Intense public criticism of the flying and display of the Confederate Flag arose following the murder of unarmed individuals praying in a Charleston church in June 2015.  Many historians expressed their frustration and outrage at the event, and linked important discussions on Twitter and in other forums that could serve as teaching resources to supplement discussions of the history of the Confederate Flag.  A large cache appeared with the hashtag #CharlestonSyllabus (published as a book in 2016), which have been compiled by the African American Intellectual History Society here, while others circulated petitions such as this one, from the American Humanist Association.  Professional organizations, such as the American Historical Association, also spoke out to clarify the history of this powerful symbol and compiled sources here.  Still others took to the web, chronicling the events with editorials that linked past and present, as in Kevin Levin’s blog about the memory of the Civil War.

As the controversy unfolded in the summer of 2015, I compiled a rough list of primary sources, which I now reference below.  The newspaper articles and online editorials attempt to reconstruct, in chronological order, the events and opinions that point to our troubled understandings of the history of the Confederate Flag and its meanings today.  This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but instead evocative of the myriad ways to bring this controversy into a discussion of the need to reinterpret historical sites, of the controversy’s relation to issues of public history, and of the need for historians to take a strong voice in shaping public memory of such events.

Huffington Post: Most South Carolina Governor Candidates Stand Firm On Flying Confederate Flag Posted: 05/31/2010 10:56 am EDT Updated: 05/25/2011 4:40 pm EDT

Huffington Post: Stop Flying Confederate Flags at Civil War Commemorations
Posted: 07/23/2013 6:13 pm EDT Updated: 09/22/2013 5:12 am EDT

The New Republic: Make the Confederacy’s Defeat a National Holiday (4/5/15)

NBC NEWS: Nine Killed at Historic Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina by M. ALEX JOHNSON, ERIN CALABRESE, JASON CUMMING and F. BRINLEY BRUTON (6/18/15)

NBC NEWS: Charleston Church Shooting: ‘Mother Emanuel’ at Center of Rights Struggle by F. BRINLEY BRUTON (6/18/15)

The Atlantic: Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now

Newsweek: Confederate Flag’s Place at the South Carolina Statehouse Questioned After Church Shooting BY STAV ZIV 6/18/15 AT 1:01 PM

NBC NEWS: Charleston Church Shooting: Suspect Dylann Roof Captured in North Carolina by ERIK ORTIZ and F. BRINLEY BRUTON (6/18/15)

MSNBC: Confederate Flag Controversy Revived (6/18/15)

Time: Charleston’s Place in the Civil Rights Movement (6/19/15)

Newsweek: The Complex Politics of South Carolina’s Confederate Flag BY STAV ZIV 6/19/15 AT 12:39 PM Charleston suspect’s manifesto surfaces (6/20/15)

The Atlantic: What This Cruel War Was Over

NPR: Church Tragedy Inspires Many To Learn More About Charleston’s History JUNE 23, 2015

NPR: The Long And Divisive History Of The Confederate Flag JUNE 23, 2015

Huffington Post: Battle Over Confederate Flag Unravels Across The South
Reuters Posted: 06/23/2015 6:36 pm EDT Updated: 06/24/2015 12:59 pm EDT

CNN: Evolution of the Confederate Flag in 6 slides (6/23/15)

 Christian Science Monitor: Time to Rethink Memorials? (6/23/15)

 CNN: Inside the battle over the Confederate flag By Nia-Malika Henderson, Senior Political Reporter Updated 3:51 PM ET, Wed June 24, 2015 | Video Source: CNN

Newsweek: Confederate Flag Removed from Alabama Capitol on Governor’s Order BY POLLY MOSENDZ 6/24/15 AT 10:34 AM

 The Atlantic: Take Down the Confederate Flags, but Not the Monuments ETHAN J. KYTLE AND BLAIN ROBERTS  JUN 25, 2015

Fox News: Protecting Hatred Preserves Freedom (6/25/15)

Newsweek: It’s Not About the Confederate Flag, It’s About What the Flag Means BY SOLEDAD O’BRIEN AND ROSE MARIE ARCE 6/26/15 AT 5:35 AM

Fox News: Cultural Fascism (6/26/15)

The Guardian: Activist pulls down Confederate flag in front of South Carolina statehouse (6/27/15)

 CNN: Obama’s Charleston eulogy: ‘Amazing Grace’ By Kevin Liptak, CNN White House Producer Updated 8:45 AM ET, Mon June 29, 2015

Full text of the Eulogy here:

Fox News: How the Media are Turning Intolerant (6/30/15)

The Huffington Post: Bree Newsome, Activist Who Took Down Confederate Flag, Says She Refuses ‘To Be Ruled By Fear’   |  By Lilly Workneh Posted: 06/30/2015 4:06 pm EDT Updated: 07/01/2015 9:59 am EDT

Washington Post: Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. By James W. Loewen (7/1/15)

Nursing Clio: Heritage is Not History: Historians, Charleston, and the Confederate Flag By SARAH HANDLEY-COUSINS ♦ July 2, 2015

Washington Post: Civil War Still an Issue in Public Schools (7/5/15)

 Associated Press: SC Votes to Remove Flag (7/6/15)

NY TIMES: Even as Museum Piece, Confederate Flag Is in Dispute By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG JULY 6, 2015

Fox News: A Symbol of Pride for Country Artists (7/9/15)

PBS: Why I Founded #CharlestonSyllabus  (7/9/15)

Fox News: SC House Votes to Remove Flag (7/9/15)

 Fox News: Conflict over Flag has spread to Capitol Hill (7/10/15)

Washington Post: Confederate flag comes down on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds By Stephanie McCrummen and Elahe Izadi July 10 2015

EdWeek: Controversy Underscores Need for Educational Activism (7/16/15)

The Daily Beast: The Myth of the Black Confederate Soldier (8/8/15)

NY Times: Confederate Flag Debate Reaches NY County Fairs (8/10/15)

 Fox News: Charleston (SC) Schools ban Confederate Flag displays by students (8/18/15)

PennLive: Elizabethtown Fair removes Flag from Vendor Booths (8/28/15)