Forty-three percent of American voters viewed the Confederate flag predominantly as a symbol of Southern pride, according to a poll released Wednesday.
“The new poll, which was conducted among 1,991 registered voters and has a 2-point margin of error, finds voters closely divided on the Confederate flag’s symbolism: 43 percent — including 74 percent of Republicans — say it is mostly a symbol of Southern pride,” according to the Morning Consult.
The tech company shared the survey’s infographic on Twitter Thursday, adding that 39 percent of voters mostly saw displaying the flag as a “symbol of racism”:
39% of voters mostly see the displaying of the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism, up 3 percentage points since early June and a record high in our polling. https://t.co/iTzkh1K0Uh pic.twitter.com/KaSCJkAugZ
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) July 23, 2020
The article continued:
The change came as Trump criticized NASCAR for its decision to ban showing the flag in races and defended its display in recent interviews with Fox News and CBS News. The movement in public sentiment — which is another example of what some political observers have labeled “the Trump effect,” in which the president’s foray into a debate ends up moving the public consensus away from his position — in this case is fueled entirely by Democrats.
“I just think it’s freedom of speech, whether it’s freedom of speech, whether it’s Confederate flags or Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about. It’s freedom of speech,” President Trump explained during the interview with CBS News on July 14.
However, the president said in 2015 that he supported the effort to remove the flag from South Carolina’s capitol building after white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black Americans at a church in Charleston, according to Breitbart News.
“I would take it down, yes,” he said at the time. “I think they should put it in a museum and respect whatever it is you have to respect.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper effectively banned the public display of the Confederate flag on Pentagon properties in guidance issued Friday, Breitbart News reported.
“The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and discipline, treating all our people with dignity and respect, and rejecting divisive symbols,” the memo read.
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