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December 5th, 2011
12:51 PM ET

Opinion: Black student defends his Confederate flag

Byron Thomas is 19, black, a freshman at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and a proud Southerner. He hung a Confederate flag in his dorm room window until the university asked him to take it down because several people had complained about it. (The university later stepped back from the request, saying all students have the right to free speech.)

"I know it's kinda weird because I'm black," Thomas said in an iReport he submitted. "When I look at this flag, I just don't see racism. I see pride, respect. Southern pride, that's what I see."

"Ignorance gave that flag a bad name, ignorant people like the KKK," he told CNN's Don Lemon.

The post got other iReporters talking, including Omekongo Dbinga, who said Thomas has the right to fly the flag, but there's no denying the flag's history. Egberto Willies said he doesn't understand Thomas' view of the Confederacy, but he thinks the North and South both have ugly histories with race relations.

Thomas said he won't put the flag back up, although he believes he has the right to do so. The university plans to host a discussion about the flag after students return from winter break.

Here's what Thomas told CNN In America about the flag and why he probably won't hang it up again.

CNN: What does the Confederate flag mean to you?

Thomas: To me, it means more states' rights and no bigger government. The government was getting too big. I believe South Carolina knows me better than the federal government. I personally have a lot of pride from being in the South. I see some freedom from when the South seceded from the North. I know that sounds bad. I see freedom differently than most people see it. Just that you have the right to do what you want to do and form your own opinion.

The bottom line for me: I do not see that flag as a racist symbol. Only an ignorant person can say that. I have researched it and studied it.

CNN: Why is it so important to you to be able to display this flag in your dorm room?

Thomas: It is very important that I be allowed to exercise my freedom of free speech. I'm one of the nicest people, but today, you can't say anything without people getting offended or hurt by what you are saying. I felt very offended when I was asked to take down that flag because [the housing department] said it violated the racist code. It's a freedom thing to me.

The generation before us told us that the flag is racist. It's not going anywhere. No one is going to burn all of the flags. If me or someone else can show my generation that it means something different maybe it won't divide us. I haven't experienced racism myself but it still exists. Maybe if we start now with this flag, racism can continue to get smaller.

CNN:  Do you have roommates and what do they think of your flag?

Thomas: I have three white roommates and they know I'm not racist. They think what I'm doing is amazing because they have never met a black person like me before because of my opinions. I was starting to make a change because I made my own opinion.

Some black students came to me and have said I have changed their viewpoint on the Confederate flag and that I helped change them. They have said [like me] they also don't want to be called African-American anymore. They, too, feel like they want to be American, not African-America, because it's like a second category and they were born in America not Africa. So other people have come up to me, not just my roommates.

CNN: When did you hang the flag up and how long was it up for before you were asked to remove it?

Thomas: I hung it up in September after a research paper for a class about it. After that, I hung it up because I saw other students hanging things up and I didn't really have anything. It was up for two months and no one said anything about it. I had other black students say they had no problem with it. There were no riots, no complaints, no one was throwing rocks or anything. It was peaceful around here until the housing department asked me to take it down. They said they had been trying to get in touch with me. It was Sunday, November 20. A resident adviser came to my room and asked me to take it down. So I put it up in my living room and then the head housing woman came looking for me and said I was violating the racism code. I asked if I could put up an American flag and she said yes because it's not racist. It's a double standard because some Native Americans could take offense to an American flag. I didn't say that, but I was thinking it.

The flag is down [since Monday, November 21] because the housing woman said I had to [remove it.]

I might not put it back up now because my parents are disappointed in me. They've said I can do what I want but I want them on my side. I want them to see it as trying to make a change for my generation. I'm sorry if I'm making my family look bad.

CNN: Were you surprised when you were asked to remove your Confederate flag?  

Thomas: I was very surprised because it wasn't bothering anyone. The big reason is because I'm black and most black people have feelings about it and I have no problem with it. It didn't' become an issue until they asked me to take it down. People came and asked me why I had to take it down and I was embarrassed. I was apparently violating a code I didn't think I was violating.

CNN: What do you want your critics to know?

Thomas: I just feel like, I should have my right to see a flag the way I see it. Just because someone feels offense to it, why should I have to take it down? They can walk another way. It's not like I have a cross burning or a noose hanging outside my room. I don't see it as a racist statement to me and that's my opinion of it. I don't think I should have to take it down just because someone might take offense. They shouldn't have that control of me. They are not my mom and dad.

My generation should have our opportunities to show our viewpoint. We shouldn't have to change it just because the majority disagrees. I'm not trying to make someone cry or hurt them. Why can't we be ourselves and think for ourselves for once? I'm trying to show that I'm not thinking for the majority which is that [the Confederate flag is] racist.

CNN: At this point is it about influencing change more than about the flag itself?

Thomas: Change has to happen somehow so I said, 'Why can't I be the person who makes the change? Why not start now instead of later?'

I've made change before in my community, so why can't I do it on a national level? In my high school, I got them to become a national green and solar school by using solar panels and my school or county didn't pay for a thing.

CNN: What have you learned from this experience so far?

Thomas: I learned that my generation of people are applauding me and telling me they want to see things different now. I've gotten so many friend requests on Facebook. They are encouraging me. The generation before has mixed views about it, strong views. The generation before won't let us think for ourselves. They had their chance to think and run things but we need to have our chance. We will have our turn to step up to the plate and get out of this mess that we're in.

I respect where they are coming from. I'm not saying that what happened didn't happen. We don't want history to repeat itself, but I see where they are coming from. They endured things I might never endure, but why do I still have to feel grounded, that I have to endure it? They weren't allowed to go to school with white people but I am. I have never been to a school without white people. Why can't my generation start making our own history? I respect every black person for the civil rights movement. I just want us to move on from all of the hatred that's still dividing us today. I'm tired of us still being divided.


Filed under: Black in America • History • Race • What we think
soundoff (1,367 Responses)
  1. Carole Copeland Thomas

    Unbelievably DUMB young man. No self respecting Black person in America supports the raising of the Confederate flag, regardless of their age. The flag symbolizes hatred and oppression against MY PEOPLE...African Americans. He needs to be tutored by a real historical scholar before raising that hateful flag again.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      As long as Americans divide themselves (African American, Asian American, Indian American, etc) we will always have these problems. We are all AMERICANS, only the ignorant add a country/region of a place that they probably have never been to or even visited. Even if you legally relocated from another country, you are now an American.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • rkt210

        I have long held the belief that the only appropriate use of a "hyphenated American" designation is for a citizen of another country who subsequently becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • CM

      But if he speaks to a "scholar" about it then he will be influenced and hate it thus carrying the aggressions that all blacks have. Blacks are the ones that keep racism alive so why not let the young man do what he pleases. If blacks would stop teaching their kids about slavery and racism then, wouldn't u think that racism would end??? Yep, it would. Again, blacks are the only ones keeping racism alive!

      December 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • rkt210

      Well, he was right about one thing and you proved it. "MY PEOPLE...African Americans" You see yourself as a separate class of American and, in addition, you have probably never been to Africa, let alone have been born there. A flag can't be hateful – it's simply a piece of cloth. It's the meaning and motivation behind its display that can be hateful. It was hateful when the KKK marched with it, but certainly not hateful when displayed by this young man.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. beadlesaz

    The *delusional* and *brainwashed* people are those who think racism is a Southern thing. I'm proud of my Southern roots and am glad that Mr. Thomas is proud of his. Having lived in most regions of the US, I can say I've encountered narrow-minded bigots in all of them. It is up to the rest of us to look beyond those losers and work TOGETHER regardless of race toward the betterment of our country. I wish Mr. Thomas great success in his life pursuits.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. South

    Yes! Someone finally gets it! The confederate flag represents the SOUTH!
    Not slavery! Not WHITE or BLACK! People wake up the war has been over!

    December 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven H

      You don't get it. The "war" never ended. Wake up and take look around you, the political and economic landscape, and it's easy to see that the "confederates" are still alive and kicking, and, unfortunately, thriving.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. thebe

    The kid is right. The flag is a representation of southern pride .. but was made to be a symbol of racism. Lynyrd Skynryd used to always play with the Confederate Flag in the back ground and they were not a racist band. That's right ... not even with their song "Sweet Home Alabama" which was a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man". People thought for years there was a riff between the artists and nothing could be further from the truth. I understand what this kid is trying to say. He's very intelligent and has done his homework. Those who think he is ignorant need to do theirs.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • daveyP

      Exactly.....people are saying that this kid is giving the flag his own meaning, but they're ignoring the fact that he is actually giving it the original meanng. The whole slavery interpretation has been applied to that flag by others. People need to step back and look at this....who would apply a flag to a conceot such as racism or slavery....there's no flag you can seen on a flag pole and say "Hey, that's the slavery flag". The swastika was not developed to represent the holocaust, it was the symbol of the Nazi party, no different than the elephant or the donkey.

      Oh by the way, I am pretty sure there was a rift between Skynyrd and Neil Young.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in Indy

      I like Skynyrd's music. But he and many others – quite notably you – are wrong. The association with slavery was from the inception of the flag and the Confederacy in general. We've grown since then – but the flag indeed stood largely for a perspective that included the protection of the right to own slaves. Can't change that, as much as you might like it to be true.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pffft

    Just a kid trying to do something to get on the news and he succeeded. Nothing more. He cites that he didn't live through those times so he isn't as sensitive to the issues surrounding why some people feel the way they do about the flag - an obvious hallmark that a little bit of empathy towards others would suit him a lot better. He is about as dumb as he sounds. It's all about association...if literally millions associate an image to a horrible period - you should be sensitive to that....period/end of story.....not try to use the image to prove a point and get a little social media love. You love the south but all parts of the south doesn't love you ... even in this day and age - wake up

    December 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dewayne

      Agreed. People keep talking about leaving racism and this and that in the past, why not leave that flag in the past?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Josh P

    I guess he has never read the South Carolina Articles of Secession, in which the North's inhibition of slavery was one of the main reasons for the state's secession from the United States.

    Like it or not, to many, the flag symbolizes a time when the nation was fiercely divided in a bloody war, American against American, due to our inability to compromise, negotiate, and yes, longstanding acceptance of slavery. Then again, with the state of the United States, maybe the Confederate flag is the right symbol to fly at this time...

