Confederate Civil War Flag

Written by Donald Sparacin
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Known as the "Southern Cross," the Confederate Civil War flag that is most associated with the Confederate States of America was actually the battle flag. The initial flag of the Confederacy, the "Stars and Bars," so closely resembled the Union flag that soldiers on the battlefield became confused as to whom was who. The Stars and Bars (pictured) lasted about two years from 1861 to 1863. Following the Stars and Bars, the Southern Cross was adopted as the official flag of the Confederacy.

The Confederate Civil War Flag Today

The Confederate Civil War flag known as the Southern Cross stirs many different emotions today. To African-Americans, it symbolizes slavery. To many southerners it symbolizes a rich southern tradition of independence. When the flag is raised, as it was for decades above the state capital in Columbia, South Carolina it causes great controversy.

The debate over the Confederate Civil War flag in South Carolina raged heatedly for several years with both sides adamantly opposed to compromise. The African-Americans wanted it down and the traditionalists wanted it to remain. Voting referendums were held to check the pulse of the residents, and every one came up sharply divided. The Confederate Civil War flag issue became nightly news, a boycott by African-Americans, and a rallying cry for the south to rise again.

Eventually, the governor, feeling the pressure from both sides decided to handle the situation. He built a memorial on the grounds of the statehouse and moved the Confederate Civil War flag from atop the statehouse to the memorial. As with most compromises, neither side was pleased with his decision, but for the State of South Carolina the national news media seemed satisfied enough to move on to other issues. Yet, the Confederate Civil War flag continues to stir emotions as strongly as if the past 140 years hadn't transpired.

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