Many so-called patriots in this country believe the Confederate Flag is a symbol for the rights of the states, as if the Civil War had absolutely nothing to do with race. At town hall meetings, they say that they fly the flag in solidarity with the Bill of Rights, and how the South seceded because their constitutional rights were being infringed upon when it came time for the United States to join the rest of the Western world in abolishing slavery. What these Confederate Flag-wielding patriots don’t understand that flying this symbol is one of the least patriotic things they could do.

The southern states left the Union; the country that patriots claim support unconditionally. Eleven states throwing a temper tantrum about not being able to own people, and therefore ripping a country apart, is not a moment of national pride for the U.S. I fail to see how flying a symbol of one of the least patriotic moments in American history can be seen as anything but treasonous.

The same people who proudly fly the symbol of the most treasonous five years in U.S. history are also the ones who are yelling at NFL players for taking the knee during the National Anthem. The people who are citing the Tenth Amendment are forgetting the First Amendment, the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

Starting the bloodiest war to be fought on United States soil is not peaceably assembling. It should absolutely not be glorified to the point where “patriots” so proudly praise the concept of the Confederacy, as it went against the Constitution’s bidding, was absolutely anti-American, and blatantly dehumanized an entire demographic in the U.S.

So, why is it that “patriots” are so apt to support those who still fly the Confederate Flag, a symbol of treason, and to ridicule those who are exercising their First Amendment rights? The answer is plain and simple. Those who believe that displaying the Confederate Flag is patriotic while screaming about kneeling and disrespecting America are using “patriotism” to hide their racism.

So get rid of your confederate flag t-shirt, your bumper sticker, all of your memorabilia. Delete your pro-confederacy Facebook posts, stop crying over your lost statues, and quit shouting about the confederate flag’s symbolism for state’s rights. If you are in any way as much of a patriot as you say you are, you would understand exactly how unpatriotic flying the Confederate Flag is.