Confederate Flag Coming Down After Civil Rights Controversy In North Carolina

March 30, 2013

A Confederate flag hung in the old North Carolina capitol will be coming down after civil rights leaders protested due to the flag’s racial significance.

The Confederate flag was meant to mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of the 1863 arrival of federal troops in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Confederate flag was supposed to remain in the old capitol until April 2015.

Civil Rights leaders have expressed concerns about what sort of connotations the Confederate flag will give off if it is allowed to remain in the same building that houses the office of the North Carolina governor.

The decision to take down the flag came Friday night after the Associated Press ran a story about the flag. The Secretary of Cultural Resources told the Washington Post,

"This is a temporary exhibit in an historic site, but I’ve learned the governor’s administration is going to use the old House chamber as working space. Given that information the display will end this weekend rather than April of 2015."

The new location of the Confederate flag is most likely going to be moved across the street to the North Carolina Museum of History.

Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory initially supported the placement of the flag but changed his stance once Civil Rights leaders began to point out the flag’s past association with racially discriminatory and bigoted groups.

The NAACP president in North Carolina, Rev. William Barber was upset when the Associated Press showed him a photo of the flag hanging in the old state capitol.

Barber told the AP "He is right that it has historical context. But what is that history? The history of racism. The history of lynching. The history of death. The history of slavery. If you say that shouldn’t be offensive, then either you don’t know the history, or you are denying the history."

The director of the State Historic Sites, Keith Hardison believes the flag should stay where it is in order to be viewed in historical context. "Our goal is to help people understand the issues of the past," he told the AP.

Whether or not the intention was to offend, civil rights leaders have spoken. The confederate flag will be coming down and moved to another location.

Southerners see the Confederate flag as a symbol of southern pride. Groups bent on spreading racist propaganda and hate often use the Confederate flag as a symbol of racial supremacy.   

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