More People See the Confederate Flag as a Sign of Southern Pride Than as a Symbol of Racism: Poll

Nearly half of Americans consider displaying the Confederate flag as merely expressing Southern pride, compared to just over one third who consider it a symbol of racism, according to a poll.

A study of nearly 2000 registered voters, conducted by Morning Consult and Politico, revealed that 44 percent of people see the displaying the Confederate flag a symbol of Southern pride, with 36 percent seeing it as racist.

Twenty percent of registered voters taking part in the said "don't know" when asked their views on displaying the flag.

The poll also reveals that the percentage of Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—who believe the flag is a sign of racism (49 percent) is nearly double that of the Baby Boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964 (28 percent).

More than half of Baby Boomers (58 percent) believe that the Confederate flag is a source of Southern pride, compared to less than a quarter (24 percent) of GenZers who were born between 1997 and 2012.

The demographics who most strongly believe the confederate flag is a symbol of racism are liberals and atheists (both 67 percent).

Exactly three-quarters of those who strongly approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president consider displaying the confederate flag a source of pride, the highest demographic to agree with that statement.

The poll was conducted among long-running debates about the displaying of Confederate flags and monuments, which have been brought up again in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests which have resulted from it.

The U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday announced this week his staff is crafting an order to end the display of the Confederate flag in public and work areas on bases, ships, aircraft, and submarines.

A similar decision was made by the Marine Corps to ban the displaying of all depictions of the battle flag at its installations as it has "all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps."

This week, a statue of a Confederate general Williams Carter Wickham was torn down by protesters in Richmond, Virginia.

In Florida, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry confirmed that all confederate monuments will be removed from the city after a statue in Hemming Park was taken down.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Brian Hughes, the city's chief administrative officer, said they decided to take down the statue so the city can "begin a process of balancing how we consider our past."

According to the Morning Consult and Politico poll, 44 percent of registered voters believe that statues of Confederate leaders should remain standing, compared to 32 percent who believe they should be taken down.

The poll shows that a total of 75 percent of women who identify as Republicans believe the statutes should stay standing—the highest number of any group asked—with only 24 percent of Democrat women believing they should remain.

The poll also reveals that more nearly two thirds of African Americans (62 percent) believe the statues should be taken down, with 12 percent believing they should stand and more than a quarter (27 percent) saying they don't know.

A Confederate Navy jack flag sits at the base of Confederate Mound, a memorial to more than 4,000 Confederate prisoners of war who died in captivity at Camp Douglas and are buried around the monument, on August 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois Scott Olson/Getty