    December 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. feckless

    WHY DOES EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE OF SECESSION (w/ the exception of Virginia) START OFF TALKING ABOUT SLAVERY INSTEAD OF STATES' RIGHTS??????

    THIS MAN IS A PROPAGANDA VICTIM OF FOX NEWS AND GLEN BECKS PSEUDO-HISTORY.

    IS USING THE N WORD FREE SPEECH IF YOUR TRYING TO GET A NEW MEANING? THE NAZI'S PUT EVERYONE TO WORK, WHY NOT RESPECT THAT ALONG WITH YOUR SLAVE MASTERS' FLAG?

    THE HATE IS COMING FROM THE WHITE GOP, THE PEOPLE WHO SPIT ON BLACK CONGRESSMEN GOING TO VOTE FOR HEALTH REFORM, THE ONES THAT ATTACKED ACORN FOR REGISTERING BLACK PEOPLE TO VOTE, AND ARE ATTACKING VOTING RIGHTS THAT SPECIFICALLY TARGET BLACK AKA DEMOCRATIC VOTERS, THE "EVIL" FEDERAL GOVT. THAT THIS MAN DOESNT TRUST IS TRYING TO PROTECT HIS ENFRANCHISEMENT FROM S.C.'s VERSION OF STATES RIGHTS.

    HOW'D W's/LOUISIANA GOP's ETHNIC CLEANSING OF NEW ORLEANS FIT IN THIS DEAD RACISM WORLD THIS FELLOW LIVES IN?
    THE SAME GOP WHO IS WORKING AGAINST THIS YOUNG MAN'S CIVIL RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC WELL BEING.

    IF THIS MAN AND HIS REPUBLICAN FRIENDS GET THEIR WISH, HE WILL BE A VIRTUAL SLAVE, JUST LIKE BLACK PEOPLE WERE BEFORE CIVIL RIGHTS, WHICH THIS MAN DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE USE OF THIS REPUGNANT SYMBOL.

    WILL CNN EVER HAVE ANYONE ON TO GIVE THE OPPOSING POINT OF VIEW (AKA REALITY) I DOUBT IT.

    AND IF THIS GUY WANTS TO SEE IGNORANCE, LOOK IN THE MIRROR.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • CYTexas

      Caps lock button broke on you there?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • thebe

      1) Turn off the caps lock.
      2) You are the one that is ignorant and giving Democrats a bad name.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      yep, you pretty much encapsulate the degenerate nature of the left.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Well you ignorant for bringing your own political beliefs involved with this story. The point was telling him he could not display the flag was a violation of his rights, NOTHING about fox or cnn was noted. Maybe you should get a life and not be such arrogant American.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • rohug

      You Sir are an idiot

      December 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MsMHS

    Wow, a Southener who knows his history!!!! The flag is not a sign of disrespect or slavery. It was flown by Southeners who wanted to leave the Union; brave men, black and white, fought for the flag. We should teach the Civil War history to students in high school so they can have pride in their roots, be them south or north.

    December 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enceldus

      That flag represents the foundation of a country whose sole purpose was to preserve slavery. The above flag bearer is accepting rewritten history and not the truth. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or a liar.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Brewer

      If this college student knew all of his history I'm more than sure he would feel at least a little differently about hanging it on his wall. True the flag was flown to show unity in the south...to show a large amount of pride. You also have to ask yourself WHY the south dropped away from the north. The answer was quite simply slavery. There was a movement to abolish this horrible stain on americans but the south were too tied up in its pride and way of life to say goodbye to their dark skinned pokemon (( its ok to laugh at this...its in the past )). True that black americans fought in this war on both north and south...but southern soldiers were still tied to their masters. The souther confederate flag was sewn on the blood and tears....sweat and broken bones of slavery and a way of life for the south to show its pride and unity to a way of life they did not want to rip away from. All in all i commend this guy for his views as this is how AMERICA was founded. Radical thinking and diversity...he just needed to look back a bit further to see the real reason the flag was flown in the first place.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Why Was This Such An Issue?

    That flag represents nothing to me. If a person is racist, racism exist in their hearts. You could burn 1 million confederate flags, you can never burn away what's in ones heart. I am a born and raised southener and I can honestly say that the stars and bars mean nothing to me. Just a flag...

    December 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh?

      @rider83 are you OK?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Barry

    The war was not about Slavery everyone.....look it up, please before you judge what you do not know. The North (Republicans) were milking the south (Democrats) dry of resources. that is why the tried to form their own country. And Lincoln hated black people and only freed them to fight against the south when the north started losing.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROck

      Give it up Barry...unless you lived then how would you know? Because someone else wrote it down in a book? For all we know you could have written it down. Do you believe everything you read? I have read findings to the contrary of what you contend. Does that mean what I read it accurate? Nope...so stop reading to act like you know something that someone else doesn't.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Carson

      They must not have taught history at the school you attended so you just decided to make up your own version of history.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cheryl

    did you all realize that the word Democracy mean THE WHITE MEN...when it was first the democrats that wanted slavery continued.....the republicans fought against and now in this century it vice versa...ppl educate yourself this young man is niaeve and misled bless his dumb heart .....no other role models in his life

    December 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsMHS

      Cheryl, you ought to return to school to learn proper grammar and history.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edrio

      δῆμος "people" κράτος "power" Honestly, the ancient Greeks didn't care the North and South

      December 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dalton

      Democracy means "THE WHITE MEN"... really? What school did you go to?

      Democracy comes from the Greek demos kratos... demos – people, kratos – power or rule. So democracy translates as power of or rule by the people.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Riz

    He has lost his mind.....

    December 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CYTexas

      Did you read the article at all? He's one of the most articulate college students I've ever heard and is thinking for himself. You've lost your mind.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. southerner

    I hate the argument that the flag shown is about southern heritage......It IS the confederate BATTLE FLAG.......it is not the secession flag. So it has absolutely NOTHING to do with heritage and everything to do with being anti-patriotic. It should be banned in the U.S. period just like any other entity that completely opposes the *United* States. I live in the south and I can't stand that this person is this ignorant.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Barry

    There was slavery in the north too, and Lincoln hated black people. He deported 200,000 during the war to Haiti, where 45,000 died of disease before they realized that they made a mistake and brought them back. The plan was to send all blacks out of the country at the end of the war. What stopped it. Lincoln was assasinated 2 weeks late. look it up, it is history.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROck

      I thnk it is ok that he did it...but the problem is the school didn't stick with it's decision. If it were a white person with the flag it would have been inciting racial hatred and they would have forced him to take it down. The school is not practicing consistency. They should have made him take it down because of the problems it can cause, not because of what it stands for.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Carson

      Nice try but that is a lie. In 1863 some 450 American blacks were settled at Isle a Vache in Haiti, not 200,000 as you claimed. Get your facts straight before you shoot your mouth off.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom Mulroney

    Wow...what a naive kid.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Bill Carson

    It's this kind of delusional thinking that gives rise to the likes of Herman Cain and other black Republicans.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsMHS

      Mr. Carson, you're a moron if you think that black Republicans are uninformed. I do think they are more informed than you are....

      December 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bill Carson

        I'm a lot more informed than you'll ever be darlin'.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunbum

      You'd prefer that he be shackled to the Democratic party? Than have the choice to think for himself! That my friend is a form of slavery.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Lilac

    Can you say BRAINWASHED???!!!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jlg

      Is this guy a Republican candidate for president?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven H

      Brainwashed? No. Republican? Maybe, maybe not? Idiot? YES.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven H

      Brainwashed? No. Republican? Maybe, maybe not. Idiot? YES.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Myah Williams

    This young man needs to understand that the "culture" this flag represents is one of deep oppression. To insinuate that this flag has nothing to do with hundreds of years Antebellum slavery and the endless years of violent racism that followed is nothing short of delusion.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      If we are to go with your logic than how do you think minorities should view the American flag? Given the history of how minorities are treated in this country from the beginning to present day.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        A lot of minorities hate the American flag also.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Ron

    You cannot change the meaning of a symbol just because you want to. I have a gold ring that I wear on my left ring finger. That is a symbol of my marriage (even if I say that it is a symbol of my love for all things orange and green). I could argue that it hasn't always been a symbol of marriage and I could argue that some people wear rings on that finger who aren't married, but that doesn't take the meaning away from that type of ring on that finger.

    Another example is if I were to hang a rainbow flag outside my door, people would assume that I am (at the very least) advocating for the GLBT community. That flag has come to mean that in less than 50 years. If I told everyone that I am flying the flag as a symbol of my work with the light prism, that doesn't mean that other people won't assume it means what it actually does.

    You cannot change the meaning of a symbol just because you don't like it.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Symbols can be viewed in different ways from different perspectives. To some, the rebel flag means that a group of people felt that they no longer had a voice in their government so they wished to create one of their own. To me personally, it is a symbol for people standing up to their government and trying to create their own destiny. I feel that the flag (or symbol) itself has been hijacked by racist and hate mongers much like the Nazi's did the swastika (again sp?) .

      December 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian A

      I couldn't have said it better. Well put. Now if only the knum head idiot will only read this post alone, he'll know better.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven H

      Agree. The rainbow flag is an excellent example. When I visited Italy in 2003, the rainbow flag was displayed everywhere in protest of the Iraq war because the flag stands for peace. In Italy, it was first used in a peace march back in the 60s. If I hang that same "peace" flag outside my home here in the US, people will think that I'm supporting gay pride. That's the stark reality. We don't live in a vacuum.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Steven H

    What an idiot...

