State Watch

30-foot Confederate flag raised over NC highway for holiday weekend

A giant 20-by-30-foot Confederate flag was raised along a busy highway in North Carolina this weekend to mark the Fourth of July, and, despite some complaints, local officials say there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Local network WSOCTV reports that the Sons of Confederate Veterans raised the flag on Friday on an 80-foot pole along Interstate 40. It marks one of several Confederate flags that have been raised in the area after Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced in June that all Confederate monuments on state Capitol property would be removed.

“The Sons of Confederate Veterans, we’re trying to replace the statue with flags, and we try to put them on the interstate so more people can see it,” Elgie McGalliard told the local station. “Take down our statues, and we’re going to put up a flag somewhere along the major interstates in North Carolina.”

The group said it was raising the large flag to mark the Fourth of July weekend and the heritage of its members.

Some have already complained about the flags, but officials say they are on private property and there are no ordinances against it.

“I’ve had numerous contacts from people saying they wouldn’t do business in town because of that flag,” nearby Hildebran Mayor Wendell Hildebrand told WSOCTV.

He added that the $800 used to make the flag could have been “better used to help veterans.”

The action comes as Confederate monuments and statues have been taken down in cities nationwide and as the flag has been banned from Defense Department properties and NASCAR tracks in response to nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. 
Lawmakers are also grappling with what to do about monuments and statues of such figures, with a renewed debate sparked over statues in the Capitol. President Trump has condemned the removal of statues and has announced a new executive order to punish those who vandalize monuments. 
The executive order, which Trump detailed during a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, establishes the Task Force for Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes. 
Tags Confederate flag Donald Trump Highway North Carolina
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