Saturday, March 22, 2014

The use of the term "flag flap" as revealing of the attitudes of the user

One of the frequently used phrases in reporting the news on the controversies regarding the use of the Confederate flag in public life is to use the phrase, "flag flap." This needs to be recognized as the editorial comment it is. The use of the phrase is a comment that the topic of controversy is trivial.

This dismissive tone is never taken in reporting holocaust deniers. You won't see an article titled or using the belittling phrases, "holocaust hassle," "history hiccup," "history hissyfit," or "holocaust flap."

Debates over American flag burning aren't dismissed as "Flag Flaps" either, but are reported as a serious issue.

Confederate identified governments and a Confederate identified landscape is a real issue. When a government body decides to use a Confederate flag or a place decides to use a Confederate flag they are defining who they are, their identity, and they are racializing the landscape. Attempting to achieve a Confederate identity or give a location a Confederate identity is a serious issue.

The trivializing language used for reporting Confederate flag controversies as opposed to controversies on the holocaust of the Jews is because, rightly so, we see Jewish people as being part of "us," and for many reporters, "African Americans" are still seen as "them." The use of the term "Flag flap" is revealing of the journalists' or writers most interior attitudes on race.

Also, I feel the constant use of the term "Flag Flap" is a means of defending the Confederate flag and symbols, by denigrating the opposition to them as being wrongly pre-occupied with triviality. The use of the term "flag flap" is a subtle defense of the status quo, thus a defense of the Confederate flag.

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