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QC Model UN Presents: 

The Confederate Flag

Some Americans have a rather interesting love of this particular flag:



Fun fact: this was not even the official flag of the Confederate States, this was the Confederate battle flag. Here is the official one:





Nevertheless, the former, ever infamous, flag represents the Confederate States of America. Now you might be thinking, how can America have an obsession with a state that was decisively beaten and dissolved 156 years ago? It’s simple really, I have no idea. Most people who show love to the Confederate flag attribute it to their Southern heritage and claim there is no racism associated with the flag. However, that is rather difficult to do, isn’t it? 

The reason why 11 states left the Union to form their own country and used that flag in battle was for the sole purpose of continuing to systematically enslave, abuse, and dehumanize Black people. These states felt threatened by the incoming President Abraham Lincoln, as they believed Lincoln sought the complete abolition of the  institution of enslavement. They felt so threatened by Lincoln that he did not even appear on the ballot in most of the Southern states. With that, it is already easy to imagine how it is rather difficult to not associate the Confederate Flag with the oppression of Black Americans, with the symbol representing a state established solely to defend their enslavement. 

The Confederate flag became so popular in the aftermath of the Civil War because white supremacist groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) went on a massive effort to popularize the Confederate image in response to the growing movement for civil rights. From building memorials to Confederate figures to, of course, displaying the flag of the Confederacy, the UDC and other white supremacist organizations worked hard to make sure that the Confederacy was not displayed in a negative fashion in any shape or form, including in Southern education systems. The UDC was responsible for many of the Confederate memorials that were built, and specifically targeted children in their propagandizing. In targeting children, the UDC sought to mold young minds so that their false, racist glorification of the Confederacy would be socially instilled for entire generations.

With the systematic idealization of the Confederacy across the South, many Americans would look to the Confederacy, and its deeply racist vision, and proudly display its battle flag. Knowing how popular the Confederate flag has become, can anything that can be done about it? It is possible: while it is important to know your history, it might make more sense to not do so with the flag of a dead state, nor is it ever the humane approach to glorify a state built solely for the defense of the enslavement of Black Americans. With the entrenchment of racist ideals and systems in the United States, many Americans will shamelessly, even pridefully, wave the Confederate battle flag because of their so-called heritage. Yet, in the age of Black Lives Matter, we must aspire to reach a day when the Confederacy is not glorified by Americans.

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