Confederate Flag Flies Over Tampa

Freedom. A loaded word that lets us act according to our own wills, even at the expense of trapping others. It’s freedom that lets us speak our minds without censorship, and it’s freedom that allows a group in Tampa to fly a confederate flag at the intersection of interstates 75 and 4. Towering over Tampa, the city’s second largest flag will fly above the intersection of wrong and right, black and white, progression and regression.

On the day the “southern heritage” flag was raised, cars drove by below. Passerby stopped and stared. Occasional truck drivers honked their horns and gave a thumbs-up sign, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported. A reminder of what so many tried for so long to forget, standing tall with pride for all to see. “Welcome to my city,” the flag will boldly say when it’s raised again, forgetting that this city belongs to not one group, but many. A few miles south on 275, an American flag already blows. “Welcome to our city” it says.

The unwelcoming flag is the antithesis of freedom for black men and women, and yet it is because of freedom that the flag can fly. For all the progress that has been made, for all the acceptance that has been gained, many wonder why some still want to fly flags like this. At the intersection of southern heritage gone wrong, confederacy detours us from the freedom that so many fought so hard to gain. No doubt, the city’s confederate flag has already torn and divided people, but what has been torn by freedom can be mended by freedom.

Some suggest that the way to respond to the flag’s presence is to challenge its dominance by erecting Old Glory above it. You can read more of the ongoing discussion about this idea here.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

One thought on “Confederate Flag Flies Over Tampa

  1. As one race was “released” from slavery, the southern white was placed under the Federal yoke, their freedoms crushed, their way of life changed forever.
    As borders, traditions, law, etc., are blurred and distorted by a “world view”, many Americans fear the loss of what it is that does make us great, namely our freedoms, nationality and the documents and laws within that does this.
    This is what drives those who were chastised in San Francisco for “clinging to their guns and religion” by the Marxist left point man. The reaction about this flag, both sides, and the reactions to come, are born from the unsteadiness of not knowing where we are going on that dark path.

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