Why some Americans want the Confederate battle flag taken down

Last updated at 11:43
Protestors marching to try to have the flag taken down.Reuters
People have been protesting against the use of the Confederate battle flag and want it taken down.

Lots of people across America are campaigning for a flag to be taken down because they say it could be viewed as a racist symbol.

The Confederate battle flag is flown in front of some official buildings in parts of the US.

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The Confederate battle flag in 60 seconds

It's not the country's national flag, but was used by some states during America's civil war 150 years ago.

The Confederate battle flag is in the news because it was used by the man the authorities think killed nine black people in a racist attack in South Carolina.

Now campaigners there and in some other states say the flag should no longer be flown.

You can find out more about protests claiming black people aren't treated as fairly as white people in the US in Ricky's Newsround Special on Growing Up Black in America.

Woman holding the American flagReuters
This is the official American flag. Campaigners say there's no need for the Confederate battle flag to be flown.

What is the Confederate battle flag?

About 150 years ago a group of states in the south of the USA broke away from the rest of the country because they wanted to keep slavery going.

They used the Confederate flag as their symbol in the war that followed.

They lost that war and slavery was ended.

Confederate flag outside the State House building in South CarolinaEPA
Over 150 years after the American Civil War the flag is still flown in public in the south of the USA.

A symbol of history or racism?

Many people in the USA think the flag is a symbol of racism because the states which created it wanted the slavery of black people to keep going.

The Confederate battle flag being sold in shops.Danny Johnston
Some online shops have stopped selling the flag.

Politicians now say that it's time to put the Confederate battle flag away.

President Obama says that it only "belongs in a museum".

But other people, particularly some of those who live in the south of the USA, say that the flag isn't racist, but is part of their history.