What's worth noting is that the battle flag so fiercely disputed at the current time was never the national flag of the Confederacy (the "Stars and Bars," in the top right position above, was). Regardless, the symbolic resonance that the battle flag has maintained over the past 150 years has indeed morphed into something more complex as white supremacists (oftentimes claiming their general Southern heritage as a motivator) seek to maintain such representation of their beliefs in the midst of an American polity otherwise shifting towards multiculturalism, tolerance of minorities of all kinds, and equal rights for all (a notion represented in the comic strip in the top middle).
Legislation is currently in session at both state and federal levels and the controversy rages on in public discourse about the appropriate usage of the Confederate battle flag. What's also in debate is how to appropriately reference whatsoever the former Confederate States of America. For example, as some argue, should these divisive symbols be relegated to museums only? Is it acceptable or accurate, as some have argued, to compare the Confederate flag to the national flag of Germany under Nazi rule? (Public display of a swastika or any other symbolism related to the Nazi government of the 1930s and 40s is strictly forbidden in Germany.)
On June 27th, as seen in the bottom right corner photograph above, one individual took matters into her own hands to physically remove the disputed banner from the South Carolina State Capitol.
As of today, Thursday, July 9th, the bill proposed by Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, approved by the State Senate this past Tuesday July 7th, has now been approved by the House of Representatives. The New York Times reports, "Ms. Haley’s office said that she would sign the bill into law at an event at 4 p.m. on Thursday at the State House. With Ms. Haley’s signature, the clock will begin to tick, and the state will have 24 hours to take down the flag, which will be moved to the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, near the Capitol." On the federal level, the issue is no less complex but should yield at least one decision shortly.
The comic by Ruben Bolling (tomthedancingbug.com) in the top left position above gives some satirical perspective on the politics and history involved. For some more commentary along these lines, here's the Onion's take on the matter. The meme shown above is, of course, an example of the counter argument.
I'll continue to follow these events as they unfurl (no pun intended) and update this blog as new developments solidify.