Confederate Flag Flies in Europe and South America

The flag known for its ties to the Civil War has an impact abroad too.

Over the past 150 years, the Southern descendants have intermarried with Brazilians and the majority speak Portuguese but that hasn’t cut them off from their roots, as "most of them speak fluent English, some with a very noticeable southern drawl," Soodalter said.

Unsurprisingly, the image of the rebel flag is a regular sight at these events, festooned on t-shirts and cups as well as waved proudly in the air, Soodalter said.

The group, who call themselves Confederados, see the flag as a symbol of their homeland — the Confederate States of America — though the same cannot be said for the European soccer fans who have no direct connection to America, the United States or otherwise.

"In Italy it is used generally in the south to symbolize the defeat and the frustration of the south against a north which has, in their eyes taken wealth and political powers and moved it to the north and the capital city of Rome," Testa told ABC News. "It symbolizes Italy long running north and south divide."

That same theme could be applied to Ireland, a country who that has spent centuries fighting over religious and political differences that led to many battles and a formal division into two countries.

While jarring to see such an inherently American symbol in a bustling European football stadium or a field outside of Sao Paolo, it should come as no surprise that the flag’s meaning has been interpreted differently by different groups.

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