Confederate Flag Debate Drives Into Fredericksburg

Large flag flying over Interstate 95 in nearby Stafford County.

A new reminder of the Confederate South appeared along Interstate 95 last weekend. The Virginia Flaggers raised a large Confederate battle flag on private land in Stafford County near Fredericksburg.

Flaggers spokesman Barry Isenhour told ABC8 that, "Virginia has forgotten the Confederate soldier."

The flag is supposed to be in honor of Confederate soldiers who fought in battles in the Fredericksburg area.

Jennifer McClellan, co-chair of the state’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, told Reuters the group has the right to fly the Confederate flag, but it has been used as an oppressive symbol against African-Americans.

The Virginia Flaggers told CBS6 that they have offers from across the state to fly similar Confederate flags.

It's not the only Confederate Flag controversy this week. Military college The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., risks losing nearly $1 million in local funding if it does not remove a Confederate flag hanging in the school's chapel.

Steve Wright June 04, 2014 at 01:54 PM
Again southern heritage is expected to bow to the black Americans for displaying the Confederate flag. If black Americans would educate themselves on the purpose of the Civil War, they would at the very least understand it wasn't about slavery. The irony of this being, while yes they were called slaves in the South, it was referred as Indentured Servitude in the North. If they want the flag removed , then it's only fair they acknowledge there's nothing African about them and simply be Americans. After all isn't that who we are?
RGS June 04, 2014 at 07:12 PM
The confederate flag is also a symbol of the conflict between the North and South. Even today when a "northerner" travels to parts of the south, there are people that still feel a conflict continues. They harass, bully and abuse people. I have been on the receiving end, in various Southern states including Va. All in the name of the confederate south. The flag is still a symbol of the what some southerners see as a lifestyle they want to reclaim at the expense of others. It is for that purpose that it makes flying the confederate flag so reprehensible.
Andrew C. Yancey June 05, 2014 at 08:47 AM
That battle flag, even though it has a proud history, sends an unwelcomed and offensive signal to all passing it on I-95, that racism is still alive in the Commonwealth in 2014. Its co-option by various groups to stir up hate and racial predjudicies is reprehensible and offensive to me as a citizen of these United States and Virginia. I urge repudiation and rejection of those groups that seek to surpress the legitimate aspirations, hopes, and dreams of Americas' minority populations protected by the US Constitution, who hide behind this flag! Shame on them!
Steve Wright June 05, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Andrew: The Confederate Flag is not Battle Flag, it represented the southern states that formed their own "nation" and including their own Constitution. No different than the current flag of our country. The Civil War, although slavery was an issue, was not fought on those grounds. States Rights, Taxation, Trade and the attempts of the Federal government to persuade other countries like France & Spain to cease trade with the South and/or levy Tariffs so high, it would crush the South economically. The overwhelming number of citizens did not own slaves and wasn't even a thought, why they were at war with he North. Slavery is reprehensible, but so is the herding and stripping the American Indian of their land, rights and traditions. Which by the way, was conducted by the "Union" government.
Wildermann June 08, 2014 at 08:45 AM
Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin signed into law House Bill No. 98, which incorporated the Confederate battle flag into the state flag in 1956. Governor Griffin was quoted that year saying, “There will be no mixing of the races in the public schools and college classrooms of Georgia anywhere or at any time as long as I am governor.” These actions continue to send a clear message of what the Confederate flag meant and still means to many Southerners. In the 1960s, both support and opposition of the Confederate flag grew. Civil rights activists carried the American flag to remind people of the ideals of freedom and equality. Segregationists flew the Confederate flag to defend the “Southern way of life.” The notion that this is a representation of any way of life is a problem in the eyes of many Americans. Even today, the symbol continues to be used in a negative manner. There is no denying that this symbol is something that will probably remain prevalent in the south. However, calling it a point of pride continues to suggest to many, that those flying this flag find pride in its history which today, the majority of Americans can no longer support. It is past time for this flag to be retired for good.


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