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Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino: Confederate flag is the American swastika

The director has ripped into America’s racist past, saying it’s ‘about damn time’ people questioned it

Quentin Tarantino has never been one to shy away from controversy. The Hateful Eight director, who has already ripped into Ava DuVernay, police brutality and Disney in the last 12 months, has hit headlines once again this week – only this time its the entire American Confederacy that’s in the firing line.

Speaking in a new interview with The Telegraph, the director has shut down the secessionist states of the US south – comparing their Confederate flag to an “American swastika”, and adding that it was “about damn time” that people began to question it.

“All of a sudden, people started talking about the Confederacy in America in a way they haven't before,” he told the paper. “I mean, I've always felt the Rebel flag was some American swastika... And people are starting to question about stuff like statues of Bedford Forrest (the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan member) in parks. Well, it's about damn time, if you ask me.” 

The Confederate flag has long been a sticking point for many US citizens. Used as a uniter for the seven southern “slave” states, it’s supposed to be a proud mark of the Old South’s heritage. However, given the brutality and bloodshed of the slavetrade, many now view it as a flagrant hate symbol, or a way of promoting old racist values. 

In the same interview, the director also addressed the incident where he “shut down” Channel 4 News' Krishnan Guru-Murthy in 2013. The presenter had suggested a link between violence in films and the violence in real life, which eventually led to Tarantino to walking out of the interview.

“In the last 25 years, when it comes to industrial societies, hands down the most violent cinema that exists in any one country is Japan,” he added. “Sometimes grotesquely so. And as we all know, they have the least violent society of all. It's just right there.”