Majority of Southern voters consider Confederate flag a ‘symbol of racism’

A majority of Southerners consider the Confederate flag to be a symbol of racism rather than a token of “Southern pride,” a new poll found.

Fifty-five percent of voters in the South said they associated the flag with racism, compared to 36 percent who said they instead saw it “more as a symbol” of Southern pride, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll survey released Wednesday.

That figure closely aligned with the voters polled nationwide, which found 56 percent said they consider the Confederate flag to be a symbol of racism.

Thirty-five percent of national respondents, meanwhile, said the flag more closely represented Southern pride to them, the poll found.

That’s a significant change from polling as recent as last month that found 44 percent of registered voters nationwide saw the flag as a symbol of Southern pride, compared to 36 percent who said they primarily saw it as racist, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey.

Broken down by party, 74 percent of Republicans said the Confederate flag was more akin to a symbol of Southern pride, compared to 84 percent of Democrats who denounce it as a racist symbol, the Quinnipiac University Poll found.

The poll released Wednesday — which surveyed more than 1,200 registered voters and has a margin of error plus or minus 2.8 percentage points — also found that 54 percent of respondents support removing Confederate statues from public spaces, compared to 40 percent who do not.

The debate over removing such statutes is also still heavily split along party lines, with 80 percent of Republicans saying they oppose the move, compared to 81 percent of Democrats who support the removals, according to the poll.

A similar survey conducted in 2017 found that just 39 percent of voters backed taking down Confederate statues from public spaces, Quinnipiac poll officials said.

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