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Taking Down The Confederate Flag47:24
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With guest host Michel Martin.

South Carolina votes to take down the Confederate flag.  Is it a new day in the South?

A Confederate battle flag flies in front of the South Carolina statehouse Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The House is expected to debate a measure Wednesday that would remove the flag from the Capitol grounds. (AP)
A Confederate battle flag flies in front of the South Carolina statehouse Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The House is expected to debate a measure Wednesday that would remove the flag from the Capitol grounds. (AP)

The Confederate Battle Flag. The Stars and Bars. A symbol of White Supremacy or Southern Pride? Now, the South Carolina Legislature has voted to remove the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol. So we ask whether this debate is about more than a flag. Is this a moment for new thinking about what it means to be a Southerner in the 21st century? Or is the pull of the past just too strong?  Is there a way to embrace the history and leave the hate behind? This hour, On Point: the fate of the flag and the future of the South.
-- Michel Martin

Guests

Kathleen Parker, syndicated columnist at the Washington Post. (@kathleenparker)

Walter Mosley, novelist and author. His latest book is "And Sometimes I Wonder About You."

Ron Rash, poet, novelist and author. Professor in Appalachian cultural studies at Western Carolina University. His forthcoming book is "Above the Waterfall."

Ben Jones, spokesperson for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Former Democratic Congressman from Georgia. Played Cooter Davenport on The Dukes of Hazard. (@cootersplace)

From The Reading List

The State: S.C. House votes to remove Confederate flag from State House grounds — "The Confederate flag will leave the South Carolina State House grounds after five decades this week after the House overwhelmingly approved a bill to remove the Civil War icon early Thursday morning. The House voted 94-20 to banish the flag from the Capitol after more than 12 hours of debate over the historic measure."

Washington Post: Take down the Confederate flag, South Carolina — "To me personally, the flag was offensive long before a mad-boy of evil heart gunned down nine lovely, innocent people as they included him in their prayers. As I wrote many years ago, I was just as afraid of a pickup truck with a Confederate flag in the window as any African American would be. This is because we all know that the occupants of that truck mean no good by showing that flag. It says: Danger."

The Atlantic: What This Cruel War Was Over — "The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans. The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. The embarrassment is not limited to the flag, itself. The fact that it still flies, that one must debate its meaning in 2015, reflects an incredible ignorance. A century and a half after Lincoln was killed, after 750,000 of our ancestors died, Americans still aren’t quite sure why."

This program aired on July 9, 2015.

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