The controversy over Civil War symbols is focused on the “rebel flag”

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and statues of Confederate generals.

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Those who want to protect these symbols claim they represent the cultural heritage of the American South.

The fact is that the flag popularized today is only an abbreviated form of the official flag of the Confederate States of America.

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And none of the statues existed during the short, violent life of the CSA (February, 1861 — April, 1865).

In fact, most were erected from 1890 to as recent as 2010.

REAL SYMBOLS OF THE SOUTHERN HERITAGE

For those who want to preserve the true heritage of the Antebellum South, there are plenty of architectural monuments and artistic imagery to choose from.

The elegant homes of the plantation owners.

The adjacent hovels that housed their enslaved workers.

And of course, art works and monuments depicting the cruelties inherent in an economy based on slave labor.

Part of a statue at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama, a new memorial to honor the thousands of people killed in racist lynchings. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)