US & Canada

Confederate flags spotted outside the US

Santa Barbara D'Oeste in Brazil Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The flag rises in Santa Barbara D'Oeste, Brazil

A backlash against the Confederate flag in the US has gathered pace, with its removal from state properties and off the shelves of retailers. But it is also seen flying in other parts of the world.

To its opponents, the battle flag used by Southern states in the American Civil War is a symbol of slavery but to its supporters it is part of southern heritage.

It is also seen outside the US. In the rural Brazilian town of Santa Barbara D'Oeste, descendants of Confederates that fled to Brazil hold an annual reunion at which the flag plays a central part.

Readers have been getting in touch to say where else they have seen it displayed.


ITALY

I have seen it at Napoli football matches in Italy. I was told by one supporter that they liked the colours and the rebellious symbolism it carried in Italy where the South and North still have a rivalry. It goes beyond football. Gustavo M Lanata, Italy

CYPRUS

When I visited Protaras, Cyprus, in 2004 the main strip along the beach was lined with Confederate flags. One of the oddest things I've come across. No one there seemed to know the flag's history or even what country it was from. Locals and UK tourists both assumed it of Scottish origin given the angles of the "X". The flag was everywhere and no one knew what it meant (the desired reunification of Cyprus or pre-war attempt to merge with Greece don't seem to match the rebellion theme, though I assumed it perhaps started as some protest flag). Pete Bullwinkel, New York

CROATIA

The southern coastal region of Croatia is referred to as Dalmatia and I have seen the Confederate battle flag on buildings there. I was told by a Croatian that the coastal region associates this symbol with being from the southern portion of the country and distinguishes them from the mountainous regions to the north around the capita of Zagreb. Clint Hodges, Split, Croatia

UK

Every year, the town of Millport in North Ayrshire, Scotland, holds a country and western festival and the little island is covered in Confederate flags. Emma Morgan, Belfast

Image copyright Emma Morgan

While campaigning in the most recent UK general election, I saw a man proudly displaying the Confederate flag in the front window of his Battersea, London, flat. As an American living in London, I was surprised to see that flag so I asked him what he thought it represented, and he replied that he flies that flag because he's "a rebel", and that's the "rebel" flag. Ben, London

I fly the North Virginia battle flag in my back garden. It is not a racist flag, it is now only a symbol of the South. My forebears fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and I celebrate that. Britain still flies the Union flag after years of historical slavery abroad and many atrocities. D Fortesque, Market Drayton, UK

LUXEMBOURG

I live in Luxembourg now (moved from the USA) and I was shocked to come across several houses flying the Confederate flag in some villages here. I never had the chance to ask the people who lived at the house what it meant to them, but for me it has instant connotations of racism and hatred. It saddened me to see it here. Ann, Luxembourg

UAE

I have seen the Confederate flag being waved around the UAE while I was growing up in Dubai. There were many cars and trucks, usually owned and operated by rich wealthy Emiratis who would post the Confederate flag all over their cars and on top of their pick-ups. And just drive around waving the flags around town. It never made much sense to me there and interestingly enough it appeared to have a cultural connection to their love of cars, especially brute American muscle power cars. Very strange. Tiago Niles, Sao Paulo

Image copyright Emma Morgan

PORTUGAL

The Confederate flag is often flown by some football fans groups related to Benfica and sometimes Sporting Lisbon. It is customised to include the crest of the group in matter or in all green tones (in the case of sporting). It not apparent that the fans know what the flag stands for in the US, a lot of the Benfica fans who carry it are black. They find the design to be nice. Pedro Borja, Lisbon

CANADA

I live in western Canada and there are lots of this type of flag on many vehicles especially pick-up trucks. I see them on windows and front lawns. As an African immigrant, I understand the racist nature of this flag but it seems not everyone understands the fear or the flag's past usage as weapon to subjugate black people. Abdul Haji, Edmonton, Canada

SPAIN

I am Italian and live in Spain, but I have a heritage from Alabama. I wear a Confederate flag on my waistcoat not because of any political or racial meaning, but just because it was my grandmother's mother's land. Jack Fluck, Madrid

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