Epcot removes Confederate flag from hall at American Adventure

Posted Thursday, July 9, 2015 9:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney has removed a version of the Confederate banner from a flag display in Epcot's American Adventure. Disney acknowledged it took down the flag recently but would not comment further. The banner, which was among more than 40 displayed from throughout America's history, was the third flag of the Confederacy.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 9:17 AM
Jeff's avatar

This is a very different context I think, but I'm sure makes for an interesting debate. A lot of critics in favor of the SC statehouse flag worry about "rewriting history," but I think that's a total strawman argument in that context. That's about flying a flag as a sense of pride and identity, and seeing as how it's symbolically toxic, it has no place in that context. The Epcot exhibit, however, is contextually about history, if somewhat made into entertainment. I will say that the American Adventure show has always been a pretty fair overview of our history, not glossing over slavery, the persecution of Native Americans and some other darker moments in history. (I'm usually left wondering why we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.)


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Thursday, July 9, 2015 10:07 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Yeah, I think this falls into a different context, for sure. Unfortunately, the lines have blurred so much that context doesn't matter anymore, and it's become an all-or-nothing scenario.

For example, I really can't stand it when I see someone flying the rebel flag with clear intent of some kind of racism/slavery tie-in. Or "the south will rise again" scenario - but that's their choice as a person, and I can think they're a jackass without making it illegal.

I think it's gone too far when the Dukes of Hazzard was pulled from TV because of the car's paint job, or civil war reenactments not using confederate flags, or even civil war video games being pulled from app stores. Different context is key, and that is clearly something people are lacking understanding of.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, July 9, 2015 10:27 AM
rollergator's avatar

Exactly, extremely well-said, Josh.

Not sure why we can't accept that context plays a role. Then again, Marion County, between me and Disney, just voted UNANIMOUSLY to restore the Confederate flag to the front of a County building. So clearly, while there is some potential over-reaction from some (most notably private businesses) - there are some in government who are completely tone-deaf. The context of public vs. private decision-making is critical.

And no, no one has been imprisoned for saying anything...so the First Amendment arguments are hilariously, and yet somehow still sadly, off-base.

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, July 9, 2015 10:28 AM

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 12:48 PM

What is going on here is trying to erase all southern culture and history like it was after the civil war. We have gone too far on this for our own good. The protestor that got arrested for taking it down in SC was an paid outsider who didn't know the history behind the flag or even that the north still had slaves will after the civil war was over. Lincoln only freed the slaves in the south not the north. Most of the people who are protesting are outsiders who are stirring up trouble.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:00 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

What's going on here is businesses and governments acknowledging that the Confederate flag has very different meaning for the citizens of the various states. Some see it as a symbol of Southern culture and history. Others see it as the symbol of a nation of traitors who wanted to protect slavery. Finding the line between those two conflicting views* is going to take some time.

TV Land removing Dukes of Hazzard from its schedule, and Disney removing the flag from this display, strike me as over-reactions.

*I over-simplified here for clarity. Clearly the views people have of the Confederate flag are much more diverse.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:04 PM

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:12 PM

I agree slither. Just like Nascar telling it's fans not to bring the confederate flag to the races. They seems to forget that it was in the south that Nascar got it's start and should allow it to fly. The people who are coming in from outside the region don't understand the history of the flag and should leave it alone. As in the case of all the paid protestors. Many people don't care to know the history and do this crap out of a knee jerk reaction without actually thinking of what it will cost them in the long run.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:19 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Nascar, frankly, is telling fans not to bring the Confederate flag to races because Nascar knows where its bread is buttered, and that is making sure that a controversial symbol is not seen in an environment where they're trying to make money.

For the record, whenever and wherever I read things like "paid protestors" or "knee jerk reaction" or "people don't care" in these sorts of context, I go to the cupboard and take out a very large grain of salt. None of those are true, and you wanting to diminish the beliefs of those who disagree with you says more about you than them.


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-- Groucho Marx

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:41 PM
birdhombre's avatar

There's also the flip side of the "outsiders" notion: I'm always baffled whenever someone from Ohio tries to make the "Southern pride" claim about the Confederate flag flying proudly from their flagpole/truck/Facebook profile pic. Does the Mason-Dixon line go through Lake Erie now?

I get so tired of all those carpetbaggers comin' down from Put-In-Bay.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:48 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Speaking of Ohio...

During the Civil War, Confederate prisoners were held on Johnson's Island (close to the Marblehead Peninsula in Sandusky Bay), and the 24th Ohio Independent Battery was stationed at the tip of the Cedar Point peninsula to protect against possible Confederate attacks out of Canada.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:53 PM

I view this as an "err on the side of caution" type thing. Probably better to deal with it quietly yourself as a private business rather than risk a lengthy pulic battle over it in the near future.

Do I think the Confederate Flag has a place in history and in a historical context, one that could possibly represent a desire for states' rights over federal rights (which is a bogus claim when it comes to civil rights in the first place)? Absolutely. Unfortunately, there are very few people who are flying the Confederate Flag.

