Even though Toledo is not in the South, the confederate flag is not an unusual sight in this city.
You see it displayed on bumper stickers, clothing or maybe even the flag itself hanging in someone’s front yard.
Why do we fly confederate flags in Ohio?
For those who do not know, the confederate flag represented the south, or the Confederacy, during the Civil War. The Confederacy supported keeping slavery legal throughout the country and tried to sever themselves from the U.S., resulting in the Civil War.
As a northern state, Ohio played a huge role in helping the slaves attain freedom. Ohio had the largest number of routes in the Underground Railroad to help the enslaved reach freedom into the north according to www.ohiohistorycentral.org.
Over 150 years have passed since the last shot was fired in the Civil War, yet the recent public display of the confederate flag and monuments stirred up controversy.
Most confederate monuments were not constructed until a generation after the war ended; many were built around the time of Jim Crow laws and then again during the Civil Rights Movement.
Are we supposed to believe that that these shrines were established coincidentally during the same time African Americans made advancements in the country and fought for equal rights?
Today, about 700 confederate monuments stand in America, and not only in the South; some exist in border states such as Missouri, West Virginia and Maryland who fought with the Union during the war.
North Carolina has added 35 monuments since 2000. Ohio has five, with the most recent addition coming in 2003.
Some monuments became rally points for white nationalists and other hate groups, which enforces the idea that these statues aren’t here to preserve history but to preserve these prejudiced views.
In fact, another common occurrence is to find a confederate flag waving during hate rallies. That symbol displayed during these assemblies is not so that we can take a moment for the fallen soldiers; they shown the flag because it represents African-American oppression that these groups still fight for today.
Many justify these symbols as history that should never be forgotten, but why do we need to remember a time in history that caused so much pain to our fellow Americans?
Why do we need to display signs all over the country to be reminded of the suffering that our people had to go through?
The losing flag never flies, so why should the confederacy be any different? This predominant symbol of injustice in our society today proves that many still do not accept the loss of the South.
We need to work together to erase these traumatic symbols throughout our country. No one should ever feel like they are not welcome in their own home.