Confederate flags are for losers


Graphic by Christopher Ottaviano

You might be without a flag now, but don’t worry because I have compiled a list of cool, historical flags that you can fly.

Chris Ottaviano, Sports Editor

The topic of confederate flags has always been a divisive issue. People who advocate for the flag believe that it symbolizes pride in their country and the South, but this is not the case. The confederate flag not only symbolizes a country that was built on the backs of slaves, but a country that tried to destroy the union that we live in today. 

Contrary to popular belief, the flag that most Americans would label as “the Confederate flag” never actually represented the Confederacy as a whole. That flag, which incorporates the St. Andrew’s cross, actually originated as the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia. It gained popularity in the confederacy because that was the army that was led by General Robert E. Lee. The true flag of the Confederate States of America was much more similar to the American Flag in that it consisted of 3 red and white horizontal stripes with 7 white stars on a blue field in the upper left-hand corner. This is important to note because many Americans do not know that the original flag even exists.

As use of the flag by people wanting to show their “southern pride” ramped up, so did its use by white supremacist organizations. Throughout the Civil Rights era, the flag was flown by the Dixiecrats, a political party that advocated for state’s rights to uphold segregation. Since then, a lot of states have used the battle flag in their own state flags. States such as Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, and, up until June 30, 2020, Mississippi, all still have flags that incorporate elements of either the flag of the Confederate States of America or the battle flag of Northern Virginia. 

In more recent times, the flag has been adopted by numerous white supremacist organizations like the KKK, neo-Nazis, and various alt-right militia groups. In 2015, after murdering 12 African-Americans in a church in South Carolina, Dylan Roof was found holding a Confederate flag alongside his bigoted manifesto. 

Today, America is divided on the issue. One who supports the flag might say “I support it because it represents my southern heritage and pride.” To that, I’d say:  Though I understand how the Confederate flag might have been passed down in your family as a sentimental symbol, that does not change the fact that the flag represents a country that was built on the backs of slaves and tried to do away with the country we live in today.

 The United States is a country built on the proposition that all men are created equal, and the Confederate flag does not exemplify that idea. 

You might be without a flag now, but don’t worry because I have compiled a list of cool, historical flags that you can fly without sending people the wrong message. 

  • Join, or Die flag: Originally drawn as a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, the cartoon was converted to a flag and flown as a symbol of the American Revolution. 
  • 48 Star flag: Is it the most interesting variant of the American flag? No. Is it the flag we flew when we were kicking Nazi butt in Europe? Yup. 
  • USS Serapis Flag: A rad flag with a rad story that’s too long to explain here. 
  • Washington Cruisers Flag: Believed to be flown on floating batteries (small, heavily armed boats) on the Charles River in Boston. These batteries attacked British troops in the city, making it easier for the Continental Army to take over the territory

I think, as Americans, we need to reevaluate what we believe about the Confederate flag. Are we flying the flag before thinking about the millions of slaves that suffered? At the end of the day, I don’t like teams that lose, so you won’t catch me flying the stars and bars.