What is southern pride anyway?

A recent poll surveyed attitudes of whites and African-Americans about their attitudes toward the Confederate battle flag. 61% of whites oppose measures to redesign state flags that feature Confederate emblems while 59% of African-Americans do.

When asked whether the Confederate battle flag symbolises southern pride or racism, 66% of whites believed that the flag was a symbol of southern pride whereas 77% African-Americans saw the flag as a symbol of racism.

As a person born in the southern part of the United States, I have a valid right to question the legitimacy of the Confederate battle flag as a proper symbol of anything good. Why is it even useful to call oneself a “Southerner” as if one’s place of origin has any utility? I’m from Louisiana. So what? Does that mean I love my family more? Less? The same?

Dear Confederate battle flag supporters: You may see the flag as some sort of pride; but it’s misplaced. It’s time to unpack the feeling of pride. What, exactly, are you proud of? Does it mean “I feel comfortable in my location of origin?” OK, so do people born in Reykjavik. Does it mean: “I love my family?” Right, so do the Belgians. Evolution has ensured that family units stick together. And consider for a minute why persons from other states don’t feel the need to fly a flag to proclaim their warm and fuzziness. Why do you need an ambiguous symbol to stand for pride? You want to be proud of something? Fix your public health crisis. Properly fund higher education. Fix your tax systems so you can support state infrastructure. Stop defunding early childhood development programs.

And stop flying that flag. Put in a museum.