The Confederate BATTLE Flag, however, is the one that's causing all the kerfuffle. It is a flag that solely represents the battles that were fought in the name of slavery.

I think they both should be allowed on private property, but to have a government endorsement, simply by flying either one, should not be allowed. A private company should also have a right to fly one, just so I know not to patronize them.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 2:00 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Screamlord said:

What is going on here is trying to erase all southern culture and history like it was after the civil war. We have gone too far on this for our own good. The protestor that got arrested for taking it down in SC was an paid outsider who didn't know the history behind the flag or even that the north still had slaves will after the civil war was over. Lincoln only freed the slaves in the south not the north. Most of the people who are protesting are outsiders who are stirring up trouble.

Citations? (And blogs don't count)


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Thursday, July 9, 2015 2:06 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

But... but... I only read blogs that support my beliefs! Facts have a liberal bias!


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 2:43 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I was going to post a picture of Alex Jones at a computer and say it was Screamlord, but in searching for it, I got wrapped up in some articles and sites that claim AJ is really Bill Hicks (who supposedly faked his own death to emerge as Alex Jones) - so now I got sucked into that conspiracy and my mission went out the window.

Some of these sites are really convincing. I can see how/why people fall for this crap.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, July 9, 2015 2:45 PM
rollergator's avatar

AFAIK, Ms. Newsome wasn't paid, she volunteered to take the flag down.

NASCAR knows the fan-base expansion they need/want involves getting people from outside the South to pick a favorite driver and sit down with a six-pack to watch a bunch of left turns (I'm also oversimplifying). Not unlike Wal*Mart, also born in the South, but wants to expand its reach (can it really grow any more?). The businesses have made decisions they believe to be in the best interests of their owners...has little or nothing to do with "beliefs" - other than the Gordon Gekko "greed is good" credo.

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, July 9, 2015 2:45 PM

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 5:02 PM
Jeff's avatar

Screamlord said:

What is going on here is trying to erase all southern culture and history like it was after the civil war.

I find this argument to be wholly ridiculous. No one is trying to erase anything. It belongs in a museum as a part of history, but if you choose to fly it as a symbol of pride, it only makes you an insensitive jerk.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 7:46 PM

Screamlord said:

The people who are coming in from outside the region don't understand the history of the flag and should leave it alone.

Ne pas, mai, non, nyet, or in the local parlance, aw Hell no. That flag, the one rednecks fly at NASCAR events, and the one that is part of some southern states' flag has a very distinct history. It came to prominence in the 1960's as a big middle finger to the Federal Government for meddling in the Jim Crow world of the South.

It's like those pesky Yankee's coming in from outside the region back in the 1860's and not understanding that "peculiar institution" (that's snark by the way). For you to say otherwise, makes you more than an insensitive jerk.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, July 9, 2015 8:02 PM
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Thursday, July 9, 2015 8:08 PM
OhioStater's avatar

I think this is nothing more than Disney wanting to distance itself in every way possible from something that the public seems to overwhelmingly find repugnant, given our current social context and the debate raging over peoples' Facebook feeds everywhere. I don't think this is as much of a moral statement by Disney as it is a business one. "Is it right?" Well, that depends on how much one actually views Epcot as a sort of living museum (which is the best place for these flags in my opinion). My guess is that they don't want even one protest happening near the display for any reason and are being proactive.

I don't agree with tourist they interviewed at all, however. Displaying and discussing history is not promoting anything. That said, Epcot is not exactly a museum (although this particular display may be considered one in part), it's a business.

Perhaps they're preparing to wrap the Bill Cosby statue in the flag and ignite them both in flames during an upcoming Illuminations display.

Last edited by OhioStater, Thursday, July 9, 2015 8:42 PM
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Thursday, July 9, 2015 8:30 PM
bjames's avatar

Critics of the Confederate Flag have repeatedly stated that it belongs in a museum. Is this not what this attraction basically is? Disney is stupid. How can you talk about American history without talking about the confederacy? What is this, post-Nazi Germany?

Last edited by bjames, Thursday, July 9, 2015 8:33 PM

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Thursday, July 9, 2015 8:53 PM
Jeff's avatar

I wouldn't go as far as calling it a museum. The adjacent Kinsey Collection exhibit, featuring artifacts of African-American advancement, is a museum piece. The American Adventure in the larger context is more entertainment than anything else. The hall with the flags, contextually, is more about the sense of pride in the nation's persistence and advancement, and in that sense, the flag is probably not appropriate. Regardless, I don't think Disney cares one way or another about the moral implications, and would rather just stay away from it.

And your comparison to post-Nazi Germany is completely ridiculous. I don't think that there's any chance that the Germans' law against displaying Nazi symbols is going to rewrite history or cause anyone to forget that the Nazis existed, let alone killed six million people. Similarly, I don't think anyone is going to forget there was slavery. God knows we can't forget racism is a thing, since it's still very real today.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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