UPDATE: Battle brewing over Confederate flag at local cemetery
By: Nate Morabito
October 10, 2011
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. —
A version of the Confederate flag is now flying over an Elizabethton cemetery.
Since our story about the controversy at Green Hill Cemetery aired last night, a flag went up. It’s unclear who raised the flag.
As we told you yesterday, the Sons of Confederate Veterans planned on dedicating a Confederate flag on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the cemetery in memory and recognition of Lieutenant Robert J. Tipton.
The Watauga Historical Association was trying to prevent that from happening.
A battle is brewing at an area cemetery and the Confederate flag is at the center of the controversy.
Members of The Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to fly a Confederate flag over the grave of Lieutenant Robert J. Tipton.
Tipton and three other Confederate soldiers are buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Elizabethton.
The dedication ceremony is set for Saturday, Oct. 22, but the Watauga Historical Association is putting up a fight.
Watauga Historical Association Vice President Dawn Peters says she doesn’t have a problem with a few small Confederate flags at Green Hill, but she does take issue with what could fly high atop a flagpole.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans say this flag represents their heritage, something that should not be forgotten.
Not only do they argue it’s their right to fly the flag here, they also say they have permission from the original owner’s of the property to do so.
Peters says if anything flies here, it will be the red, white and blue.
Since the Watauaga Historical Association maintains the cemetery, she argues the group gets the final say.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans are dead set on holding this ceremony later this month complete with re-enactors, dignitaries and gunfire salutes.
This despite the wishes and previous action of the Watauga Historical Association.
The association says it denied the group’s original request to fly the flag last year at a meeting in April 2010.