…so I’ll let Will B. Mackintosh say it:
But I think it’s important to remember: removing the Confederate flag and other Confederate symbols from public display is not nothing. Sure, it’s symbolic, but as historians we should recognize how incredibly important and powerful symbols can be.
Just so. It’s a symbolic thing to remove the confederate flag from government buildings, but it’s not an unimportant symbolic thing. That message is:
…removing Confederate iconography sends and equally important symbolic message: overt defenses of white supremacy are now beyond the bounds of acceptable political sentiment. This has not been the case, even recently. So a national, bipartisan consensus that the iconography of the Confederacy is fundamentally white supremacist and has no place in mainstream politics represents very real progress.
Flying that flag on the statehouse and putting it on license plates provided the thinnest hint of legitimacy to people who used the flag to send it’s most obvious message: “You are not welcome here. We are still in control. Know your place.”
As per usual with Mackintosh, the entire article is well worth your time.