I decided to inhale my lunch today so I could blog this while it was fresh on my mind. On the first day back from Spring Break we, as a class, began our unit on the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. While discussing the States’ Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) convention in 1948, and the reactions to the decision on Brown v. Board of Education, the students talked about the use of old Civil War symbols. I posed the question, “What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Mean to You?” and I posed the hypothetical situation, “You are riding down the road, and you see a Confederate flag on a car, house, highway, or perhaps on a state flag, what do you think when you see that symbol?” Here are some of their responses:
The Civil War
They hate black people
People stuck in the past
Redneck Flag (Immigrant)
Sticking to a culture
Sticking to a a culture, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it can be bad if the values of the culture are bad, or if you your are sticking to is bad.
Georgia’s reputation and character (response specifically to Georgia changing the state flag)
I’m not going to be liked
Dukes of Hazzard
I teach in a fairly diverse school, so it was interesting seeing numerous people of various ethnic backgrounds respond to the question. It will be interesting to see how their ideas and opinions shape over the course of this unit.