The Banner of Hate: A Study on the Transatlantic use of the Confederate Flag
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The Confederate flag is a symbol that continues to be used nearly 156 years after the United States Civil war ended. The use of this symbol is unique not only in its everchanging meaning but also as the use of this flag is not simply isolated to the country of its origin. Rather, it has evolved into a global symbol. This paper follows the history of this flag, which began as a non-official banner of a lost rebellion and became a current-day hate symbol. With this change comes the need to study it. As the flag has come to represent a transatlantic white supremacist symbol of hate, something can be seen in its use by far-right groups such as PEGIDA in Europe and the KKK in the United States. They have both attached a racist message to the flag. Using this flag to help spread that message. The use by both groups is difficult to explain as current-day academic explanations of an inherent “rebel nature” associated with the flag fail to fit its use among these groups. This paper analyzes this phenomenon with both existing literature as well as primary sources to see how these groups use the flag to improve the public perception of their groups. This perception helping to increase the number of viable members among the group. This approach hopes to result in a new direction for the study of the far-right in transatlantically helping to explain and solve their modern resurgence.