    December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sthflchk

      you're an idiot, either that or you are bitter.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I really respect his opinion and the reason he flys the flag. He is right after all it is about states right and smaller government. People need to also remember that back in the Civil war, not all the people in the South were for slavery. In fact, one of the most famous confederates General Robert Lee was against slavery, he was just defending his beloved South. Also, in the North it wasnt like they objected against slavery because "slavery is wrong" (and of course there were those who were against slavery because they believed it was wrong) it was because the North was more industrialized and had no need for all the manual labor that the South needed because it was still largely agricultural. So in the end, the South was just protecting there way of life, and slavery was not the main reason behind the war, it was state rights. (and yes Byron Thomas should be proud to be a Southerner)

      December 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nick

        P.S. i didnt mean to reply to Steven H.'s comment...even though I guess it still applies...also im not the Nick that posted below this even though i guess it doesnt matter lol

        December 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Nick

    Let us not forget that this young man has the right of freedom of speech. This issue is all about perception. My perception is that flag helps to tell a story about the place where Byron Thomas is from. It could also be about local pride. Symbols such as the rebel flag can always be misconstrued as symbols of hate or pride. Like the swastika (sp?) was originally meant to be a symbol of peace before the Nazi's adopted it. Like it or not, that flag has a place in this country's history. If it is banned, people may forget about the civil war and history could repeat itself. Either way, Byron has shown courage by going against the grain and showing his beliefs. I believe that he can show the flag if he wants to.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyrone

      Nick i like your statement. I am a black from the south and love the south. I believe in freedom of speech but this kids is going about this the wrong way. This flag no longer represent what it use to. It now represent hate because KKK, red neck who hate other races beside white. and bigots. I see what the kids is trying to do and I am grateful. He would have been better off creating another flag that represent the new south or something that represent this idea that he is creating.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rkt210

      I personally wouldn't display the Confederate flag, as it would be too incindiary, but I respect this young man's freedom to be able to do so. The fact that there has been no public outcry (well, until this article) and that he could speak clearly and logically about his choice to do so speaks volumes.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  22. pmn

    That's awesome. I am glad someone sees a symbol not to represent racism. To tell you the truth when I moved to the South from North the confederate flag meant absolutely nothing to me except rednecks hung in the back of their trucks. Just thought it was Southern Flag which one was. Just really did not pay attention until it became an issue. This gentlemen really has fantastic open mind. I applaud him to look past the racism to find representation of the placed he was raised. Everyone is so hung up on race..its just get's annoying. We have to tiptoe around each other because of our race...I say no! Look past the color and see the real person.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. John Brown

    He is not African American so he does not know the history behind the flag. I bet he is from Nigerian. LOL

    December 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Brown

      I mean he is from Nigeria or Jibouti!! Hahahaha

      December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      Most people in the US do not know the history of the flag, they think it is racist and it is not except for the KKK

      December 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  24. tamara reina

    Dude please check your old history books the new ones or edited that flag is not of color it stands for hate. By the way no disrepect of no race,but it is not a flag by Kkk it stands for the war of the south and north it is in better words money power.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Err...huh?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Barry

    It seems the student missed the part about enslavement and mass murder. Maybe that's because in this softball interview he wasn't asked what that flag might mean to its victims. A comment on this thread suggests this flag is ok but the swastika is not. Why draw the line there? Why can't the swastika be raised high too? Why can't we have that freedom as well? Or maybe the swastika is a flag too far because it was about killing white people.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      hahaha...damn Barry, that's scary! Truth hurts. Like I said there were some incredible innovations developed by Nazi scientists and engineers. Let's focus on the positives and let that Nazi flag fly. Let bygones be bygones. But that would not be tolerated...even though there are so many parallels.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • CPW

      Do you know the true meaning of the Swastika? You may be surprised.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        Leave it to the Nazis to change the meaning of a Buddhist symbol of good luck into what it has come to represent today.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Joe Burr

    I thought the flag was based on the English Union Jack the cross hairs the same of the British flag of the United Kingdom
    England had supported the souths succesion as revenge for the Continental States of New England fighting and wanting to succeed from the English. France also supported the war only they supported the north.
    The flag did not represent slavery , suppression or non of that it simply like the man said was the flag of the confederacy Virginia. It is a fact though that the war was bloody and murderous. Lincolns own Generals would not even listen to him until he gave Gerneral Grant a second chance to sober up and win it . Which he did thus called the Grant the Butcher sacrficing men like pawns . He did win the war. I think people are sensitive to the flag because so
    many thousands of people died . Literally the souths male poplulation was null after the war. Many also tried to enslave the American Indians however in their case they generally killed them selves before being made to serve anyone.
    One interesting fact as well as the Latter condition of the reservations and how they got exploited also.
    I do not support the past convictions of the Union Jack a bloody war. However it did happen and I suppose thus so
    has its place in history . Perhaps the young man is trying to bridge a communication gap with other people in regard to this hotly debated subject rather to promote violent conflict just once of debate verbally.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  27. John Brown

    it's just a big LOL

    December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Willa

    Well, there are gay republicans, so I'm not surprised there would be black people proud of the confederate flag. I'm sure in a few more generations there will be Jews flying the Nazi flag too. Amazing how history becomes softened and re-written as time passes. I personally don't get how one can be a part of something that hates them, but the world is full of masochists.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Burr

      good point

      December 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Brown

      Your assumption is totally flaw and idiot! There will be no Jew will hang Nazi flag. If he does? He must be on crack!! LOL

      December 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Big B

        Well John Brown, 5 minutes ago, I would have said a black man would never fly the conferederate flag.....

        December 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I guess you are part of the ignorant he was talking about.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  29. JPX

    What a sad, misguided individual. How anyone, especially an African American, is unable to understand that, like it or not, that the flag symbolizes racism to many people is beyond me. Then again, this is the South that we're talking about. Southern pride? How about Southern stupidity?

    December 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Parkerman

      He is saying, amd rightfully so, that the flag did not mean racism. It was about states rights and their feeling that government was getting too big. Everyone else associated it to racisim, buts its not the banner flag for that. We have gone past this and I applaud this individual in saying we should get past it. We are all Americans, no hyphens

      December 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mildly Amused

      You've nailed the typical attitude of a typical clueless northerner! You have to realize that the confederate flag means many things to many people. To YOU, it represents your clueless attitude about the so-called "ignorant south", which patently presumes that racisim against black Americans is completely the fault of stupid southermers, am I right? In my many travels all across America, I have been rather surprised and disappointed to find that the worst cases of racism remaining against black Americans are predominantly in the northern states! I was recently in Illinios and Indiana and was shocked to hear some of the most backward and hateful racist remarks I have ever heard in my life being made in public at a supermarket (in Illinios) and at a hospital (in Indiana) ! Secondly, many southerners view the civil war as a battle of States rights over Federal rights! We all know that the single largest issue was indeed slavery, but most northerners do not understand that VERY FEW confederate soldiers came from familes who owned any slaves at all. Most southern familes of the mid 1800s were FAR TOO POOR to own a single slave and were barely any better off than the average slave was at that time. I am not justifying nor defending slavery at all. I see slavery as an abomination as I am certain you do too. The thing you obviously don't understand is the fact that the Civil War was fought on southern ground and the south suffered horrendous cruelty and carnage at the hands of the invading northern troops, who raped, pillaged, and burned virtually every home and business they encountered with absolutely no remorse. Many of the victims had absolutely nothing to do with the conflict but were tortured and robbed anyway! After the war was over, the suffering still continued with carpetbaggers and northern industrialists stealing property and taking advantage of the newly freed slaves, who were mostly hired for mill work and were paid even less than they earned as slaves! The post Civil War south was nothing less than hell on earth! As a northerner, please do not even pretend that you have a single clue as to what the confederate flag meant back in the 1800s or means now. As I have stated, I am not a racist, I do not condone slavery, I fully support civil rights in every way, but I have great reverence for the confederate flag and what it represents to families who endured the civil war! I doubt that you will ever understand the meaning of that flag.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Josie

    I think many are misunderstanding him. He is not saying that slavery wasn't bad, he's saying he himself has never dealt with it, nor should he hate someone else that was not also involved in it. I know I have never owned a slave in my life, have had many friends of many races, and I still run into Blacks that hold me being white against me, because in the past one of my ancestors "might" have owned one of theirs. Hate to break it to you, not all whites in the US owned slaves, my family did not (and yes I do know my family history that far back). I have no problems saying it is bad but I don't see by walking away and moving on will make the past repeat itself. For one you have at least one generation that grew up with other races a friends and classmates, and now our kids are as well...it would just be wrong. If you are going to judge a person then don't do it by skin color or race, but by how they are themselves.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  31. CWP

    Good for him .... despite the anchor trying to convert him, he continued to hold to what he reasearched for himself. Yes, some very uneducated and disfunctional people turned the Stars and Bars in to a symbol or racism (including the KKK, the GA legislature of the 50s, the Civil Rights movement, and every other short minded moron), but it originally stood as a defiant statement of the Federal government infringing on States rights. (Thus the rearrangement of the National flag in its design.) Enough worry about being PC ... how about PA – Personal Accountability.
    Again. Good for him to have actually done some investigating on his own and developing his own opinion. Especially given his ethniticity.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      I agree....now will you please hang that SS banner you've been keeping hidden in the closet?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • CWP

        Really? That's all you've got? If you want to go there, I'll give you a lesson there too. The swastica was originally a germanic\norweigan symbol of strength. The Nazi party selected it as a rallying point. Only over time did it become a representation of what the Nazi's did to the Jewish people as an anti-semetic symbol. The "SS" was nothing more than an elite group, by Nazi's satanrds, that carried out the dirty work of the Nazi agenda.
        Too often we associate a symbol with the deeds and not what the real itent of the symbol was .... the Stars and Bars were a big middle finger to the federal government. Only over time did it become associated with supporting slavery and white supremists. I absolutely agree with what too many Americans have come to see as racist. But I applaud him for speaking out and trying to change it .... to recognize what it was really about.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • BioHrzd420

      The swastika goes farther back than Germany's history. It's found in many eastern religions, (hinduism and buddhism especially) as a sign of peace and good luck. When I traveled to India, it is by almost every doorway.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      I'll gve you a lesson. The Swastika was associated with Hitler's occult fixation, and was a symbol that appeared prominently in Hidu texts and was alos associated with the real Aryans. Hitler took the symbol and tilted it, to give the symbol we have all see. Your arrogance is amusing, but please don't bother trying to cover up this naive fool's mistake with multiple one of your own. By the way, I will give you credit for the contortionist's act you put on the defend this immature fool.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      One last thing: would any real American find inspiration in the banner of a loser? Any real American is proud of the Stars and Stripes, and the Stars and Bars represents a selfish failure.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Professor Trollworth

    Too bad a different symbol does not exist for the southern United States; a more updated, modern symbol; one that could be associated with only the modern positive aspects of the south (ex: chivalry, Paula Dean, etc). There is a lot of stigma around the Confederate flag for obvious reasons, so even if he convinces the people he lives around that the flag is not racist, there will be others that will not still see it that way. This is not helped by the fact that there still exist some racist ppl that fly the Confederate flag too.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      i would fly a pauala dean flag

