Confederate flag causes stir

By DeeAnna Haney
Aug 08, 2012

A group of people were proudly waving Confederate flags on Main Street Tuesday protesting the removal the flags from government property.

Several small Confederate flags were placed in front of the Confederate memorial on the old courthouse lawn, as well as in graveyards across the county to commemorate fallen Civil War soldiers.

But the flags garnered some negative attention.

An e-mail from Waynesville Attorney Bob Clark to the Haywood County commissioners requested that the flags be taken down.

“Will you please take action quietly and effectively to stop the display of this divisive symbol or issue a statement that the Haywood County government does not support the flying of this symbol?” he wrote.

Haywood County Manager Marty Stamey consulted the commissioners and directed the county maintenance staff to remove the flags, an action that was an insult to some who said they simply wanted to honor their ancestors who were killed in the Civil War.

H.K. Edgerton, immediate past president of the NAACP, was among five protestors waving a Confederate flag in protest of the county’s decision.

“I’m highly offended that a lawyer who should be defending First Amendment rights would be offended by this,” Edgerton said, whose Confederate flag adorned shirt read, “If this flag offends you, you need a history lesson.”

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