Date of Publication


Degree Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. John Daly, Associate Professor, History


During the American Civil War, the southern states declared themselves an independent nation called the Confederate States of America. After the Civil War ended, the Confederacy was reabsorbed into the United States. However, its memory and icons continued to be perceived separately. The current debate over whether Confederate icons, such as the so-called "Confederate Flag," Robert E. Lee, and Nathan Bedford Forrest, should be considered symbols of heritage or of hate reflects the controversial nature of Confederate Memory. However, the true history of these Confederate icons is lost in the modern debate, especially among those espousing the heritage position. If one examines the history behind these icons, one will find that they are truly symbols of racism hiding under a thin veneer of "heritage."