Even the Museum of the Confederacy/American Civil War Museum gets it. The Confederate battle flag is a toxic symbol that ought to be displayed exclusively in a setting where it can be properly interpreted. You will not find battle flags welcoming visitors at its branches in Richmond or at Appomattox. And as far as I have seen, you will not find the battle flag on its logo and other advertisements.
The producers of Destination DC – a visitors guide for the nation’s capital that features ads for many area historic sites – recently dropped the National Museum of Civil War Museum because of its logo, which features the Confederate battle flag.
Danielle Davis, director of communications for Destination DC, sent an emailed statement on behalf of Elliott Ferguson, the organization’s president and CEO. ‘We are constantly evaluating how best to promote Washington, D.C., for visitors and have decided not to include images that can be considered controversial, which includes the confederate flag and weapons,’ the email stated. ‘We certainly recognize that the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is a place to learn about American history and we are willing to promote the museum without the confederate flag imagery in our publications.’
The museum maintains that the logo is appropriate and accurately conveys its mission. I have no doubt that they do, but that is not the issue. The issue is whether the publisher has a reason to be concerned about how its readers will interpret the ad. Given recent events I believe that the publisher has every reason to be concerned with how such a symbol will be interpreted by potential visitors to the D.C. area.
Given the current climate surrounding the display of the battle flag, the burden is on the museum to ensure that its mission remains clear as does that of the publisher of this magazine, which hopes to market the D.C. area to as broad a demographic as possible. This logo could easily be changed without sacrificing the museum’s mission. How about two bandaged Civil War soldiers?
Like I said up top, even the Museum of the Confederacy gets it.