But even if America is successful in obliterating the Confederate flag, it will not disappear off the face of the Earth. That’s because the American-born flag has found a home in several other places around the world — some of which are well aware of the negative connotation the flag holds.
Here are some of those places:
Italians in the south of Italy and Americans in the American South view the Confederate flag in a very similar way, according to the Washington Post. Southern Italians, inspired by the Civil War, adopted the Confederate flag as a sign of rebellion around the time they were absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
“We too are a defeated people,” an unnamed professor in Naples said, according to the Post. “Once we were a rich and independent country, and then they came from the North and conquered us and took our wealth and power away to Rome.”
In post-Civil War America, thousands of Southerners fled the country and headed to Brazil, enticed by the Brazilian government’s offer of land grants. Slavery was also still legal in Brazil at the time.
Roughly 150 years later, that mass emigration is evident in an annual Dixie-themed festival in Brazil’s southeastern Sao Paulo state. The festival draws thousands of Brazilians who trace their ancestry back to the American South, according to the Guardian.
The Guardian said that the Brazilians, many of whom are of mixed race, do not view the Confederate flag in a negative way.
“To me it’s a positive symbol of my heritage,” Keila Padovese Armelin, a festival attendee, told the Guardian. “For us, it doesn’t have a negative connotation at all.”
In a central part of Sweden called Dalarna, people love American kitsch. This Swedish sub-culture called “raggare” has a fascination with 1950s American pop-culture.
As the Washington Post reported in 2013, in Dalarna “men strut around in cowboy hats and leather boots. American flags flutter outside family homes, and posters advertise hamburger bars and 1950s nostalgia markets.”
The Post says in Sweden — void of any political context — the Confederate flag represents another piece of Americana.
In Germany, the Confederate flag is not void of political context. European skinheads and neo-Nazi groups have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical context as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.
In addition, the Atlantic reports that American Civil War reenactments have become popular in Germany, with many Germans choosing to side with the Confederacy.
Wolfgang Hochbruck, a professor of American Studies at the University of Freiburg, told the Atlantic this is because “some of the Confederate reenactors in Germany are acting out Nazi fantasies of racial superiority.”
In Northern Ireland, the Red Hand Defenders, an extremist protestant paramilitary group, march with the Confederate flag. According to theWashington Post,they do this because many Confederate soldiers were from Ulster — a part of Northern Ireland. One such famous example is the Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.
During the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatistshave taken up a variation of the Confederate flag as a symbol of their own movement. It is called the flag of Novorossiya or “New Russia” and it bears a striking resemblance to the flag of the American south.
However, the founder of the flag asserts this similarity is purely coincidental. He told Slate he found the design for the flag “online somewhere”.