New York Passes Regulation Banning Accomplice Flags and Hate Symbols for Sale on State Property
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Tuesday banning the sale of symbols of hatred on state property.
According to ABC News, the law specifically describes hate symbols as “symbols of white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideology or the Confederacy’s flag of battle”. The law provides for certain exceptions. If the images serve an “educational or historical purpose,” they may continue to be displayed on state property. If a seller tries to sell a Confederate flag, say the state fair, that’s a no-no.
In the language of the law, the Confederate Battle flag is specifically referred to as “a symbol of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence against African American people”.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who introduced the bill, released a statement celebrating the passage of the bill. “This bill allows New York State to lead by example and prevent the maintenance of symbols that do not represent our values of justice and inclusion,” she wrote.
“Today we say no to hate.”
I can’t lie, when I come across stories like this I can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable. Sure, that’s a nice touch, but it’s so small. Nothing prevented New York or any state that had taken similar action from doing so before. If you read this story, you are sure to come across the oft-repeated refrain of “After the Death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery” all year round.
That is where my discomfort lies.
It’s so easy to exclaim racism and say, “Hey! This is racist! Do not do that. “Let’s take it easy, we’ve been calling for laws banning Confederate flags and dismantling Confederate flags for years. Why did it take so much death, such terrible death, to get local governments to just do the bare minimum?
Sorry for taking Debbie Downer right there.
However, according to Hill, the law is effective immediately, and Governor Cuomo has said that he is “the spirit of [the] Legislation, ”he believes,“ engineering changes ”may be needed to ensure that certain initial customization rights are not violated.