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Fri April 27, 2012
Historian John Coski on the Confederate Battle Flag
In early April, the Sons of Confederate Veterans announced plans for a park to be built on private land just off of Exit 16 on I-24 in McCracken County. It's intended as a memorial to the area's Confederate soldiers. And at the center of the park, and an emerging controversy, is a flagpole, upon which will fly the red field, blue cross, and thirteen white stars of the Confederate battle flag. The flag has been a lightning rod for controversy for years; the SCV insists it’s a symbol of heritage while opponents see it as an emblem of racism symbol. For some perspective, Todd Hatton speaks with John Coski, a vexillologist (a specialist who studies flags) and historian at The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. He’s also the author of The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Embattled Emblem, which details the flag’s history and how it came to represent different things to different people.