Will Southern Cities Strip the Confederate Flag Out of Municipal Life?

State workers take down a Confederate flag at the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. (AP Photo/Martin)

In the wake of the Charleston shooting that left nine black worshippers dead in a historical African-American church, some Southern governors and senators have called for state capitals to stop flying Confederate flags. But many city governments also incorporate the symbol into municipal life.

Mobile, Alabama, features a confederate symbol on its city seal.

According to Alabama’s Fox10TV:

Multiple sources confirmed on Thursday that Mobile city leaders are considering changing the Confederate Battle flag on the city’s seal to the Alabama state flag.

One of our sources said several council members are on board, while another said it’s going to take time to get more council members to sponsor the bill.

Poll results from The Advocate

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, The Advocate reports that in may public spaces in the city, the Confederate flag still flies high, but it’s not the version that has become the typical symbol of slavery and segregation:

Baton Rouge institutions instead are flying what is frequently called the “Stars and Bars,” the original flag of the Confederacy, adopted in 1861, with a circle of white stars in the top left corner and three wide stripes. Across the city, it is flown alongside other flags of the countries that ruled this territory, from France to the Republic of West Florida.

In an online poll, the newspaper is asking readers to weigh in on Confederacy symbolism. As of around noon Thursday, about the same number of people were in favor of keeping the symbols wherever they are as were in favor of having them “relegated to museums.” (Baton Rouge’s City Hall does not fly the Confederate flag.)

In Boise, Idaho, Mayor Dave Bieter asked for the Mississippi flag to be taken down Wednesday from a group of state flags in front of city hall because it contains a Confederate emblem.

According to a spokesman for the Mayor, Boise doesn’t want anything hanging outside its city hall that would detract from the city’s desire to be an inclusive community.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Tags: raceracism