In what should surprise precisely no one, an overwhelming majority of white Southerners still see the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride in a new CNN poll.
American public opinion on the Confederate flag remains about where it was 15 years ago, with most describing the flag as a symbol of Southern pride more than one of racism, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. And questions about how far to go to remove references to the Confederacy from public life prompt broad racial divides.
The poll shows that 57% of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism, about the same as in 2000 when 59% said they viewed it as a symbol of pride. Opinions of the flag are sharply divided by race, and among whites, views are split by education.
Among African-Americans, 72% see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism, just 25% of whites agree. In the South, the racial divide is even broader. While 75% of Southern whites describe the flag as a symbol of pride and 18% call it a symbol of racism, those figures are almost exactly reversed among Southern African-Americans, with just 11% seeing it as a sign of pride and 75% viewing it as a symbol of racism.
Among whites, there's a sharp divide by education, and those with more formal education are less apt to see the flag as a symbol of pride. Among whites with a college degree, 51% say it's a symbol of pride, 41% one of racism. Among those whites who do not have a college degree, 73% say it's a sign of Southern pride, 18% racism.
A majority of Southern whites with college degrees are okay with the Confederate flag. And among Democrats (if you dig into the crosstabs) 34% find the flag a symbol of pride (77% among Republicans) and 34% of liberals do too (71% among conservatives, 60% among moderates.)
The real killer: 58% of Millennials see the flag as a symbol of pride, which is actually slightly higher than Gen X-ers (56% or Boomers under 65 (53%). Seniors, well, They're at 64%. I hope we're well past the whole "Young people aren't as racist as their parents" nonsense, because Millennials are just as awful. Indoctrination is awesome.
I grew up in North Carolina, and this doesn't surprise me one damn bit. People ought to know better.