Dixie Flag Spotted

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The Confederate flag, also known as the ‘Rebel’ or ‘Dixie’ flag, was seen flying from the bed of a lifted truck around Snow College over Fall Break. During the presidential election in 2016 and the term of former U.S. President Trump, these flags could be seen flying at presidential rallies in southern states and during the siege on the nation’s capital on January 6, 2021. There is an ongoing controversy surrounding the flag and what it means today. For some, it is a symbol of southern pride, but for others it symbolizes hate andAmerica’s dark past.The KKK, founded by a group of decommissioned confederate soldiers in the mid-1860s in Tennessee, is among what some would consider one of America’s first terrorist groups. Due to Congress’s “Enforcement Acts” passed, the group’s numbers and public presence quickly dwindled going into the 1900s. The KKK would see a resurgence in following and public presence mid-way through America’s 20th century, during the Civil Rights era. Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights activist, was one among many who  lost their lives during these turbulent times. Film from the Huntley Archives shows a KKK rally around the time of Liuzzo’s murder where those responsible for Liuzzo’s murder are being honored and praised, with confederate flags posted along the podium. In an article by The New Republic, this film was shown to David Cunningham, a professor at Brandeis. In response to the film, Cunningham said, “mainstream white southerners wildly cheering this murder…and very front and center is the waving of Confederate flags…It would be difficult to find any public presence of the Klan during that period that didn’t feature multiple Confederate flags.”

Cunningham then continued to say that the flag is “about defying challenges from outside of the white supremacist southern way of life, defiance, Jim Crow segregation.” This was said in response to the idea that the flag was simply a symbol of Southern heritage and pride. Since the murder of Viola Liuzzo, this flag has been present during other hate crimes. Students should know the history behind this seemingly innocent symbol and what it truly stands for. Those who have questions or concerns about discrimination should contact Mike Daniels, Dean of Students. As stated in Snow College’s Nondiscrimination and Accessibility statement, Snow College is “…an equal opportunity institution providing education…opportunities without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability or handicap, sex or gender, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law.”

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