Before he shot nine black Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, 21-year-old Dylann Roof posed for photos holding a symbol of racial hatred. The same symbol that’s worn on t-shirts, wrapped around beer coozies, intertwined with American pop culture. Even if the flag is removed from South Carolina’s capitol, as leaders called for today, it’s not going away anytime soon. [Update: Walmart is pulling all Confederate flag merchandise from its shelves.] There are few American symbols which are so fraught with controversy—but also so ubiquitous. Drive through the South and you’ll see the distinctive design proudly painted on mailboxes and unabashedly framing license plates. Yet if you look back at photographs of lynch mobs or news footage of KKK rallies, the same flag is there, held up defiantly by white supremacists. Advertisement After last week’s shooting, questioning the appropriateness of publicly displaying the flag at all, with specific calls to remove the flag from South Carolina’s capitol. As a sign that conventional wisdom might be shifting, even Republican leaders—many of whose conservative followers feel the flag should be protected as part of their heritage—are speaking out against the Confederate flag’s symbolism. Mitt Romney might have said it best… Read full this story
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