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Poll Finds Pride Flag More Offensive Than Confederate Flag

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Wednesday November 13, 2013

A recent poll by the Public Policy Polling group found that the gay Pride flag was more offensive to the average American than the Confederate flag, despite it being a symbol of slavery and racism.

When a pair of 16-year old students in Maple Valley, Washington were suspended from school after wearing Confederate flags to protest LGBT Pride Month, Public Policy Polling conducted a study that revealed that most Americans find the rainbow flag more offensive than the symbol of hate that is old Dixie.

According to the study, 43 percent of people feel high school students should be allowed to wear confederate flags to school, while only 28 percent felt students should be able to sport the Pride flag. A whopping 57 percent of those polled felt that high schoolers shouldn't be allowed to wear gay flags to school.

When the question was posited as an either/or scenario, only nine percent said that gay Pride flags were appropriate attire, compared to 38 percent approval for wearing the Confederate flag. A 52 percentile said they were unsure about whether either was appropriate.

In a blog on the Washington Post, gay columnist Jonathan Capehart found the poll results troubling.

"Folks, the Confederate flag is no better than a swastika," wrote Capehart. "It is a symbol of white supremacy, hate and oppression that has no place in American political discourse. That Kanye West wants to co-opt the rebel banner is as noble as it is futile."

"Meanwhile, the rainbow that is the gay pride flag symbolizes inclusion and acceptance," he continued in that blog. "Oftentimes, usually in other countries, the word 'pace' or 'peace' can be found emblazoned on it. The rainbow flag is the very antithesis of the Confederate flag. That the latter is deemed more acceptable than the former is deplorable."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.