Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Icons of America

Image 1: The American Flag
This image is iconic of America because of what it represents and stands for and when most people see the U.S flag they automatically know that it is associated with the U.S. This image affirms the association between America and liberty because it represents freedom "embody American freedom".Also, because the "white stripes stand for liberty". So this image is positive because it shows that liberty is related to America because of what it represents.

There is also a flag code which is the Federal Law relating to displaying the flag. In the flag code it states that, "No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America." This shows that America and liberty are associated together because the flag represents freedom and the flag code is suggesting that the flag is so special that you shouldn't show any disrespect to it.

With flying the flag it states; "It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness."

Also, you "pledge allegiance to the flag" when you say the Pledge of Allegiance and this is positive because within the Pledge it states "with liberty" which relates to the American flag being associated with liberty.

Image 2: The Confederate Flag
This image is iconic of America because it is associated with America and it's history because of slavery and segregation during the civil war. This questions and negates the association between America and liberty because it was flown a lot during the civil war, in the south who were "mostly people in favour of states rights". So I think that the Confederate flag also shows that America isn't and hasn't always been a free nation that is associated with liberty.

An example of when the confederate flag has been controversial is when people in America have flown the flag because they believe that it doesn't represent slavery; "it's really about honoring the confederate soldiers who gave their lives." - Barry Isenhour. Barry also said that "If you're going to be offended by a flag, why not the Union Jack?" This shows that there is controversy with the flag because some people don't see a problem flying it and think that people should be offended by other flags because of history.

While others think that you shouldn't be proud of flying the Confederate flag as it reminds people of racism and slavery. "I wouldn't be proud of waving a flag that has an ambiance of racism and negativity." - Clenora Hudson-Weens.

Another example was when there was a proposal to fly a huge Confederate flag outside the state capital, Richmond in Virginia. This proposal had problems because people either believed that the flag reminded people of slavery during the Civil War whilst others saw it as a sign of respect.

There are states where flying the Confederate flag has been banned, however because of the First Amendment to the U.S Constitution people are allowed to fly the Confederate flag on their own property. But on government buildings there are restrictions. California is a state where you can't buy or fly the Confederate flag (May 2014). South Carolina passed a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the top of the State House dome in 2000, 12th April.


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