As part of his “Yeezus” tour, Kanye West is reportedly selling merchandise that features the United States of America’s Confederate flag.
The flag has been a controversial symbol due to its history.
Reverend Al Sharpton, a politician, activist and reverend, recently discussed the symbolism of the flag in a Huffington Post editorial criticizing a man who waved the Confederate flag outside of the United States’ White House.
“Often times, people like to falsely believe that the Confederate flag is somehow not offensive,” Sharpton wrote. “As Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Posthighlighted in his recent piece, it’s akin to placing a swastika somewhere. The Confederate flag symbolizes dehumanization, injustice and pain. It is a stark reminder of an era in our history that was defined by the abhorrent practice of slavery. And it is representative of a mentality that looked upon Blacks as inferiors who needed to remain in the shackles of subservience. If you don’t believe me, ask family members of those that were beaten, castrated and lynched under the guise of that Confederate flag. For a person to boastfully wave that flag in front of the White House is beyond reprehensible.”
David Goldfield, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the author of the book “Still Fighting the Civil War,” spoke with Huffington Post regarding the flag’s symbolic nature in March.
“The history of the Confederate battle flag, how it was designed and formulated, how it has been used through the years, clearly states that it is a flag of white supremacy,” Goldfield said in an article discussing the flag’s use. “I know current Sons of Confederate Veterans would dispute that, saying `Hey, I’m not a racist.’ But the fact remains that the battle flag was used by a country that had as its foundation the protection and extension of human bondage.”
Rappers have often spoken against the Confederate flag.
On “Doo Rags,” Nas discusses his distaste for the flag.
“Confederate flags I burn,” Nas says on the track.
Nas also spoke about the flag on “Testify.”
“I’m loading tips in my mag,” Nas rapped on the selection. “To send these redneck bigots to death in a bag / Choke him out with his Confederate flag.”
On “Georgia…Bush,” Lil Wayne also references the flag.
“When you see them Confederate flags, you know what it is,” Wayne raps. “A White cracker mothafucker that probably voted for [President George Bush].”
Immortal Technique has also rapped about the flag on “Crossing the Boundary.”
“Burn Trent Lott wrapped in his Confederate flag,” Technique rhymed on the song.
MJG featured a Confederate flag in flames in its cover art for 1997’s No More Glory.
Images of West’s merchandise can be viewed below, as seen on Hip-Hop Wired.