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Take Down that Flag - A Plea to Blend the Nation

Let me paint you a picture; July 4th weekend, 2023, 2 young women from New Jersey are driving through South Carolina to get to North Carolina on interstate highway 85. The windows are

down, their hair is blowing in the breeze, the music is loud and all of a sudden everything in their immediate world went silent and still. Flying above I-85 was a HUGE 30 by 50 ft confederate flag in the Spartanburg area. Those 2 young women were Robyn and I.


Fast forward a year, in March of 2024 we took another road trip to the south to cross off Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Before leaving for this trip we were warned by many people, including some who had lived in these states, to be extremely careful and vigilant about where we were. They informed us about how different the culture was in these places due to their outdated views and opinions especially when it came to race. On that trip we saw multiple confederate flags flying above interstate highways, and it became clear to me just how behind the south really was in terms of racism. 


The confederate flag represents the 13 states that seceded from the Union during the 1860’s. The states that wanted to keep slavery alive because they viewed black people as less than, disgusting, and not worth autonomy. From start to finish the confederate flag represents white supremacy and a segregated nation. Which begs the question, why is it still being waved?


As a young woman of color who has had the privilege of growing up in the 21st century, learning in school the vague history of slavery and segregation, I can not fathom how waving a confederate flag in this nation is not considered treason. While that may sound dramatic to some, to many others it’s just common sense. In Germany post WWII it is a crime to be caught with any antisemitism or nazi paraphernalia. World War II was just about 80 years ago, whereas the civil war was over 150 years ago. Why is it taking America so long to recognize its wrongs?


The flag that I mentioned before in South Carolina has raised many questions in the last few years and has caused so much upset within the community that there is currently an open court case against it. While the county has not come out with a stance on the flag itself, they have an issue with the height of flagpole; as it is not in ordinance with proper zoning codes. As of April 12, 2024 despite a judge ruling in favor of the county to take the flagpole down, the flag remains up. The flag sits on private property owned by a group called the Sons of confederate Soldiers and they are the group responsible for waiving the flag. According to Greenville, SC attorney Robert K Merting, the flag honors the soldiers of South Carolina who died during the Civil War. In other words, the flag honors the men who attempted to secede from the US and keep slavery alive. These soldiers who are being honored didn’t give their lives for the United States of America, the country we live in, they gave their lives for the confederate states of America. 


Unfortunately despite the south having so much charm and beauty, many people find themselves fleeing that part of the country or avoiding it as a traveling destination due to the uncertainty of inclusivity. As I am sure you all know, here at I Am Woman we are advocates for exploration of all cultures, but how can people experience all that their country has to offer when there are corners of it that are unsafe and unwelcoming for half of the population. Many young people are leaving the south and demanding change due to the overwhelming feeling of oppression. Over the last

year, after multiple conversations with various different people and my own research (thank you Reddit) I have been made very aware that large confederate flags are everywhere in the South and they do represent an unwelcoming community. I recently met a girl who currently lives in Boston, but was born and raised in the south. When I asked her how she ended up in Boston, she expressed how hard it was to live in a place that was so behind socially. This is not the first person I have spoken to that has felt similarly about the southern towns they were raised in. I have heard similar accounts from people who formerly lived in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama; they all live in the North now. 


You might be wondering; Mikayla, what is the point of this article? It is not to just voice frustration, but it is in the hopes of inciting change. It is so disheartening knowing that I am unsafe traveling in certain parts of the country I belong to and unfortunately the hatred is not confined to just the south. There are racist people everywhere raising racist children and they utilize the confederate flag as a symbol for it. When I was discussing this article with my boyfriend it came up that he had encountered multitudes of confederate flags playing video games. In his case the specific video game was Call of Duty, he explained that players are able to create logos for themselves and he has come across many players utilizing the confederate flag as their personal logo for the game. He went on to say that oftentimes they were young boys sporting the flag as well as casually using offensive, racist language. 

I will leave you with this, I do not want my children of color to live in a world where they have to feel unaccepted due to who they are. It is up to us to make the future a better place for everyone. Take down the confederate flags. I have purposefully released this article on Juneteenth, a day we celebrate the freedom of 250,000 remaining slaves in 1865. It has been over 150 years since then, and yet we are still dealing with remnants of that time period. We can’t change an entire society overnight, but taking down flags that represent hatred is a step in the right direction. 


Thank you so much for reading, I would love to continue the conversation in the comments below. Please be sure to subscribe below for more articles from us and shoot us an email if there is something you’d like to hear our thoughts on. Thank you again! 


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Things like this hurt my heart! Thank you for shining a light! Maybe one day we’ll get to see the type of world you wish for your kids to live in. Great article!

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Thank you! It hurts my heart too, all we can strive for is change.

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What a well written, heartfelt blog about the situation in the South. You are so right - those flags should be against the law! Juneteenth is a national holiday to celebrate the freedom granted in1865 - those states need to educate the young people who have not been taught what is right and what is wrong.

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Thank you! Hopefully we'll start seeing that change soon!

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