      December 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • lp

      A flag that represents Paula Dean...lol.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. U.S.Army-OverLord

    Well the only thing I can agree on with this misguided youth is being called an American. If fact that is exactly what I am called when I'm oversees.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Tracy

    I am very proud of this young man! He is right, we can not move forward if we remain in the past.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Herman cain

    Yes!! i love the conferderate flag!!!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  36. BethTX

    While I don't agree with what the Confederate flag stands for, I admire this student for standing up for freedom of speech. What neither side of the political alley seems to understand is that freedom of speech is for everyone, not just those who agree with you.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      This is exatly the type of banter the media and corrupt politicians attempt to wrongfully educatute the public about freedom of speech and the relief they wrongfully deny for the damages for such
      lies they refuse to take responsibility for.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Shawn

    He's appropriating the confederate flag because he wants to change the meaning.... which doesn't make sense to me because if you don't want to relive history you have to remember it exactly the way it was and changing what that flag means would be a huge insult to the men that died in that war and what it meant to win that war. You can't just take history and change it to what you want. What's with all this hyped up new southern pride anyway?? It's freakin annoying! If you want to show your pride hang your state flag like the rest of the country. As for me, every time I see that flag I consider it disrespectful to the soldiers who fought to keep our country united. The south needs something better to rally around.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      I fully agree. Leave this flag back in the past!!! The only flag I fly is Old Glory!!!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  38. tina 2

    stupind!!!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • itsthefuturegetoverit

      your whats wrong with america

      December 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kris

        YOU'RE what's wrong with America! idiot.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • no

        YOU are what's wrong with America, no, YOU are. No YOU are!! Same to you only more of it! Nanny nanny booboo. My dad can beat up your dad!

        You both are a couple of fools.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Kenton

    This is great. I'm so excited to see a man of color go out and put this down like he did. The blacks need more of these people to step up and stop playing the race card like all the ignorant blacks do. Blacks are the most racists minority in the United States, and this kid puts our race in check. It took hundreds of years for white people to be put in there place, and its only taken the Blacks about 20 years. GOOD STUFF! BLACK PRIDE. Im African-American, and I can truly say my people play the RACE CARD WAY TO MUCH. WE NEED TO STOP FEELING SORRY FOR OURSELVES! I have a friend that didn't get into the University I did, and we had about the same grades. I got in because of affirmative action, and I thank my predecessors, because of them, I got into college. Not because of grades, but because of my skin. We have gotten the reparations, now its time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and BE LIKE THIS GREAT BLACK AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!! THANK-YOU BYRON THOMAS!!!!!! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO AFRICAN AMERICANS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      You sound a lot smarter when you aren't saying anything...racist. You're an embarrassment to creatures walking on four legs. Sad...and scary.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mark G

        Byron Thomas is brilliant and you need to shut it fool.

        December 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert D

      Kenton, it's not a "we" got the reparations, it's a "You" got the reparations. So you're saying that you got yours so forget everyone else and they shouldn't complain either. This is a very self serving view point. As for the flag, its meaning wasn't changed. There"s no research you can do to change the past. it was and is a symbol of a bunch of racist rebel Americans plain and simple. We don't need more people like this kid we just need him to finish school so he understands. This kid is just that... a kid trying to get an education. Since you already have your education you should know better. So... If shame on anyone it's shame on you for not knowing better and trying to educate others.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      No way in hell are you black. Not even buying that.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robert D

        I didn't claim to be black. I'm not. Not white either. What difference does that make to my post?

        December 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Canadian A

        Agree with ME. There is no way you would be an African American. You're very inconsistent on your own statment. Let me point them out to you. First you were talking about Blacks as a third person. All of the sudden to make your points sound solid you turn Black. Next time, think before you write. Even when you want to be Black as a bloger.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  40. tina j

    sad!!!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark G

      Your sad – Byron Thomas is brilliant and IF YOU LISTEN to him you might learn something. He says the energy towards the interpretation/meaning of the confederate flag perpetuates racism. Wake up!

      December 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jambi

        at the end of the day, he is just an educated misguided fool.

        December 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  41. tina mcvey

    mooo

    December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Pete

    GET OVER IT! It's a piece of material. It does NOTHING but waive in the wind. Flags mean NOTHING! It's pure nonsense!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenton

      They actually do buddy. I know you and I being from the later generations, flags have become somewhat meaningless, but the flag is the one thing people fought and died for. The flag is a symbol of a people. You may be used to a default facebook photo, but our country doesn't have a default pic, it has a flag.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Spirit

        What makes the United States different from most other countries is that we, today, defend the Constitution. Others defend their flags..

        December 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      ...and the middle finger is only a digit, right?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • dmjk

        PRICELESS!

        December 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  43. matt

    Can I just point out that Byron's flag was the flag of the army of northern virginia and not the confederate flag? Just interesting little fact people don't know, the confederate flag has the army of northern virginia flag inset in the corner where we have our 50 stars today and the rest was white until the end of the war when they added red on the end to make it look less like a flag of surrender. The information has just been twisted through the years.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • VinoBianco

      Northern VA is still technically "the south"...but I'm the area and I can tell you that it's by far the most progressing, liberal, part of VA, particularly compared to the rest of the state. Ironic, eh?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Interesting fact, but how is this relevant? Its still the flag of a loser, and no real American would fly it.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  44. ALB

    like Byron, I too am proud of my rights won by civil rights. I am a Black American...not African. I have never been to Africa, and I'm sure my views are very different. Born in Ohio to 2nd generation Southerners who moved north for better jobs. I love my Southern heritage as well as my country. I support this young man. And we are not all African...I am a proud Black American....not African American.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike S.

      Very true, just sad that people don't care about the little things anymore.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike S.

        Meant for above post

        December 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ocholla

      Then why do you BLACKS complain when we AFRICANS call you BLACK!

      You BLACKS never cease to amaze me.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kenton

      I too am a Black American, not an African-American. I am so proud of what we have accomplished, we have put people like myself through college. First in my family with a BA, and its because our predecessors fought for affirmative action. Blacks like myself got to go to school too. Even though white people are mad because they had just as good of grades as me to get into college, I got in because my race has been excluded for too long. Now that they have made their reperations, we need to stop playing this race-card and be like Byron! He is an inspiration to all of the Black Americans out there. Get over this racism for hundreds of years ago, LIVE IN THE PRESENT!!! WE ARE ALL EQUAL!!!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • taparker

        Yes, slavery was present in the north but it was never as bad as it was in the south for many reasons, mostly financial...

        December 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • parot

        So, getting the benefit of having a choice to go to a college that before did not allow you to get in and you still have to pay for in some way is reparations. Wow, wow ,wow, tell that to the native americans and while you are at it tell it to the Jewish people from the holocaust and see if that will fly.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerry Kenny

      Excellent!! It is citizens like you that will finally put an end to racism!!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • CWP

      Here is one thing I do not understand; why is any clarification or separation needed at all? Aren't ou an AMERICAN? Is there really such a need to defined yourself as black or African? Or white or whatever? Seriously, how is anyone suppose to understand the preferred reference by anyone of color? Why aren't we just AMERICANS?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  45. itsthefuturegetoverit

    I for one back this guy, why you may ask this is a stuning example of a individual that is tired of seeing and hearing the older generation keep bringing up the past, i understand his message within this will help break that awful curse racism in this country. i for one think that if we as humans want to evolve into a better siociety we must let go the pain of the past and bring the bonds of a new future with people joined together in a peaceful land freedom im talking about the diffencence that are held in nationalities. its going to be 2012 give it a rest people its the future stuff happened not one particular set of people all did get over with it live life happy peace and love

    December 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyzao

      if you want to give it a rest, take the flag down, fold it up, and put it in the drawer - that would be the civil and considerate thing to do

      December 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big B

      Just like this kid I am frustrated with my race insistence that we keep fighting a fight that doesn’t exist (some racism will always exist), however, displaying a symbol that Blacks, Jews and other groups have every right to be insulted by is not going to help his cause. If he really wants to help Blacks and others move past race then the best thing he can do is what he is doing now – keep educating himself, become a productive citizen, do not pass on hate and bigotry to his kids. In other words continue to be an example that others can follow (minus the flag thing though  ).

      December 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Bubba

    He is trying to get his own show on Faux News. Good for him.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donald

      I agree. He wants to stir up a sad thing in the past.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Juan

    I'm sure his 15 minutes of fame won't last even 15 minutes... 'nuff said.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Zoundsman

    If thousands of Southern Blacks decided to fly that flag for the reasons they love Southern culture, instead of giving it
    weight as a racist symbol, it would dilute the present ugly connotation. Go for it young man. I stop at encouraging
    people to fly Swastikas.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • shyd

      I lived in South Carolina for 7 years and never saw one black person fly the conferate flag!!!!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redcurry

      Ironically, even the original meaning of the swastika was stolen and twisted by the nazis. It serves as a symbol of good luck in many cultures.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Joe Schmoe

    It's good to see more and more people are rejecting political correctness. He should be free to fly the flag if he want to.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      I agree! Can we get him a banner from the Waffen SS next? How about the Jewish Defense League, or al Quaeda? Can he put up a pro-Hamas poster? Would you like that?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  50. DeathTexas

    I'm from Texas and I still be proudly where I came from to me I'm from American because I born here I don't like to being call African-American cause I don't born or from African. I respect where he coming.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Based on your exceptional grammar, I never would have guessed that you are a product of the Texas "educational" system.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gerry Kenny

        I thought he spelled rather well for an american!!

        December 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • No One Is Safe

        @ Gerry – he sure as hell did better than the average texan, that's for damned sure!!

        December 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      I wish you knew proper grammar. You embarrass me; a born-raised Texan.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      Actually, there are Africans that have a better command of the English language and writing than you do. Wow...there is nothing wrong with proof reading before you post.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      After further thought, I believe that Death Texas is a white person who is feverishly attempting to demean both Texans and Blacks. Bravo… loser!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tise02

        Nice catch. And very likely your right. What a dork...

