In-Depth: The sponsor of this legislation, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) believes that:
confederate flag is a symbol of hate and intolerance, and it will be
forever associated with the injustices of slavery and Jim Crow. It’s
time for the Department of Veteran Affairs to change their policy
allowing the Confederate Flag at cemeteries honoring American war
heroes. The Confederate flag does not represent the values our veterans
fought to defend. It is a painful reminder of a terrible time in our
history when we treated human beings as less than.”
A survey conducted by Gallup showed that 54 percent of Americans believe that the Confederate flag represents Southern heritage rather than racism. However, the majority supporting that view has declined from 69 percent in 1992, to 59 percent in 2000, to its current level.
Of Note: Following the murder
of nine people at a church in South Carolina — the Confederate flag has
been the subject of intense scrutiny and calls for removal on the
grounds that it fuels racism. South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley signed a law from the state’s legislature banning the flag from the Capitol grounds. Georgia had previously removed the Confederate flag from its state flag in 2001.
South Carolina’s decision to remove the flag from its state capitol,
the National Association for the Advanced of Colored Persons (NAACP) ended its boycott of the state. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) also lifted a ban that prevented college sports championships from being contested in the state.
Over 750,000 Americans — both Union and Confederate
— were killed during the Civil War, and Confederate casualties
accounted for more than 299,000 of the total. That number exceeds the
total number of American war dead for all wars excluding the Civil War
and World War II, combined.
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user shauser)