Even if you somehow still believe the Confederate battle flag doesn’t symbolize racism and white supremacy (sorry, but to many, many people it does) and even if you think it should be legal for private individuals to fly on their own property as a form of free speech, there’s still absolutely no way anyone in the state of Minnesota should be flying that flag.
It is unquestionably profoundly cruel to black people and other minorities to fly that flag, but it’s also incredibly, incredibly disrespectful to Minnesota and its veterans.
You don’t have to be keen on Minnesota history to know that Minnesota was the first state to offer troops to President Lincoln to fight with the Union in the Civil War. All you have to do is graduate from sixth grade in Minnesota, since this is a fact taught in the standard Minnesota history class that year, along with information about the voyageurs, the wild rice trade, logging, and Pig’s Eye. (That’s the former name of St. Paul. No, seriously.)
The first group, the appropriately named First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, among many others, fought in the Battle of Gettysburg.
What they don’t tell 12-year-olds is that on the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, the First Minnesota held the line against the Confederates, despite having the highest casualty rate in the entire Union army– 83%. They charged into a situation where they were outnumbered four-to-one.
They went anyway, and most of them died fighting against everything the Confederate battle flag stands for.
First Minnesota is legendary for its heroism at Gettysburg.
Minnesota helped elect Lincoln. Minnesota, barely even a state at the time, sent 11 infantry regiments, 2 companies of sharpshooters, units of artillery and cavalry and sailors too, plus the men who served in the African American units.
More than 2,500 Minnesotans died in that war, fighting against the Confederates. Flying the Confederate flag in this state is disgusting, and not only is it a declaration of hostility to minorities, it’s a slap in the face to the First Volunteer Volunteer Infantry Regiment and to the entire state of Minnesota and all its heritage.