        December 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Githm

        You may be on to something there. It's a little over the top.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gera

      please, go and take some English classes first, it is really awful your writing.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Donald

        Who's care !!!. They from Africa... ohh.... oohhhh

        December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • rkt210

        Gera, before you start throwing stones, you need to know that the quality of your post would place you in a basic skills writing class.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big B

      I too was born here and refer to myself as Black however I'm not offended by those who refer to themselves as African Americans. The African simply identifies their heritage. Its not a problem when people identify themselves as Italian, Irish, Scottish, etc so why is it a problem when Blacks do it.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jambi

      why does toilet paper comes to mind when I read your post? A wipe!

      December 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Lenn

    Well let's just look around folks. What southern state still flies the confederate flag in their state flag? Try Mississippi. The largest black population in the south sais no when the NAACP started boycotting states for having it in their state flags. If they dont have a problem with it why does everyone else. It' a symbol of heritage not hate. Besides if the south would've won we may not have the same problem with the Federal gov't.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      No, idiot boy, if the South had won, there would be no United States. God, what a wretched display of ignorance. There is no "honor" in rebelling and losing. When you find a synagogue that will run up an SS banner in front, then you can comment.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  52. barton

    This is really sad from several angles. It is simply sad that the young man is so ignorant that he is supporting a symbol of racism. And it is a sad failure of our education system that he was probably taught "states rights" was the cause of the Civil War in his public school. This young man has not read enough or has not read factually correct information. I do hope that many white, black, brown, yellow .... whatever professors and/or students will take the time to educate this young man so he is not ignorant for the rest of his life.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      As a southerner, I have witnessed plenty of examples of racism, all cases of which are just examples of ignorant people sounding off. Not once, was the confederate battle flag even associated with the event. To me and many others, this is merely a symbol of the south, not a symbol of ignorance. We are all part of a living culture, and sometimes symbols change meanings. If you are unsure of somethings meaning, engage in conversation, and don't be an ignorant person.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      People who are persecuting this student are missing the point of the message that this kid is trying to send. Before the Nazi revolution, the swastika was a symbol or peace and prosperity which is quite different from what it stands for today. The point that I think this young man as trying to make is yes, the Confederate Flag did stand as a symbol of hatred, but this does not have to be the case for our generation and the ones to come after. Whether it stand of Southern Pride, State's Rights or any other meaning that people want to attach to it, the flag itself does not have the remain a symbol of hate in our society the way it has in the past.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Scott, I think that you're right, but why not choose another symbol? I can choose a swatika as a symbol of peace, but I can't be offended or surprised when Jews are outraged. I know what the symbol means to them, just like he knows what that flag means to black people. He's choosing to be offensive, and just like he can express his beliefs, others can express their right to ridicule him.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  53. vic

    Anyone who flies the confederate flag is commiting treason in my eyes.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  54. dudley0415

    Applause for these young, thoughtful gentlemen at the University of South Carolina; real and true members of the New South.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Mechonna

    I thought reading comprehension skills were needed to attend college,clearly this kid proves me wrong.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dont Throw Stones and All That

      "Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text. This understanding comes from the interaction between the words that are written and how they trigger knowledge outside the text."

      So, that's reading comprehension.... what exactly does that have to do with an interview? Yeah, he didn't have the best grammar or punctuation, but I'm failing to draw a connection to reading comprehension.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mechonna

        your a genius thanks for the definition, did you pass art in elementry school ? that may inhibit you from drawing a connection.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  56. dudley0415

    I found it interesting that many of his friends did not appreciate being called African-Americans and wished to be just "Americans."

    These kids have a solution to a problem. We learn hate from the generations that precede us. Apparently they aren't buying into it. Salute!

    December 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      I don't think it's all that uncommon for a black person not wanting to be called African-American.. what if their nationality is Jamaican or Hatian?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Nicole Cardenas

    I think Byron Thomas is doing a great thing to making a big change about what happens before in the past, he is right we couldn't change our past but we could change our future. Well I have been living in USA around 6 years and this is the first time I heard about the Confederate flag, when I start reading this article it caught my attention to know why a flag brings him a big problem and now that I know what's the meaning of that flag, I think he is doing a great job about to change the meaning of the Confederate flag... Not only African americans suffer racism also Hispanic or latinos (better know like that) and I think is time to stop that. I'm agree with Byron Thomas because we have to be pride and be respect about who we are beacuase at one point we are all the same, all of us have feelings, dreams,etc.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Jono

    This 19yr old kid is ignorate. Apparently he failed history, the confedrate flag is the representation of southern states wanting to maintain slavery. Yes by extention its a opposion to 'big government' in a sense BUT, government was right to remove their right to maintain slavery. Its like government setting standards so that there is no problems, or in this case denying a human being from his or her rights to live in freedom. He has every right to display the flag, just like any idiot has the right to be an idiot, because in truth, thats what this guy looks like: an idiot. By all means he should ask to reinstate slavery, so he can see how much rights he wants to give back to the states. He doesnt even know that because of the north he has the rights that he wouldnt have right now.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Ok, you started out your rebuttal to this article proclaiming that the kid is ignorant, but you totally misspelled the word "ignorant". If your grasp of history is anything like your grasp of spelling and grammar, then you don't have a clue.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • dudley0415

      More likely you meant that these university students are 'ignorant,' though I disagree with you. Here is the first guy of color who has chosen to find something good in the history of his regional homeland, is unashamed of being an American and wants to help fight for new ideas. We need these kinds of people to break the American status quo, or as my father used to say, "the mess we is in." Born a Southerner where "There ain't no Fergettin'" banners were common, I applaud this young man and his friends.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • barton

        It's one things to be a free thinker or openminded, but another to be wrong. This is like a person in Germany fueling the Nazi flag since the Nazis were misunderstood. The Nazi flag and the confederate flag are two flags that should not be flown anywhere by anyone.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Byron Thomas

        Those were some very powerful words. Thanks a MILLION for what you said.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • ramicio

      Oh yeah, he is "ignorate"? At least I can tell he knows history and you do not. Try reading actual history instead of the garbage you were spewed in school. The Civil War was not mainly about slavery. Slavery was mainly not racist. The flag does not represent racism. Yes, there are typical idiots who are mainly rednecks and not southerners who fly the flag as a symbol of their own ignorance because they even think it is a symbol of racism and that is cool to them, but most people want to fly the flag because it's a symbol of states' rights, which we are losing at an accelerating pace.

      You have your right to your opinion, but when you can't even spell, and don't know true history, you only look like a total idiot, and we have the right to call you that and treat you like one.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Slavery was totally racist lol. All of the laws associated with slavery were directed at black people. Period. A black person could not own a white person. I went to college in the south, so I know all about the southern myth of "The War of Northern Aggression." No, slavery was not the sole cause of the war for the north, but it was the sole cause of the war for the south. Lincoln wanted to hold the union together, even if that meant keeping slavery.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Josh P

        The thing is, many of us have differing views on the Confederate flag, and I admit my view is skewed because I didn't grow up in the South. However, my view on the Confederate flag is that it is a symbol of a time that our nation was ripped apart, a time when American fought American, because we allowed ourselves to be separated through sectional differences, partisanship, economical differences, deep seeded political issues, and yes, slavery. To state that the Civil War wasn't fought because of slavery is ignoring the writings that are in the States' Articles of Secession. Representation in Congress...due to slavery. Imposing the will of the Northern abolitionists...slavery. The South's fear of another rebellion like Harper's Ferry...slavery. The North isn't exactly innocent in slavery either. They didn't seem to complain when their wealth exploded thanks to manufacturing goods from the cotton obtained through Southern slavery plantations...

        December 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The North abolished slavery in order to win backing from Europe, block Europe from backing the South and to sow unrest in the South. It was an easy and convenient way to undermine the South's ability to fight. It had nothing to do with humanitarianism or good will. The Emancipation Proclomation was in 1863, two years after the breakout of the Civil War. If the Confederate flag was a symbol of racism and slavery, so was the Union flag.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      I can't tell you how sick I am of hearing our inaccurate history books regurgitated over and over. The North was every bit as guilty as the South in the practice of slavery. Lincoln was not a savoir to black slaves, he was a politician, making political moves. People please stop the madness, and truly educate your children on the facts of out nation's history. The REAL facts, not that crap that they get fed in public schools. Slavery was wrong, is wrong, and will always be WRONG. This young man is trying to do something different; trying to BE different. I am nothing but proud.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Madibo New York

    Mr Thomas says"....I haven't experienced racism myself but it still exists...". He can try driving down IS 95 at 3AM with a White Girl. I think the SC state police will remind him.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  60. dudley0415

    Very refreshing. I suppose it's like art – you see in it what you wish to see – or like food – you like what you like and no argument can make your taste buds feel otherwise.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • What a DUMMY he is

      Yes, and if I choose to view Hitler as a nice leader than thats ok too right? People are becoming more and more idiotic. I have lost all faith in humanity at this point if this is what rationale people are using.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • itsthefuturegetoverit

        you are part of the problem with america today people like are what give a bad wrap to the rest its 2011-2012 get over with your negativity and live humble together. i dont bring up that my people were almost wipe from exsistance so why the hell would you say such things you should just high five your face on your comment

        December 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • cola

        Hitler is not here anymore, so you can give up on humanity if you want to, but just know that when you do give up – no one (especially Hitler) will care about it.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Tim.M

    Good for him. He has a good understanding of his journey which many people will understand there's. He owns that flag. That flag don't own him. Ask yourself one question. Where would I be if slavery didn't happen. Would I be better off back in Africa. Yes slavery was an evil event but it was in every culture and still goes on today in some places in the world.In my opinion, But because of sacrifices made,He's better off. As are we all.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyzao

      have you seven been to Africa?

      December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • TimM

        I was born in Morocco 1960, .

        December 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      Besides blatantly obnoxious, did you consider there may not be a USA if slavery wasn't enforced? The changes in world history are incalculable. That sorry example is a reflection of what is probably a habit with you...not thinking things through. It's absurd on so many levels, it's comedy is only trumped by how sad it is.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tyzao

        I agree, but he is only 19, a good teacher could meaningfully redirect his enthusiasm - the real ignorance lies with CNN for trying to make a story out of this

        December 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • TimM

        Where would Michel Jackson, Samuel L Jackson or even Oprah be if Slavery didn't happen?

