Although the Civil War ended almost 150 years ago, remnants of the conflict remain in American society. After the large-scale controversy surrounding the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse in 2015, some advocacy groups have been attempting to have all Confederate flags and memorials removed from public land.
For supporters of the removal, tearing down Confederate memorials sends a message that racist ideas, which they argue are inherently tied to the Confederate flag and memorials, are not acceptable in America today.
Opponents of removing Confederate flags and memorials believe that they are a piece of history that should be preserved and do not inherently contain racist ideals. In the words of one dissenter, “I think it’s a terrible thing. When you start removing the history of the city, you start losing money. You start losing where you came from and where you’ve been.”
Should the government require Confederate symbols to be removed from public land?