California Bans Confederate Flag
California enacted a new law this year- government agencies will not be able to sell or display the Confederate flag unless it is used for educational or historical purposes. Because it is considered to only apply in formal government dealings, it is not considered a violation of the first amendment right to free speech. During the discussion on the proposed bill, the meaning of the Confederate flag was debated. Is it a historical flag thatâ€™s important to the telling of American history, or is a symbol of a dark time where oppression and racism was prevalent?
The motivating factor for the introducer of the bill, State Assemblyman Isadore Hall, was that his mother saw replica Confederate money being sold at the Capitol gift shop in Sacramento. She was pained by the fact because the money includes the Confederate flag on it. The bill had bipartisan support, which those in favor of the ban used as a reason to highlight the importance of the bill. Some arguments of those opposed included: it wouldnâ€™t really have an impact on anything of substance, it does, in fact, violate the constitution, and there are better ways to allocate state assembly time. Police commentator John McWhorterÂ believes that it will fail to make, "a real difference in black lives."
Where does one draw the line? How should controversial history be dealt with?