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Poll: Many Still See Confederate Flag as Symbol of Southern Pride

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Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Even after the South Carolina church massacre during which nine African-American worshippers were fatally shot, and the subsequent public outcry that the Confederate flag be removed from the Statehouse, a new CNN/ORC poll shows that public opinion on the flag has not changed in 15 years.

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According to the poll, most still believe that the flag symbolizes Southern pride, not white racism.

“The poll shows that 57 percent of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism, about the same as in 2000 when 59 percent said they viewed it as a symbol of pride. Opinions of the flag are sharply divided by race, and among whites, views are split by education,” the report on the poll states.

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The poll also reflects a stark contrast in views between blacks and whites.

Seventy-two percent of African Americans polled see the Confederate flag, an artifact of the Civil War, as a symbol of racism, while just 25 percent of whites hold that view.

The poll does note a “sharp divide” among whites; those with more formal education are more likely to see the flag as a symbol of racism.   

“Among whites with a college degree, 51 percent say it’s a symbol of pride, 41 percent one of racism. Among those whites who do not have a college degree, 73 percent say it’s a sign of Southern pride, 18 percent racism.”

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Read more at CNN.com

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