New York Bans Display of Confederate Flag, Hate Symbols on State Property

The Confederate flag, swastikas and other ‘hate symbols’ have been banned at state-owned public property and events such as state fairs in New York after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new bill into law.

Cuomo signed a bill into law Tuesday that prohibits the sale or display of hate symbols on state-owned public property or events, such as state fairs.

The law went into effect immediately, which specifically defines the term “symbol of hate” to be “symbols of white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideology or the Battle Flag of the Confederacy.”

“The Confederate Flag is a symbol of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence towards African Americans,” the law’s language said. “Its public display is designed only to instill fear, intimidation and a direct threat of violence towards others.”

New York is the latest state to make changes in the area of “social justice” following the death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis in May, sparking a wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. A growing number of states, and organizations have approved the removal of Confederate-related paraphernalia from public display.

New York’s law does allow for some exceptions for displaying such controversial symbols, such as in an appropriate educational or historical context. “If the hate symbol appears in “a book, digital medium, museum or serves an educational or historical purpose,” it would be allowed to be on display in the state property or state-sponsored event,” according to the legislation.

“Symbols of hate have no place in our society, let alone on state property,” said Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation.

“With the signing of my bill, we are drawing a clear line in the sand. By limiting hateful symbols from being glorified on state property, New York will denounce images that represent violence while still acknowledging our nation’s shameful history of oppression. This bill allows New York State to lead by example, and discourage the perpetuation of symbols that do not represent our values of justice and inclusion. Today we say no to hate,” she said in a statement.


About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by John Paraskevas/Newsday via Getty Images)

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