The debate over the Confederate flag, that reviled symbol of slavery, lynching and everything else wrong with Dixie reared its ugly head again last week. Some Southern states still have the gall to fly the Stars and Bars over their State Houses and one of those is South Carolina where Republican presidential candidates were campaigning last week.

John McCain, pledging to honor principle over politics, stated that the flag had no place flying over the State House in Columbia. His main competitor, Baptist minister Mike Huckabee pandered to the bigot vote stating “…[i]n fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell ’em what to do with the pole, that’s what we’d do,” This is a shameful position for anyone claiming to follow the teachings of the Christian Bible.

In September 2000, the Aryan Nation of Hayden Lake, ID was forced to pay damages of $6.3 million to a mother and son who were attacked by members of the hate group. Lacking the liquidity, the Aryan Nation was forced to hand over all of its property, both physical and intellectual. This included many writings an publications. The plaintiffs gained exclusive rights to the group’s hate literature and memorabilia, ending their publishing and sale.

We propose a similar course of action to end the flag’s proliferation. Black groups should collectively sue for ownership of the Confederate flag, thereby preventing the use or sale of it’s image without their explicit permission. Ownership of the flag is clear and it should be argued that, being the property of the Confederate States of America who sanctioned the systematic rape and lynching of thousands of black folk in the South and cost the United States more blood than any war in its history, Blacks should be able to take control of all the properties and “war relics” of the Confederacy.

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