        December 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  62. hemo

    two words- Uncle Tom

    December 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dudley0415

      Two more words: thoughtful student

      December 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tyzao

        Tell me the confederate flag was not adopted by states seceding from the Union as a response to the abolishment of slavery - it is and always will be a symbol of pro-slavery - the central issue of the American Civil War...if you want to engage in a thoughtful discussion about slavery, why not focus on the African side of the issue, many Africans who passed through the "door of no return," who were renamed and ultimately became enslaved in the british colonies and later in the USA, were prisoners of War. Have a look at the Fante in Cape Coast Ghana, there is a reason why many have British names like Anderson (a very common one there), while the Asante have mostly kept their traditional ones. The interest is good, but the conclusion is ridiculous. Instead of searching for a means to justify a symbol of the past by creating a history for it, why not try reconnection with the teleology of what occurred. I would suggest starting with some DNA studies, as you will also find, that our deep past hides many truths, where what seems black isn't so, and likewise what seems white also isn't entirely. Kind regards for your journey.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • ramicio

        Read some actual books and not textbooks from school and you will see that you are wrong. Control of ports and tariffs is what the war was mainly about. They used slavery as a humanitarian front, just like in all recent wars.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tyzao

        what Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction by McPherson, would that qualify as an "actual book" or a "textbook from school"

        December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Explain to me the rise of Jim Crow? Was there no connection to the ending of slavery and the Black Codes enacted in the south and the rise of Jim Crow?

        December 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • dudley0415

        That may be true, but this fellow sees it in a different light, and the flag means something different to him. He is allowed his interpretation of history and to live his life accordingly. That he has decided, after research, to take something that is negative to most and make it something uplifting in his life, and for all of the right reasons, is remarkable and to be lauded.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tyzao

        everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and interpretation of their own life - but just because they say its so, doesn't make it history ... history must be affirmed and supported by facts, and then reviewed by other historians for the truth in the matter, this young man is only sharing his opinion, that is not history - just a personal story

        December 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • 757Matt

      Wow, that's pretty intolerant of you.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      hahaha...I'll help you count. Keep going!!!

      December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • KD

      You know what? If you're going to refer to someone as an idiot, may I politely point out that you should "you're" with an apostrophe? It might make your argument a bit more acceptable.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Anyone who believes that the Confederate Flag symbolizes the southern states refusal to surrender their rights to slavery are uneducated. Slavery was but a small portion of what the southern states were fighting for and a little history lesson would do many of you some good. Lincoln only included the Emancipation Proclamation in order to get ex-slaves to join the military to help with the cause that was more of an economic dispute. The southern states wished to govern how they traded their goods without the intervention of the Federal government. The flag was not about slavery, but about southern states separating and creating their own government. Yes, it has been used as a symbol by groups such as the KKK, but at the time of the civil war it was no more about slavery than if you protested with a flag of Ben and Jerry's. Someone mentioned the Nazi flag, but even their symbol was first used in India to symbolize unity. It's misuse has been the focal point of this, as was slavery and the association to the Confederate flag.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Just saying

        Slavery was not of itself the reason why the South broke away. However, you would do well to acknowledge that it did play a major role. The economy of the south itself was dependant on slavery. So you can talk about trade but it all still ties into slavery.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • humberto

        You're wrong, that's the property they didn't want to pay tax for.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        I can see you're a product of a Southern education, and the swill that passes for the truth down there. Well, if enough of us move down there, eventually your descendants will get an education, but I can see we've got our work cut out for us.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  63. msyellarose

    hey, no problem. He can exercise his "free speech" if he wants to, just don't be surprised when his fellow "brothers " exercise their perceived right to beat the crap out of him.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimM

      Let's hope they understand there journey like this young man did. Enlightenment is a good thing.

      December 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  64. historteach

    and many of you need to do a little research as to what states's rights caused the south to secede (not succeed), there were many factors other than slavery that caused secession. The south did not want a war, they simply wanted to be left alone but the north (referred to as northern aggressors) invaded the south. Lincoln even said he would keep the union together by ANY means necessary. So before you down-talk the south and attempt to discuss something the majority of you know absolutely nothing about, stick your ignorant nose in something a little more enlightening- an unbiased history book

    December 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Black in Midwest

      You can argue the cause of the Cival War, but the result was the ending of slavery, a way of life that existed in direct contradiction to what the founders of this nation considered inalienable rights. The sad part is that the inhumane idealogies of racial prejudice and superiority would continue...

      December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • KD

        As a history teacher (I'm assuming this from your handle) – you should know that there is no such thing as an unbiased history book. In fact, history is entirely a subjective undertaking. I'm speaking as a historian with three degrees. Apart from a few dates that most people (not all) can agree upon, history reflects the viewpoint of the person writing it.

        Case in point: who won the Battle of Waterloo? If you read an english textbook, it was the British. If you read a German textbook, it was the Prussians. The German view is that without the assisstance of the Prussians, the British would have lost. So, who's right?

        The Confederate flag – rightly or wrongly – represents not a respect for State's Rights, but the continued subjugation of a people whose 'crime' was to be born black. You can intellectualize it all you want, but that's the common meaning. Does the young man have a right to his views: heck yes. And, so do all those who support or condemn him for his views. In the end, discourse is a good thing.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      As another person with multiple history degrees posing on this board, you show ( once again) the tendency of people to selectively cull facts to fashion the narrative you find most enjoyable. Bottom line is that the economics of an agricultural system that required bonded labor drove the confrontation: had Eli Whitney not invented the cotton gin, slavery most likely would have petered out. The need for slavery to expand due to economics is what drove the South out of the union, bt it cannot be denied that slavery was part of it. The appalling ignorance of this young man aside, its disgusting to see the apologists for this pratice and culture continue to publish garbage that cannot withstand any real peer scrutiny.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  65. missalex

    well, I've seen what a man looks like haning from a tree because a lying white woman said he looked at her strange. I saw the look on my father's face as he then floored the car past and as we went by we saw the klan poor gas on him and set him on fire, now this idiot wants a freedom to waive that flag, bet he's dating a blonde blue eyed white girl too. I am not saying be hateful but know the past.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Tise02

    I agree with ccccc and Ihpogo. The south has major problems with pride. Lets drop the ego and dissolve our boarders. Flags holding too strong of ideals cause wars. One should not hold pride over this nihilism.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Githm

    19 years old. That explains a bunch. Too bad there isn't a time machine he can access and travel into a slave ship on the ride from Africa. If that doesn't do the trick, then travel to the civil war during the battle at Gettysburg. If history doesn't mean much to you, now that you are safely removed from the carnage associated with that flag, then why stop there! The nazi flag was connected to many great innovations developed by scientists and engineers during the Third Reich. Rocket science, atomic research, crowd control may be all points of pride you would like to celebrate and revere by hanging a nazi flag next. Wake up.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • California

      You are the one who needs to wake up. The South did not start the Civil War, the US did. So if you want to toss scorn and hatred for a flag around, aim at the Stars and Stripes first.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Who fired the first shot? The lawful government of the entire country refused to leave one of it's forts, so you think you have the right to open fire. States have rights, yes, but the federal government has rights too. This idea that this is a union of 50 independent countries is crazy. It never was a bunch of separate countries.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Githm

        Yeah. You're right California. I need to wake up...to the fact that you appear to be flaunting a pathetic intellect, hoping nobody will notice. Any further communication with you would be like discussing calculus with a two year old. No offense. You're just limited.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • dudley0415

        Who provided the catalyst for the first shot?

        December 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        You have only confirmed the long-held belief that anyone from California is out of their mind, and ingnorant of the remaining 49 states. Find something else to comment on, since history is not your strong point.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Afghaniston

      Your a very smart person.. 19 year old kid doesn't understand life or history..

      December 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Epo pupa

      I can't figure out the part where he and some other student says they dont like being called African-American because they were not born in Africa. It shows some real ignorance. I agree though that the classification can indicate a certain categorisation which may come out as being sub american. It is interesting to note that some Indians call themselves black in the UK but they are neither negro or from Africa. Perhaps a new race definition is needed. Since africans are the fastest (see the olympics final), with the most stamina (see the New York marathon), the most powerful (ehm see the occupant of the white house) we should now be called CSI; Celeratas Stamina Imperium. They are african-americans not because of where they were born, but because all the human race first walked the earth in Africa and those who have an African gene characterized by a chocolate hue originated from the mother content at one point or the other in their family history. Everybody apart from the Native Americans came to the USA as a result of economic or religious issues. Being brought as a slave was an economic definition only at the point in time. Beyond that like everyone else you found your place in the sun and became who you want to be. However your origin cannot be so eroded or wished away. History is a spectrum. One day one race or continent flourishes and another time another race or continent can flourish. Hence through events and the passage of time symbols and categories take different meaning. Whatever the meaning of race you cannot change the hands of time especially if you start from the very beginning of human creation. However negative symbols and flags are a different subject. That requires the passing away of generations before changes can happen and they become harmless. This fellow's behaviour is coming a bit too early. He should wait another 1000years.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Mikey

    He says "It's not like I have a cross burning or a noose hanging outside my room." Now why would he object to mere symbols of religious faith and justice?

    December 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  69. vince

    Liberals agree with free speech.... as long as they aprove of it first. Other than that, they will tell you that they agree with freedom of speech...as long as they are not offended by it... but they really do believe in freedom of speech... seriously......for real.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      ....and I've seen enough examples of it from the Right to say stow it. The Right loves loyalty oaths and litmius tests for purity.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • James

        So you must be a nice bigoted liberal...how typical...

        December 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  70. politicallycoorreckt

    Who cares if something offends someone. People need to grow up and get a thicker skin. Slavery, genocide and racism is wrong but people need to leave other people alone that this even made the news is beyond me. There are things that I see all the time and that people say that I find offensive but that is that persons choice and right to act or have or say whatever they want. Political correctness kills me. If you don't like it go somewhere else or don't look at it.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      I love it when someone make political correctness out to be the bogeyman, and they are usually the first ones to scream when someone does not say the Plege of Allegience with enough convction to suit them. The Right has Ideological Correctness: are you prepared to let someone else define what is a good American, or do you want to do it for them. Before you start, with regards to the Stars and Bars, why would any real American fly the flag of a loser? Remember the movie Patton: " American love a winner, and cannot tolerate a loser". The Confederacy lost, so why tolerate it and some half-assed defense of it?

