I have not started it yet, but over the weekend I checked John Coski’s The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem out of the library. I am never quite sure what to make of cases such as this. Instances like these appear to be a direct provocation, though I do not know the details of this specific case. I believe that the First Amendment allows symbolic speech and that flying the flag falls under this category. I would argue that individuals have a right to exhibit the symbol, but should show restraint and wisdom when doing so. Governments on the other hand are a different story. This is especially true in states where the symbol was added to state flags during the Civil Rights era in response to desegregation. I have wanted to read Coski’s book for some time and this article is a reminder of the topic’s currency.
(New Orleans, 1963/Image courtesy Chuck Battles)