Last Saturday, Bree Newsome, an African-American woman, took down the Confederate flag from the south Carolina state capitol in an effort to abolish "the spirit of hatred and oppression in all its forms," she said in a statement with the Blue Nation Review Monday.
But not all Black Americans agree that the flag is a symbol of America's dark past. Karen Cooper, also a Black woman and a self-proclaimed "proud Virginia flagger," said to the Washington Post that the Confederate flag "represents freedom."
Cooper was raised in New York City and is a former member of the Nation of Islam. After moving to Virginia, she realized there were a lot of "nice white folks" and left the ideals of the Nation of Islam behind. "People waved to me, I've never known," she said. "I felt more welcomed in the South."
Cooper joined the Virginia Flaggers, a group that supports the Confederate flag and speaks out against its removal from public spaces in the state of Virginia. It doesn't bother her that she stands out as an African-American in the group.
"I think they [are] in such shock to see me out there with the battle flag. I don't even think they have the nerve to ask why I'm out there," she said.
She doesn't believe that it is tied to slavery either. "I'm not advocating slavery or think that, you know, it was right. And none of my friends think that it was. It's just something that happened. And it didn't just happen in the South, it happened worldwide," Cooper explained.
"I believe slavery is a choice."
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(Photo: Battle Flag)