When rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, photographer Saul Loeb managed to summarize the dark historical context of the siege in a single image.His photo shows a Trump supporter standing in front of two portraits of civil war figures in the rotunda of the Capitol waving a Confederate flag

To the right of the man is a portrait of Charles Sumner, a former Massachusetts senator who protested slavery. To his left is a portrait of John C. Calhoun, the seventh Vice President of the United States, was a staunch defender of slavery and the chief architect of succession during the Civil War

The proximity of the two portraits is reminiscent of the rift in US civil society in the 1860s – and of the recent divide that widened in the run-up to and in response to the 2020 elections

“What fascinates me about this juxtaposition is its connection to violence, because of course [Sumner] was a victim of violence in the Capitol when he was attacked for delivering a slavery speech,” said Judith Giesberg, a civil war historian at Villanova University, Business Insider told “This image should remind us that there have been violent political confrontations in Congress in the past”

Congress held a joint session Wednesday to oversee the vote counting at around the same time, thousands of Trump supporters gathered in downtown Washington, DC to oppose the confirmation of President-elect Joe’s victory Biden to protest

Trump urged his followers to go to the Capitol, and during Congress, rioters stormed the Capitol, forcing the House and Senate to abruptly take hiatus Legislators, Hill staff and reporters took shelter in their offices before They were evacuated The protesters sat in Vice President Mike Pence’s chair in the Senate Chamber, destroyed the offices of Congress and looted items such as podiums from the building

Several police officers were injured in the violence and evacuated from the Capitol A woman was shot dead in a dispute with law enforcement and later died, MSNBC’s Pete Williams reportedAt 30 p.m. local time, the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives announced that the Capitol had been secured

The Confederate flag was created during the Civil War as the battle flag for the slave-friendly Confederation, but historians say its importance as a political symbol in the 20th During the entire Civil War from 1861 to 1865, the Confederate flag never entered the U.S. Capitol

“The importance of the flag during the civil war was greatly overestimated,” said Giesberg. “We have projected our experiences backwards”

For a multitude of Americans today, the Confederate flag publicly stands for racism in general, according to a January 2020 YouGov poll It is also a common sight at rallies for President Donald Trump, who has defended the people’s choices to hoist

Giesberg said there was a deep irony behind the rioter who wore the Confederate flag in front of Sumner’s portrait

“It is remarkable to see how [Sumner] is contrasted with this person who represents what he was most offended by and what he was against,” she said

All the more ironic, she added, is the fact that Calhoun’s portrait is hanging on his left

“Calhoun is perfect in many ways because this is a man who was no stranger to betrayal,” said Giesberg. “He had probably done more than anyone in the country to rehearse the events that were starting November 1860 would lead to his successor “

In July, the House voted to pass laws to remove statues of Confederate figures, including Calhoun, from the Capitol

The decision was in part a continuation of Sumner’s legacy.In 1865, the abolitionist suggested that paintings hanging in the Capitol should not depict scenes from the Civil War.In particular, he rejected a bust of Chief Justice Roger B Taney, who ruled in 1857 that African-Americans shouldn’t could be considered as citizens

Sumner “was certainly a vocal and determined abolitionist”, said Giesberg “He was uncompromising in his criticism of slavery and in the end he paid a very high price for it”

Confederate Flag

World News – UK – A harrowing photo shows a Trump supporter wearing a Confederate flag in the US Capitol, flanked by portraits of civil war figures

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/photo-trump-supporter-riot-confederate-flag-us-capitol-2021-1