Last month, the debate over the public display of Confederate flags and monuments boiled over in Tucson, when city council member Lane Santa Cruz pushed the town to ban the Confederate flag, which had been carried by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, from the city’s annual Rodeo Parade. Mayor Regina Romero agreed, issuing a statement asserting that “the flag has no place in the rodeo parade or elsewhere in our community.”
To most Americans, Arizona seems as far from the battlefields of the American Civil War as one can get.
But it was in the first year of the Civil War that what we think of as Arizona came into being — as a Confederate territory. In fact, Confederate actions in the Far Western theater of the war reveal the extent to which the Confederate flag became a symbol of white supremacy and conquest.