      December 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  71. CAW

    For those of you who do believe the Civil war was about Slavery, do your research. South Carolina seceded in Dec 1860, a month LATER Lincoln made his inaugural speech where he said he had no plans nor NO LEGAL RIGHT to end slavery.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • California

      Absolutely correct! The Civil War was about economics, culture, and state sovereignty. Slavery was an issue, but not the cause.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Yeah, and the Holocaust wasn't the cause of World War II, so what? You're comparing "culture" and "economics" with brutality against other humans. Your argument would be more valid if Jim Crow had not risen from the ashes of the "Old South." To say that racism and slavery was a part of it, but not that big of a deal, is absurd. It's a huge deal to the people who had to live through slavery and then Jim Crow. When you're talking about my personal freedom, I really don't give a darn about your "culture" or "state sovereignty."

        December 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  72. California

    What a strong kid for standing up for what he believes in, especially when so many shallow, uneducated, and hateful people condemn him for it.

    He is the definition of a hero! Stay strong Byron! You have our support all the way from California!

    December 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  73. red neck

    freedom is the right to chose. for one self. even when others dont like the your choice.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  74. BobbyP

    Good for him! He seems to understand that the meaning of any symbol is never permanent, nor does anybody really have the last word on that symbol's meaning. Maybe he doesn't think of himself as a guerilla post-structuralist, but his statements indicate a deliberate attempt to keep both unreconstructed racists and knee-jerk liberals from monopolizing the “ownership" of the confederate flag.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  75. An American

    Wow, well spoken. Makes me feel alot better about the younger generations. A little side note in response to one of the comments, before there were Nazis the swastika was considered a symbol of good luck. Just something to think about.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • dudley0415

      A version of the swastika was used by native tribes in the Americas long before it was used in Germany.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  76. truefax

    Wow... So the whole south (or should I say most of it) see's the flag a symbol of rebellion and white power... and you see it as something else? It's not the kkk that's being willfully ignorant in this case son.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dewayne

      Amen.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  77. red neck

    I am very impressed by this young man. Asking to be called only an american telling people its his turn to make his own choices. to know are history as americans and to not want to live in the past. to use his own judgement to be his own person. the man gives me hope. That we can over come.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Would you have let him say hello to your mother 50 years ago? Read some history, particularly Emmitt Till. His murderers found inspiration in those symbols, and they beat him to death for it.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Will

    yeah, I think it's great that a person should be able to display what they're proud of (I'm a Southern boy myself and I live in a Southern town, so the Confederate flag around here is pretty common, especially among the FFA). i got "Dixie" as my ringtone, I listen to a lot of Southern Rock (Skynyrd, Outlaws, Alabama, SRV, etc.), I love Southern cuisine, and I own Confederate flag bedsheets. I'm a Southern boy and damn proud of it.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Sorry, maybe you'll grow up SOME day....

      December 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • bob

        So because of the food he eats, music he listens to and choice in bedroom decor he is not GROWN.

        December 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  79. mslman71

    The young man got his first lesson in "freedom, as long as it agrees with mainstream thought."

    December 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Dewayne

    Under his logic, it's all a matter of perspective. So no, the Holocaust wasn't wrong, it's just wrong to the people who choose to see ethnic genocide as wrong. Otherwise, why let a swastika divide us? It's just a symbol of Aryan pride. His logic is totally flawed. What the he– are they teaching him at USC-Beaufort about logic and reasoning?

    December 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mslman71

      The swastika as a symbol existed long before the Nazis.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • EaglesQuestions

      Wrong.
      I see that you can't grasp high school-level analogies.

      As an analogy, under this student's logic, although the Holocaust (the action; read: SLAVERY) WAS wrong, the swastika (the symbol; read: FLAG) could possibly have a different meaning than what most people assign to it.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Uhh, and how is that not a matter of perspective?

        December 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • EaglesQuestions

      '"...how is that not a matter of perspective...""

      ...and the price of tea in China?

      Your error was that you compared your Event to his Symbol (Holocaust to Flag) rather than Symbol to Symbol (Swastika to Flag) and Event to Event (Holocaust to Slavery). This is the epitome of the FALSE ANALOGY.

      Your first comment was both a 1) False Analogy and a 2) Straw Man argument.
      Your response to me that "how is that not a matter of perspective" was another Straw Man argument.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  81. kickapoogma

    He made an excellent point: The US flag flew for 100 years over a country that condoned slavery.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      Your statement is correct!!!

      December 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Mom

    I'd like to shake Byron's hand. As a southern gal, I applaud his forward thinking and wish him all the best.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dewayne

      Yeah, but would you want your daughter to marry him?

      December 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hes Just Another Self Hating Black

      Its true, he would NOT let him marry her daughter. They like self hating porch you-know-whats because then it makes their racist ways easy to swallow. It makes it slightly easier for them to sleep at night if the victims exhibit Stockholm Syndrome like this poor sap is doing. What a confused self-hating moron. The only thing I agree is with the whole 'call me an american' thing. African-American is a racist term in and of itself. Unless a person is FROM AFRICA and emigrated here personally, they are AMERICAN. Black people in America are NOT african-american and I refuse to use that inaccurate term.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ocholla

        AFRICANS who emigrate to the US prefer to be called Kenyan-Americans, Nigerian-Americans, Ghanaian-Americans etc based on which of the 53 African countries they emigrated from ... African-American or Blacks is for people who don't know their roots ...

        December 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  83. wicked

    I'm going to start flying the Native American flag with the great circle on it as well as the flag we have now, and the blue star southen flag that very little know about which also mean southern pride. Young man, you are completely correct in your idea! I want to see you change this world, and I hope to do the same myself in my own way! Bravo!

    December 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Dewayne

    He's free to do what he wants, I really don't care at all. But to say that flag is what's keeping us divided is absurd. No racist is going to see him any differently because he's flying the Stars and Bars. And no, I don't think Virginia knows me any better than the federal government. I'm just a tax number to both of them. The south wanted to secede because of slavery. Don't believe me? Read their declarations of secession. All of them mention slavery as the basis of their decision to secede.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • mslman71

      You have the potential to have a much bigger influence in VA politics than federal politic (via your vote). That is, you are better represented at the [more] local level.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dewayne

        Not really. My vote can just as easily be drowned out in state elections. SC is and has been for a long time a very republican state, how is my vote and my perspective being represented at the state level anymore so than the federal level?

        December 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  85. AL

    My of our elder blacks saw nothing but the confederate flag just before they were lynched. It was the last thing many of them saw just before an unjust and unfair murder. Go right ahead you idiot, and fly the flag, you think you are starting a change, think you are starting a new revelation, well you're not. Just wait, until you go on that interview, opps didnt get that job; just wait until you want that promotion, opps didnt get that, just wait until you want that pay increase, opps, didnt get that, just wait until you really want that low interest rate,opps did get that, you want that little white girl, father just said no, you want that new apartment in the design district, cant get that either, and all the people who denied you these things White and have the confederate flag glued to their car, flying in thier yard, and glued to thier hearts, just wait young man, I know you are young, have not been anywhere but south carolina, its call conditioning , and you are well on you way, u freaking idiot. Yes racism still exists, and it come from many different people, not just whites to black, but blacks to white, blacks to hispanics, hispanics to whites, whites to asians, etc, you know what, enough of this, this young man have some growing up to, he is totoalling disrecpting his parents and the thousands of blacks who died unjustly and saw nothing but that flag flying in the hands of thier murderers.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill, Bloomington Il

      Al, I highly doubt any of that will happen other than oops Al you are a racist.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Black in Midwest

    Bryon you don't have to be ignorant to have a different perspective, so your statement "I don't see the flag as racist. Only an ignorant person can say that" contradicts your entire argument about the freedom to believe and have your own opinion. The bottom lineis the Confederates were considered rebels and they wanted the freedom to own slaves (states rights). Had the Union not prevailed and Jim Crow been overturned through the Civil Rights Movement (100 years later) you would not have the right to live with 3 white roommates and attend college. You my friend may wish to choose who you call ignorant more carefully.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  87. UtahProf

    This is a very, very smart young man ... States' Rights is (was) indeed the issue.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dewayne

      The "right" to do what? When you talk of rights, you can't just talk in the abstract. The right to free speech, the right to own property, the right to...own slaves?

      December 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • UtahProf

        I do not advocate slavery however, this country was founded on principles of Sovereignty. "The People" were Sovereign over States and The States were Sovereign over the Federal Government. At the time of the Civil War, slavery was primarily supported by the rich cotton merchants of the North-East. Had the true problem been dealt with (no different from the "elite" and large corporations controlling the government today), things would be much different – slavery would have still gone away and the hierarchy of Sovereignty would have been maintained. As it is, the way things went, we are now all slaves to the system – admit it or not and thanks to the Civil War.

        December 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      Part of the basis for the arguement in favor of States Rights was the issue of slavery. You are de-emphasising it, and attempting to treat it as a secondary issue when it was the root cause, both at an economic and moral level. I hope to hell you don't teach history.

      December 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • UtahProf

        It was an issue (and was perhaps the defining issue) but it was not the core issue – however, these discussions are always clouded by the issue that people feel more passionate about – slavery. As I stated in an earlier post, if the real issue (control of the many by the few), the slavery problem would have solved itself and we would be much better off. I am not "de-emphasising" slavery, I am merely trying to point out the larger issue that so many like to ignore or do not understand. I could easily just turn the tables and say you wish to "de-emphasize" the States Rights issue and a defining event in the destruction of our Republic. I am simply thinking and speaking objectively and that is not meant to downplay the atrocity of slavery – which still goes on today all over the world by the way. You should be happy that an objective person is still left to teach – most are not and usually have an ultra-liberal axe to grind.

        December 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Mayor McCheese

    The Confederate Flag is the ultimate symbol of anti-Americanism. It never fails to amaze me that the same people who claim to be proud Americans, are also frequently (in the South) the same people with support the flying of the Confederate Flag. The Flag was the banner of a group of people who hated America so much that they succeeded – then fought a bloody war to keep themselves out of the US. Give me a break. Like it or not, that is exactly what the Confederate flag is. There is nothing MORE anti-American. People who make the claim that the Civil War was really about states rights really miss the point. Yes, it was about the state's rights to engage in slavery. If that is the great and noble cause that this moron supports, he deserves all of the criticism leveled on him.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • GODis

      Exactly right, the Confederate flag stands for the idea that the laws of the State takes precedence over the laws of the Country. No country that doesn’t want to go down in chaos can allow that.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • GODis

      PS I wouldn't go so far as to call him a moron, maybe misguided. His idea of just calling yourself an American is a great message also.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Scott.

