What Does the Confederate Flag Stand For?

The Confederate flag stands for southern pride to some people, while others associate it with bigotry and/or racism. It served as the official flag of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

The Confederate flag features a blue X on a red background. Thirteen stars evenly dot the X and represent the 13 states of the Confederacy. During the Civil War, the southern states desired to split from the North to become a separate country. Southerners and Northerners maintained different views on slavery, taxation and states’ rights. This disagreement sparked the Civil War. The war resulted in victory for the North and the death of 625,000 Americans. The South was outnumbered, affected by illnesses and underarmed.

Shortly after the war, Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery. It took over a decade for the country to overcome the physical devastation of the war. Racial tensions in the South continued even longer, and African Americans were not afforded full equal rights until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The Confederate Flag serves as a reminder of the war and thus means different things to different people. People from the South often display Confederate flags in their homes, on their cars or on clothing. Others adorn graves of fallen Confederate soldiers with the flag.