Senator and Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham was asked by CNN if South Carolina should remove the Stars and Bars from the capitol, and after saying that it's up to the people of the state to make that decision, Graham reiterated that it's part of their heritage.
“But this is part of who we are,” the presidential candidate continued. “The flag represents, to some people, a civil war, and that was the symbol of one side. To others, it’s a racist symbol, and it’s been used by people in a racist way.”
Graham went on to state that the problems of racism do not stem from “symbols” but rather “what’s in people’s heart,” arguing that South Carolinians need to “move forward” instead of focusing on the past… while still allowing the Confederate flag to fly.
The flag does represent a civil war; a civil war that was fought in the name of the ultimate racism. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Symbols do matter. There's a very good reason why the Nazi flag and various Nazi symbols were banned in post-war Europe. And if you're going to ask if I'm comparing the confederate flag to the Nazi flag, the answer is yes. Absolutely.
The Lost Cause movement may not have thrived for as long as it has if their symbols were rightfully taken from them.
We do not openly tolerate neo-Nazis or the Nazi flag, but for some reason we tolerate this confederate symbol of slavery and sedition.
If these things are part of who you are, maybe you're a terrible person.