For more than 25 years, the practice of handing out confederate stickers at the North Carolina State Fair has been going on without much incident or fuss. Many look at it as a practice of respect for heritage. This year, however, there are rising concerns from mostly liberals about the tradition. Some are even calling for the stickers, and more importantly the supposed Confederate message, to be removed from the state-sponsored event.
Some of the residents, liberals among them, says such practice “represents hatred”, and not heritage.
Some of those who oppose the continuation of the tradition say the flag has also recently been used as a “symbol of pro-segregationists and white supremacists. The Sons of Confederate Veterans members, however, refute such observation, and insist the practice is all about history.
Lamar Pender from the Sons of Confederate Veterans said: “We don’t believe in their using one of our symbols for racism, as promoting racism, because we do not.”
Members of the Sons of Confederate also said that prior to 2015, they never heard any complaints or issues about the stickers.
There has been considerable scrutiny surrounding confederate statues and memorials, with some sector, mostly from the liberal camp, calling for their removal. Their calls became more intense following the chaos following a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August this year.
The calls for removals were driven by the belief that the monuments glorify white supremacy and memorialize a government whose founding principle was the perpetuation of slavery.
Those who oppose the removal of such symbols argue, on the other hand, that the artifacts are part of the cultural heritage of the United States.
A 2017 Reuters poll found out that more Americans, or 54% of adults polled stated that the monuments should stay put in all public spaces. 27% said they should be removed, while 19% are uncertain.