Haul Down the Confederate Flag, Writes David Reynolds in Atlantic Op-Ed

In a compelling new op-ed for The Atlantic, Distinguished Professor David Reynolds (English) traces the history of the Confederate flag — a flashpoint for national tensions long before the recent Charleston church massacre.
From the moment it was raised in 1861 in Montgomery, Alabama, the flag was meant as “a slap in the face for [Abraham Lincoln] and all other antislavery Northerners,” Reynolds writes in “Hauling Down the Confederate Flag.” “The defense of that flag has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and has made life miserable for many others.”
While the years after the Civil Way gave rise to the Lost Cause myth — whereby Old South charms overshadowed the horrors of slavery — the shadow of racism around the flag has always lingered, he writes.
For this and many other reasons, Reynolds asserts, Confederate emblems should be removed from all public places.
“The Lost Cause itself must be held up to the honest light of history, and revealed to be what it is: a white-supremacist fraud and a profoundly anti-American fairytale.”

Submitted on: JUL 6, 2015

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