Polls Show Confederate Flag Opinion Has Not Actually Changed Much In 15 Years

Polls Show Confederate Flag Opinion Has Not Actually Changed Much In 15 Years

Although by reading media reports one would think the issue of the confederate flag is a major debate nationally with most people now in favor of its removal, that is far from the case according to new results of a CNN/ORC poll.

Moves to ban the Confederate Flags and other Confederacy symbols from public places received a lot of media coverage in the weeks following the shooting murder of nine African-American churchgoers in a Charleston church by a white man who was a self declared racist. The gunman 21 year old Dylann Roof had posed with a Confederate flag in on-line photos he had posted with a racist manifesto.

The poll showed public opinion on the issue was the same now as it was 15 years ago with the majority seeing it not as a racist symbol but one of southern pride.

Of those surveyed, 57 per cent viewed the confederate flag as a Southern pride symbol . In 200 that figure was 59 percent . However opinions now varied and were divided by race and education levels.

Of African-Americans polled, 72 percent associated the Confederate flag as a racist symbol while only 25 percent of whites shared that view. In the South, the difference was even wider with 75 percent of whites describing the flag as a symbol of pride and only 18 percent called it a racist symbol. Those figures were nearly reversed among Southern African-Americans, with 75 percent associating it with racism and only 11% seeing it as a pride symbol.

Among whites, opinion is divided by education levels, with those with more formal education seeing the flag as a symbol of racism and the days of slavery. Among whites polled who do not have a college degree, 73 percent said it was a sign of Southern pride and only 18 percent racism. Of those with a college degree 51 percent said it was 'a symbol of pride, 41% racism.

A majority, 55 percent favored not displaying the Confederate flag on government property, apart from museums and half supported retailers not selling the confederate flag while 47 percent opposed such a move. But a majority opposed redesigning state flags that featured Confederate emblems - 57 percent , renaming streets and highways named after Confederate leaders - 68 percent, and removing memorials and tributes to those that fought on the Confederate side during the civil war - 71 percent.

However the majority of African-Americans surveyed favored the removal of the flag from government property - 73 percent, a ban on sales of the flag - 65 percent , and redesigning state flags that displayed Confederate references - 59 percent.

Although no significant age gaps were revealed in the poll overall on questions about the flag, younger African-Americans were more likely to support some proposals than older ones. African-Americans 54 or younger were more likely than their older peers to support banning Confederate flags from government property - 80 percent compared to 63 percent, the ban of selling confederate flags - 71 percent to 54 percent, and redesigning of state flags to remove Confederacy references - 64 percent v 54 percent.

Most everyone surveyed agreed that the Charleston shootings should be considered a hate crime.

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