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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Why The Civil War Is Still Relevant Today

It has been over 150 years since the end of one of America’s deadliest wars: the American Civil War. Yet, although more than a century and a half has passed since such a bloody era, why are tensions still high? Confederate statues still remain in place, confederate flags are still flown, and continued sensitivity to the event remains evident on both sides of the war. There are several reasons for such an event. I hope to present an overview of why I believe the American Civil War is still relevant today without any bias towards either side.
The first reason I believe that this event is still relevant today is the astonishing fact that the Southern states refuse to accept defeat even today. This fact is quite unnerving, considering that northerners see the Civil War as a Union victory; this is evidenced by the other name the north has for the war, which is the “War of Southern Aggression/Treason” when the Confederate Army attacked the Union at Fort Sumter. In the Southern states of the United States, the narrative is quite different. According to the New York Times, the Civil War is actually known as the “War of Northern Aggression,” in most Southern states that participated in the Confederacy. Edward Rothstein writes: “It was the beginning of the Civil War. Or, as it is sometimes called here, the War Between the States. Or more provocatively: the War of Northern Aggression.” It is clear that the states that previously made up the Confederacy still hold dear to their belief that the war was instigated by the northern states.
Reuters reported in 2017 regarding the remarkable state of the continued sales of Confederate flags: “Demand for Confederate flags at Chris Ackerman’s Civil War memorabilia shop in Pennsylvania has surged since violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia … at Alabama Flag and Banner, one of the few remaining U.S. makers of Confederate battle flags, sales topped 150 in a single day last week, equivalent to about a quarter of average annual sales.” As long as the Confederate flag is seen as an important and prideful item of memorabilia, the ramifications of the Civil War will be evident in our yearly news cycles and events directly linked to this deadly war will be evident every time it is mentioned.
Clearly, the Civil War is an important event in its ramifications within the United States and across the world. I do not doubt one’s personal connections with either side of the Civil War. However, how long will we fly the flag of a failed rebellion attempt? The reasoning behind the causation of the war of either the Confederacy and the Union are clearly different; however, it is historically accurate to say that the origins of the Confederacy were created in order to maintain the evil practice of slavery. As Americans, the best we can do is to learn from this sad and evil time in our nation’s history and move on to the future. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” which encourages the abolishing of affirmative action.