Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Our Two Flags This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Living in South Carolina, I cannot help but hearabout the controversy over the Confederate flag. Its supporters say ithonors those who died in the Civil War and represents the South as awhole. Those against the flag say it is a symbol of slavery and hatred.These are both good points, but I have to ask: are we certain it is theConfederate flag we are discussing, and not the flag of the UnitedStates of America?

I am a proud American citizen. The U.S.A.offers many opportunities and freedoms not found elsewhere. Our country,however, has also made many mistakes. No one would dream of removing theAmerican flag from our statehouses, even though it has flown over manyexamples of prejudice and hatred. Since everyone seems eager to recallthe mistakes of the South, perhaps we should take a look at our nation'smistakes, too.

People say the Confederate flag represents slaveryand prejudice. But what about the American flag? It was flying duringthe American Revolution, but when George Washington took command of theContinental Army in 1775, he decided not to allow African-Americans tofight. They had already fought in several battles to help our country inits fight for freedom, yet were banned from the Army for two years. Thisis a prime example of prejudice, and occurred not under the Confederatebut American flag.

Native Americans have also experiencedprejudice under the American flag. Think back to the pilgrims landing atPlymouth Rock. They could not have survived if the Indians had nottaught them how to plant crops. In the early nineteenth century, aShoshone woman, Sacajawea, was an important part of Lewis and Clark'sexploration of the West. But the United States government made and brokemany treaties with Native Americans, forcing them west and eventuallyonto reservations. Many died in horrible incidents like the Trail ofTears. These events also occurred under the American flag.

Idon't excuse the actions of my ancestors; slavery is wrong. But it isalso wrong to remove a flag that honors thousands of men, women andchildren who died in the bloodiest war in American history. If theConfederate flag is removed from the dome of the South Carolina StateHouse, perhaps the American flag should also be removed.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Ali_The_Great said...
Nov. 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm
People die for you under that flag. The american flag stays. the confederate flag goes
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback