The New York Times ran a story about the alleged resurgence of the Confederate battle flag. It’s convincing, but it misses the bigger picture: In recent years the battle flag has gradually retreated from public spaces. State house grounds in South Carolina is the latest example. The state flag of Mississippi, which contains the Confederate emblem, no longer flies on many college campuses and some municipalities.
- The problem is that the article completely misses the gradual retreat of the battle flag from public spaces in recent years, especially in the states of the former Confederacy.
- Donald Trump’s campaign has certainly created an environment that is welcoming of displays of the Confederate battle flag, though he is on record as supporting its removal from the State House grounds in S.C. in 2015.
- It includes plenty of examples of recent battle flag sightings around the country, interviews with flag supporters and detractors, and the obligatory interview with an academic historian. All good so far.
“Its removal from the State House grounds in South Carolina is the most prominent example, but as we have seen over the past year, the trend has been much more widespread.”