When a white supremacist guns down churchgoers and is seen brandishing the Confederate flag in a photograph taken prior to the murders, this reminds us of the need to respect those who are opposed to its existence and why.
Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic symbol of hate, the Swastika, of course harks back to Jewish persecution, when all human rights of Jewish people were revoked, and they were no longer allowed to integrate into German society and enjoy the same privileges as the rest of the population. As if to clarify their evil intent Jewish people were forced to wear arm bands with the Star of David and even have their passports stamped with the single word ‘Jew’.
It is hard not to question whether a flag with such an appalling history should still see the light of day again, a flag with all its disturbing connotations yet is readily utilised by racists, confirming its status as a force for evil.
The Confederate flag is held in similar regard to the Swastika for the memories it provokes of slavery and oppression, and the dehumanization of African slaves, yet is revered and proudly maintained by the few who are resistant to change in all its forms. Defiantly rebuffing suggestions to remove it from public life on the basis of its historical links. Further contributing to an ‘unjustified’ perception of the southern states as being racist and backward.
So the decision of South Carolina to remove this flag from the statehouse should be seen as a huge step forward that should not be underestimated. The U.S. is clearly in transitional phase and is making great leaps to other areas too.
With gay marriage being declared legal across all 50 U.S. states by a Supreme Court ruling that decreed that attempts by conservative states to disallow gay marriage was a civil rights issue, whereby the right to marriage equality was enshrined under the protection clause of the 14th amendment, and their actions were therefore unconstitutional. This has since been described as a ‘victory for love’.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) also voted to end the ban on gay adults. Zach Whals, an Eagle Scout and the head of advocacy group Scouts for Equality, stated, “While this policy change is not perfect – BSA’s religious chartering partners can still discriminate against gay adults – it is difficult to overstate the importance of today’s announcement”.
The U.S. itself, like many others, may be far from perfect, but on this evidence she has much to celebrate, and will surely continue to strive to build on this latest wave of positive change.