Free Essay

Confederate Flag - Dylann Roof

In: Business and Management

Submitted By MonocledFalcon
Words 1324
Pages 6
David Sewell
July 19, 2015
The Confederate Flag On June 17, a man named Dylann Roof was part of a crime scene. He shot and killed nine black church members in Charleston, SC, and injured 3 more. This young man was a white supremacist who took action against what he thought were the enemy. He was a known white supremacist among his peers. He would go on rants about the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the Baltimore protests that occurred earlier this year. His rants stated that “blacks were taking over the world” and that he told planned to kill people. He had a lot of pictures with the confederate flag in them, and he stated his support of racial segregation in the United States. Roof also had a website that was registered to him. On this website he had pictures of himself posing in front of a confederate battle flag holding a handgun, along with “a nearly 2,500-word manifesto in which the author criticized blacks as being inferior while lamenting the cowardice of white flight” (Robles para 3). Dylann Roof used the confederate flag as a symbol for white supremacy. He used the image in multiple places, including his website and on his car's license plates. This usage of the confederate flag shows how it could easily be used in hate crimes, and it is known to be a popular image among white supremacist groups. Valley Forge flag Co. is a business that produces and sells flags. This company has a huge presence in the United States with 4 locations and 300 employees. “It's American flags have been with soldiers at war, on the caskets of U.S. presidents, and on space shuttles. Its clients include retailers such as Home Depot, Costco, and the U.S. government” (McDaniel). This flag company is enormous, making millions of flags per year. On Monday June 22, Valley Forge Flag Co. pulled Confederate flags from orders going out, and the next day, declared that they would stop producing and selling Confederate flags. This decision was driven by the horrific actions of Dylann Roof. Christopher Binner, vice president of marketing and sales at Valley Forge, stated “It wasn't even a business decision, it's a moral decision. It was an easy decision in light of the tragedy that happened” (McDaniel). Christopher Binner is completely correct here, this decision was a completely moral decision. Was this decision morally right? Absolutely. This flag company took a moral stand when they decided to stop producing the flag even before any governmental action took place. The flag company stopped producing the flag because it was being used as a symbol of hatred in many cases, including Roof's. By ceasing production of this hate symbol, they have shown that they won't allow hate crimes to include their products, and that producing the flag would be a disservice to all those Americans who are offended at the pride of people who use it as a symbol to show their hatred or superiority towards blacks or any other race they decide to hate. Banning the flag from their production line shows that the company is doing everything they can in order to provide the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest amount of people. White supremacy isn't a widely accepted cause that most Americans follow along with, it's also a symbol of hatred of another group of people that could be just as American as the members of the white supremacist group. This flag banning will not anger the majority of the population, it shows that the company believes that these groups are in the minority, and that the sales of that product don't mean anything to the company while the actions they commit while using the product are so despicable. The company believes that the majority of people aren't white supremacists, and that they would think white supremacy is an awful thing that should not be supported. Blacks have been through centuries of turmoil only to finally be recognized as regular citizens relatively recently. By continuing sales of a white supremacist icon, the company felt they were going to encourage the white supremacy while also discouraging the black community. Most of America does not hate the entire black community for arbitrary reasons, and living in northern Illinois myself, I can't think of a single person that thought that the confederate flag should be able to stay around in this day and age. Its presence in today's society is unnecessary and represents a time when our nation was split and when citizens turned against their brothers. This shows that by banning the flag, Valley Forge has done what they can to to ensure that the greatest number of people in America have the greatest amount of happiness possible. This makes the decision a utilitarian moral decision, and a morally correct decision. An alternative viewpoint of this case is that not only white supremacists and anti-americans support the confederate flag. This portion of the population believes that the confederate flag shows Southern United States pride, and that the flag only represents their heritage in the South, rather than what certain radical groups have used it for. Some other arguments could include that by banning the confederate flag, this company is admitting that the confederate flag is only used as a symbol of hatred in America. This viewpoint reminds of the Schrodinger's cat paradox. This states that a cat is put in a box with poisoned food. The cat in the box is now both alive and dead, but the only way to figure out is to open the box and check. By checking and finding the cat dead, you have “killed” the cat. The confederate flag could be seen as both a symbol of hatred and a symbol of southern pride, but by banning the flag, the company has “killed” the southern pride argument by submitting to the symbol of hatred argument. In conclusion, the decision to ban the confederate flag could not have been a decision made lightly. Although seemingly easy, the company will have to deal with years of backlash from angry citizens. However, this company made the right decision by banning the confederate flag. They made a utilitarian decision by focusing on how the flag hurts so many people and gives pleasure to only a select few. By choosing to abandon the select few, such as white supremacists and Anti-American groups, the company has shown that they have the ability and moral obligation to give the great majority of American citizens the pleasure in knowing that a common symbol of hate would not be sold at that company any longer. The flag would no longer be sold, and this company has made the decision to give the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest amount of people as possible. The few groups that use the symbol of hate would no longer be supported by one of the largest flag makers in America and the company would have the continued support of the rest of America since they stood up to the hate groups. This utilitarian decision is morally right, and Valley Forge's actions are morally right.

References

Henderson, Nia-Malika. “Inside the battle over the Confederate flag”. Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. June 24, 2015. Web. Accessed on July 19, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/21/politics/south-carolina-confederate-flag-debate/

McDaniel, Justine. “For Berks flag maker, ban a 'moral decision'.” Philadelphia Media Network (Digital) LLC. June 26, 2015. Web. Accessed on July 19, 2015. http://articles.philly.com/2015-06-26/news/63827504_1_confederate-flags-valley-forge-flag-co- berks-county

Robles, Frances. “Dylann Roof Photos and a Manifesto Are Posted on Website”. The New York Times Company. June 20, 2015. Web. Accessed on July 19, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/us/dylann-storm-roof-photos-website-charleston-church- shooting.html?_r=0…...

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