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The HNBA Calls for the Removal of the Confederate Flag from Our Public Spaces

Our nation continues to grapple with defining and implementing the actions required to help us achieve a more perfect union. The debate continues, between those who claim a simple celebration of their heritage and those whose very reality under said heritage was, and in too many instances still is, one that did not uphold our best ideals: equality and justice for all.

Tragic moments in our history can bring our collective consciousness into focus. Such instances have and must propel us to challenge and to change the status quo. The four little girls that died in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama come to mind—a pivotal point in our Civil Rights struggle. And now the senseless killing of nine people at another house of worship (the historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina) remind us, once again, that we must speak up and take action to eradicate the mindset that feeds those like Dylann Roof.

The Hispanic National Bar Association’s work and mission include being a voice against injustice and inequality; thus, we call on U.S. public officials everywhere to do the right thing. It is time to acknowledge the power of our cultural symbols and to remove from our public spaces those symbols tainted by a philosophy and history of oppression and racism against a significant portion of our citizenry.

However, we must remain cognizant that removing the Confederate flag and its variations from state-sanctioned emblems, not only in South Carolina but in all other states where government has adopted the multiple faces of this symbol of hate (including in state issued license plates) is only one of the steps needed to finally heal the wounds of our racially-fractured history. 

Cynthia D. Mares
HNBA National President
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About the Hispanic National Bar Association
The Hispanic National Bar Association is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership association that represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, law students, and legal professionals in the United States and its territories. Since 1972, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession by creating opportunities for Hispanic lawyers and by helping generations of lawyers to succeed. The HNBA has also effectively advocated on issues of importance to the national Hispanic community. While we are proud of our accomplishments, we are mindful that our mission is as vital today as it was four decades ago, especially as the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow. For more information, please visit


HNBA Annual Convention
Sept. 2-5, 2015
Boston, MA

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