Anselmo distanced himself from usage of the flag. The rockabilly musician Ray Campi played an upright bass with a customized image of the flag on the back of the instrument.
At some point prior tohe changed the image to the Texan flag.
The Southern rocker Tom Petty used the Confederate flag in his Southern Accents tour, tying its imagery to the lead character in his song " Rebels ". Inhe disclaimed his use of the flag as "downright stupid," saying "It's like how a swastika looks to a Jewish person. Despite hailing from Michiganthe singer Kid Rock prominently displayed the Confederate flag on his tours starting with his album Cockybut byhe had quietly abandoned his use of the flag.
The instrumental guitarist Duane Eddyalong with his backing band, "The Rebels," used the Confederate flag and symbolism during his early career. In DecemberTwitch announced a new policy towards harassment and hateful content, to take effect on January 22,aimed to better protect marginalized users of the service. While the new policy is more strict, Twitch said that this also includes a larger sliding scale of remedies or punishments to better deal with edge cases, such as temporarily blocking one's channel for a short time rather than a full ban.
The new policy includes a ban on imagery containing the Confederate flag. On February 16,University of Mississippi campus police discovered the James Meredith memorial statue, erected in Octobersurrounded with pre Georgia State Flags containing the Confederate Flag and a rope tied into a noose around the neck of the statue. Meredith, an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, was, in Octoberthe first African American to attend the school. Harris pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor for using threat of force to intimidate African-American students and employees.
District Judge Michael P. Mills sentenced Harris to six months in prison, followed by twelve months of supervision after release.