In the Shadow of the Confederate Flag

By Karen Petree

The Confederate Flag is an undeniable part of my heritage. It’s one of the six flags that have flown over my home state of Texas, where I sit to write this. It waves over theme parks I visited as a child, and the more well-known battle flag peppers old cemeteries where fallen soldiers rest. Under the shadow of this flag is a part of my heritage I once ignored or overlooked. Under the shadow of this flag I’ve locked my doors at red lights or moved to the other side of the street. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve averted my eyes and feigned an uncomfortable obliviousness to racial euphemisms. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve avoided close relationships with African-Americans, discomforted by the glare of privilege their observable experience mirrored back at my whiteness.

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