The start of the Confederate flag controversy was due to the request of the NAACP to remove the flag off of South Carolina’s Statehouse. This request is based on the fact that they, the anti-flag groups, claim that the meaning of the Confederate flag is one of hate and discrimination. On the other hand, there are other groups that believe differently whom are called the pro-flag groups. They claim that the flag is a sign of heritage and should stay on the Statehouse. Liberals tend to be in the favor of the anti-flag groups, and conservatives are more likely to be supporting pro-flag groups. Both sides use evidential logos to prove their arguments, and pathos to show how wrong the other side is.
Eric Foner’s article “Rebel Yell” is an example of an anti-flag argument published in a well-known liberal magazine The Nation. In “Rebel Yell” historian Eric Foner first explains some of the pro-flag arguments in the introduction paragraph; then throughout his article he shows why claims like these are wrong. First He explains that slavery was a big issue in Civil War. Then he attacks the claim made by pro-flag groups that a large amount of black fought for the Confederacy, and lastly he shows how the Confederate flag is now connected with racial inequality. He points out that the Confederate flag is not only associated with slavery but in addition is now associated with racial discrimination. This article is a definition argument that defines the Confederate flag as a negative symbol; in it Foner mainly uses logos to show the meaning of the Confederate flag, pathos as a way of portraying pro-flag supporters as the bad guys, and his ethos to show his audiences he is well-informed of the pro-flag a...
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...tion’s history will also be laid to rest”(par. 8). His logical arguments are strait forward and informative and when used with pathos as a pair is very effective. When pathos is not used with some sort of logos the effectiveness of the article quickly wavers and most of the agreeing audience will only be anti-flag supporters. This article being liberal seems to correlate with what the anti-flag side believes in. Anti-flag groups want to remove the flag because of its connection with racism, which has been part of America’s past. Liberals want to make changes for the betterment of society. If liberals see the Confederate flag as a negative symbol then they will want to remove it even though it’s a part of Southern history, is why liberals tend to support the removal of the flag.
Eric Foner. “Rebel Yell.” The Nation. 270.6 (February 14, 2000): 4.
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