It’s interesting to see how long it actually has taken to ban symbols that have represented hate for decades now, but no matter how late it may seem, at least there’s progress. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has just signed a bill that goes into effect immediately that states that the New York state will, “no longer sell or display anything considered a ‘symbol of hate,’ including the Confederate flag.” I’m curious to see the uproars against this bill.
The bill was introduced earlier this year, stating the prohibition of, “selling or displaying of symbols of hate or any similar image, or tangible personal property, inscribed with such an image,’ on public property. It states, “The term ‘symbols of hate’ shall include, but not be limited to, symbols of White supremacy, neo-Nazi ideology or the battle flag of the Confederacy.”
The Confederate symbol’s historical purpose has been proudly represented by those who claim its heritage and pride but also shunned by those who claim its representation of racism. Nevertheless, it has been popularly used among White Supremacist groups, and the Anti-Defamation League has officially deemed it a hate symbol.
Confederate Flag: A Symbol Of Hate Or History?
Gov. Cuomo addressed the potential attitudes of intolerance and hate as a reason for signing the bill, writing,
“The horrific rash of anti-Semitic, anti-African American, anti-Hispanic and anti-LGBTQ behavior spreading across the United States is repugnant to our values as New Yorkers and Americans, and a new generation now bears witness to a rising tide of discrimination, hatred and violence that threatens generations of progress,By limiting the display and sale of the confederate flag, Nazi swastika and other symbols of hatred from being displayed or sold on state property, including the state fairgrounds, this bill will help safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-instilling effects of these abhorrent symbols.”
The Pentagon Banning Display Of Confederate Flags On Military Instillation
With everything that has happened this year, from the murder of George Floyd to the tricky presidential fight between Trump and Biden to dealing with the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have either deemed the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism or of classic American culture, with no room for indifference in standing neutral. Many had addressed their detest for the flag, while others try to contest by emphasizing free speech as stated by the First Amendment.
However, according to CNN, the US Navy and the Marines have already banned displays of Confederate flags, and voters in Mississippi have approved changing their state flag, which contains the Confederate battle emblem, to one that has a magnolia flower.
I don’t think there should be an issue in banning “symbols of hate,” even if people could advocate for why they are not. Everyone does understand that even if advocating for the Confederate flag is plausible, it can still represent hate to others. And I do believe that should be enough motivation to make moves in ridding our country of it. I think it’s important that we do our best to remain unified more than ever, and the Confederate flag, if anything, is a reminder of division in the United States.