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Plurality of voters think Confederate flag stands for 'Southern pride': poll

Plurality of voters think Confederate flag stands for 'Southern pride': poll
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A plurality of voters believe that the Confederate flag stands for “Southern pride,” according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Morning Consult poll found that 43 percent of voters consider the Confederate flag to symbolize Southern pride. A total of 39 percent said the flag represents racism — a record high for Morning Consult. Eighteen percent of all voters said they don’t know or have no opinion on the flag.

The poll shows a slight increase from last month’s 36 percent of people who considered the flag to represent racism. 

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A majority of Republicans in the July poll consider the Confederate flag to symbolize Southern pride at 74 percent, compared to 12 percent who said it stands for racism. 

A total of 19 percent of Democrats agreed that the flag represents Southern pride, while 66 percent said it symbolizes racism. Last month, 26 percent of Democrats considered it a symbol of Southern pride and 58 percent said it represented racism. 

Independents were split with 38 percent saying the flag signified Southern pride, 35 percent saying it represented racism and 27 percent saying they didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.

A June 2015 poll shows that opinions on the flag have shifted more for Democrats than Republicans. 

In 2015, 36 percent of Democrats said the flag represents Southern pride, and 52 percent said it stands for racism. Among Republicans, 70 percent considered the flag a symbol of Southern pride and 18 percent said it represented racism.

The Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,991 registered voters between July 17 and 19. It calculated a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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The poll was taken after President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE criticized NASCAR’s decision to forbid Confederate flags from being flown at its races. Trump said he saw the flag as representing “freedom of speech.”

Debate over the flag came to center stage as protests broke out across the country calling for racial justice after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody.

Mississippi officially retired its state flag that included an emblem of the Confederate flag late last month. The Pentagon also banned the display of the flag in an announcement last week.