        You need to read the Constitution, the Federal government is only supposed to control the military, the borders, and interstate commerce. The States are supposed to be sovereign, we are a Federalist system of government. The only thing the Federal government does right now is the military and ignores most of it's other duties as it's too busy trying to do the State's jobs

        December 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mayor McCheese

        I think that's a fair comment. He is misguided for sure.

        Also, I do agree that we are better off calling all of us simply Americans – not African Americans or Italian Americans or Asian Americans, etc. – because that is what we are. If I were one for example, I would rather be known as an American of Irish descent rather than an Irish-American.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You need to study history a little better. General Lee did not hate the USA, but he felt his first allegiance was to his State. Lincoln tried to give him command of the US Army but he turned it down to serve Virginia. Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee, and most of the other Southerners served and fought in the Mexican-American War together with most of the Union Generals. Of course in the end the South has won, which is why everyone wants to move South and the Northern factories are all rusting and jobs are gone. Study a little history before you spout off.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mayor McCheese

        Scott, I think you are glossing over a major point. The fact that Lee and others like him believed that their first allegiance was to their state rather than the United States is exactly why they were anti-American. they would rather be Virginians or South Carolinia s rather than Americans. There is nothing more anti-American than that. You can call if whatever you want, but at the end of the day, their allegiance was not to their country – but to their state. That makes them all traitors.

        I

        December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mayor McCheese

        Oh, and I'm not sure most people would agree with you that the South won. It sounds like you wish it did however. Its funny how the VAST majority of the best high schools and universities are in the north. The north produces extraordinarily more capital than the south. The states with the highest levels of illiteracy, obesity and poverty are in the south. the states with the highest levels of infant mortality are in the south, etc, etc, etc.

        I guess congratulations are in order. Well done!

        December 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Scott, the whole reason for the Consitutional convention of 1787 was the fact that the Articles of Confederation did NOT work, and that only through a strong federal system could our country hope to survive. Even as the Civil War was ending, governors in the South refused to send supplies to Lee and Johnston because it meant surrendering control. As for your comment about the South winning, the only thing you have won is the need to hike taxes significantly over the enxt 2-3 decades to pay for the repairs to the infrastruicture the Feds helped to build for you. We are your future, pal, and people still prefer being here, taxes and all, rather than put up with the lousy schools and services you have down there. Check the unemployment rates, and all those Southern States are significantly higher, with the exception of Michigan. So, before you get all high and mighty about the South rising again, let me remind you that you needed Yankees to get a better work ethic. by the way, what states in teh South did NOT take stim money to balance their budgets? Still taking federal handouts, I see.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  89. MSB

    Bless his heart, he doesn't know any better. He's only 19.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  90. lhpogo

    The Southern Confederacy seceded from the union over states rights. They believed it was their right to treat humans as chattel and that the federal government couldn't tell them not to keep human beings in thralldom for their own economic benefit. Saying the Confederate flag is for states rights and Southern pride is like saying the Nazi flag is for social unity and German pride... it doesn't change the history behind it.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • TYP85

      My point exactly!!

      December 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  91. HMMM

    I do believe in the freedom of speech and his point of view but HE JUST WANTED HIS 15-MINUTES.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dewayne

      Exactly.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carml

        Well – we all read it, huh? Let's hope it's his last 15!

        December 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  92. TYP85

    Secession from the Union because the government was infriging on your (States) rights to own slaves and use them as a part of your census count to bolster your votes is a past we should be proud of? In that case, I guess we can break out the Nazi Swastika flag as well.

    I agree with "cccccc," does he really think he would enjoy the liberties he has now, such as attending a school of his choice, had the South won?

    How ironic that he is from South Carolina ...

    December 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aries Lady

      i agree he (and myself) probably wouldn't be enjoying the same liberties had the south won, but the fact of the matter is they didn't. no use in wondering about the should've, would've, could've(s). he's trying to take something considered negative for so long and turn it into a positive. where is the benefit of wallowing in all the negativity? in my opinion that just perpetuates the cycle further widening the divide amongst the races.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • TYP85

        I can't help but notice how you skipped over my first point which is what the Confederate flag symoblizes. It is a symbol of treason, racism, and pro-slavery. It is incomprehensible to me how can anyone can see it as anything but that.

        There are many things that you can take from a negative state and see it in a more positive light – this is not one of them.

        December 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Black in Midwest

        Well, it is worth revisiting only because history tends to repeat itself. If we try to change the facts of history, we might find ourselves repeating the same mistakes...

        December 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • 757Matt

        @ TYP85: "I can't help but notice how you skipped over my first point which is what the Confederate flag symoblizes. It is a symbol of treason, racism, and pro-slavery. It is incomprehensible to me how can anyone can see it as anything but that."

        Remember, history is written by the winners. Had the South won, we'd all be singing a different tune, probably Dixie. Have you ever considered how the Native Americans view the Stars and Stripes? They probably view it the same way you view the Confederate Flag.

        I'm a white man, married to a black woman, with a mixed baby, living in VA. I'm glad the South didn't win. I don't agree with his thought process, but I support his right to believe and think in a way that does not infringe upon my rights. At least his explanations were well thought out as though he research them.

        December 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Charlie

    The Confederate Flag is just that. A symbol the same as the Texas Flag. It was the symbol of a southern pride during a time that is long past. It wasn't the symbol of slavery or the KKK any more than the Texas Flag is a symbol of either. Being proud of our past does not mean with endorse all things of the past. I agree with the young man, we are all Americans, no matter the skin color, religion or gender. Americans should find pride in that along with maintaining pride in a past....

    December 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mayor McCheese

      Charlie, Its great to have pride in your history – assuming it is pride-worthy. I don't think there are a bunch of Germans running around waving the Nazi flag because they are proud of their history. They are looking forward. That is what Southerner's ought to do. People up north rarely talk about the Civil War. We have moved on.

      December 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Aries Lady

    if this kid wants to fly his confederate flag then so be it! i really could care less and i am black. we all know the connotations associated with it, but if he can see past that and explain (as he did ) what it means to him then that's fine. of course people (myself included) will have their own thoughts regarding the symbol and i'm sure it won't make him too many friends but last time i checked this is a semi free country and it really isn't hurting anyone. i see white people flying them all the time in the south. do i automatically label them as racist...maybe. is that right...probably not. but i will say i let my experiences with people dictate how i truly feel. i can't tell u how many times i have unfairly "profiled" someone based on the outside to only find out after speaking with them that i was totally wrong. everyone profiles at first glance but what we shouldn't do is allow that initial profile keep us from trying to find out what the person is really like. now sometimes we get it right on the first try but it's better to know for sure than to just assume.

    December 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Juan64

    This kid has the right idea, it takes courage to initiate change. However and unfortunately, his idealism is a little naive, there are lots of people in this great country of ours that will never accept the reality thay we are truly a melting pot of many races and that this fact alone makes us great. I bet the KKK ( and others ) is not very happy to hear that this black southerner is embracing this symbol for all the right reasons.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aries Lady

      i agree he may be a little naive but i applaud him for standing up for what he believes in and not letting everyone else dictate his beliefs to him. i'm not going to go as far as to say i agree 100% with him, but that's why they are HIS beliefs. he's not hurting anyone so he has the right to let his flag fly. there really are more important things to be worried about in the country right now.

      December 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  96. graciegal

    This sounds like an intelligent young man. His family should be very proud of him. I hope we have more well-spoken young people in his generation hoping to make change, too.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Jozett

    I think he has a valid point when he said the flag only represents racisim, if that's what it means to you. For him it meant freedom, and states rights. I applaude his intelligence and his bravery! The world needs more proud Southern men and women.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Yeah, that's exactly what we need. Seriously, I have never encountered a group of people more intent on letting everyone know how proud they are of the region they happen to have been born in than Southerners. It's just geography. It doesn't make you anything, not better, not worse. If you need to cling to pride over your geographic location to feel better about your own life and to make up for your own lack of accomplishments, well, that's too bad, but go ahead. Just remember that being born in Virginia doesn't mean you're connected to Thomas Jefferson or George Washington or any of the other fine individuals who have lived there during the state's 500 year history. What they accomplished is not something that you have accomplished, and who you are hasn't changed based upon what other people who lived in your state's (or country's) borders did or did not do. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      December 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • CYTexas

        Sorry to burst YOUR bubble, sir, but humans have organized themselves geographically since the beginning of time. So it's only natural that in early America people from a basically heterogeneous geographical area (The South) would organize (which in turn leads to pride, based on a common goal, common accomplishments, common diction, etc, take a dang anthropology course) based on their largely agricultural economy and the inherent cultural differences that arise from an agricultural society as opposed to a largely industrial society (The North). Being from Texas, I can tell you that I and many other Texans have an incredible pride in our state based on several factors including our War against Mexico for independence, our common love of a laid-back and slightly cowboyish lifestyle, barbecue, sweet tea, and good music. And of course saying "Y'all", referring to distances by hours instead of miles and the Texas V Texas A&M rivalry. I know I didn't fight in the Texan War for Independence, but I have immense pride the Texans that did.

        December 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  98. cccccc

    Ignorance at its finest!! I wonder how "free" he would be right now if the South would have won the civil war...

    December 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  99. tlhc1

    I have always thought the flag was a symbol of pride and the spirit of those who hold it dear – from the scouts to schools to countries. I never thought of the Confederate Flag as being anymore than a symbol of southern pride until it was pounded into me from schools that it was a bad thing... Does that mean the US flag is bad? Or the myriad of other historical flags? Just as with all symbols that emerged from conflict – the peace sign to others including flags, there are many ways to portray them just as there are many peoples who favor them. Should we be in a society where we can't be proud of our past? If we take the past away what can we improve on? I don't like it when skin-heads and others use the negative connotation of the Confederate flag for their advantage, but people like the student here should be able to show pride in the place they live if they want... We're a melting pot – not a dictatorship.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
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