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Conference Material

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Department 1



Few towns in the United States can claim to be as in touch with its Civil War history as Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As the site of one of the war’s most significant battles, Gettysburg today lives and breathes the Civil War every day through the historical tourism that Gettysburg National Military Park encourages, which itself has bred a Civil War merchandise economy in the town itself. As such, the town naturally becomes a new battleground for contemporary issues regarding the memory of the Civil War—including, most significantly, the interpretation and presentation of the Confederate battle flag. As the nation passed the 150th anniversary of the war itself, reigniting discussion on its purpose and legacy, controversies flared nationally and locally on display of the Confederate battle flag and its meaning as a symbol of racial hatred or southern heritage. During the summer of 2016, 11 members of the Gettysburg community with a stake in these discussions were interviewed on their thoughts and feelings towards the Confederate flag.


This project was conducted as part of the author's Robert Sibley Cooper Fellowship with the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College during the summer of 2016, and later presented at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Historical Association on October 8, 2016.

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