The DePaulia asked students if they believe the Confederate flag should be permitted to fly over the Capitol building of South Carolina, despite its historical roots in Southern slavery and recent connection to a racially-charged mass murder. Many students declined to answer, stating they were either conflicted in their opinion, or did not know enough about the topic to answer. The ones who did varied in their opinions.
The Confederate flag represents the initial seven, and later 13, Southern secessionist states that fought during the American Civil War. For many, the flag of the Confederate States of America, or Confederacy, represents the support for slavery that its loyalists fought for in 1861.
While proponents of the flag argue that it represents a significant part of their history and heritage, a recent mass shooting that killed nine in South Carolina by a gunman who wore the flag in Facebook pictures, prompted many political figures to address the flag’s presence on government property.
President Obama said publicly that the flag’s historical significance would be better displayed in a museum and, today, South Carolina legislatures voted in an overwhelming majority to debate the current placement of the flag, which has not been formally discussed since 2001.
This survey is part of a weekly poll segment launched in an effort to give students the opportunity to share their opinions on current topics and issues. Survey questions depend on current events and polls are published once a week. Have a question you want answered? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know in the comment section below.