The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem (Google eBook)

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Harvard University Press, Jul 1, 2009 - History - 448 pages
4 Reviews

In recent years, the Confederate flag has become as much a news item as a Civil War relic. Intense public debates have erupted over Confederate flags flying atop state capitols, being incorporated into state flags, waving from dormitory windows, or adorning the T-shirts and jeans of public school children. To some, this piece of cloth is a symbol of white supremacy and enduring racial injustice; to others, it represents a rich Southern heritage and an essential link to a glorious past. Polarizing Americans, these "flag wars" reveal the profound--and still unhealed--schisms that have plagued the country since the Civil War.

"The Confederate Battle Flag" is the first comprehensive history of this contested symbol. Transcending conventional partisanship, John Coski reveals the flag's origins as one of many banners unfurled on the battlefields of the Civil War. He shows how it emerged as the preeminent representation of the Confederacy and was transformed into a cultural icon from Reconstruction on, becoming an aggressively racist symbol only after World War II and during the Civil Rights movement. We gain unique insight into the fine line between the flag's use as a historical emblem and as an invocation of the Confederate nation and all it stood for. Pursuing the flag's conflicting meanings, Coski suggests how this provocative artifact, which has been viewed with pride, fear, anger, nostalgia, and disgust, might ultimately provide Americans with the common ground of a shared and complex history.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ksmyth - LibraryThing

Coski has written a great book describing the history, uses and controversies surrounding the Confederate battle flag. He takes a measured look at arguments from flag defenders and those who find its ... Read full review

Review: The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem

User Review  - Julie H. - Goodreads

I can't think of a better example of a symbol that people love to hate, hate to love, or love to love. Flags are powerful symbols, and this one no less so than any other. Will post more when I'm done. Read full review

Contents

Preface
vii
Emblem of a Separate and Independent Nation
2
The WarTorn Cross
28
Unfurl the Old Flag
45
A Harmless and Rather Amusing Gesture
78
The Shadow of States Rights
98
Keep Your Eyes on Those Confederate Flags
110
Symbol of the White Race and White Supremacy
132
The Bitterest Battleground
202
If They Talk about Diversity Theyre Gonna Get It
217
What We Stood For Will Stand For and Will Fight For
236
You Cant Erase History
272
The Second American Flag
292
Abbreviations
308
Notes
311
Index
381

The Perverted Banner
161
Vindication of the Cause
184

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About the author (2009)

John M. Coski is Historian and Library Director at The Museum of the Confederacy.

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