Confederate Flags Create Controversy at Hanover Tomato Festival

Sons of Confederate Soldiers hand out free confederate flags sparking outrage from some festival-goers.

Catie Beck, Staff Reporter
Prepared by Sandi Cauley CBS 6

July 11, 2010

HANOVER COUNTY – The confederate flag can often stir emotions. For some it stirs pride and for others – outrage. At last weekend’s Hanover Tomato Festival it was getting both reactions and may have sent some festival-goers home early and kept others from attending all together.

Instead of handing out free tomatoes at the fair, the Sons of Confederate Soldiers handed out free confederate flags and many proudly displayed. Minority advocate Rodney White says for many African-Americans the flag symbolizes servitude and repression and is hurtful.

But flag supporters say it symbolizes southern history and has great meaning and value to those with ancestors who fought in the Civil War. They say event goers couldn’t have been too offended because they handed out every one they brought to give away.

"[We’re] teaching the kids that there’s nothing wrong this confederate flag," said Grayson Jennings, a Sons of Confederate Soldiers member, "It’s our heritage and everybody should be proud of it."

But White says while he agrees that the constitution protects the right to display the flag he says people should also understand the message that’s conveyed to some when they do display it.

"I think that people as a whole must be more sensitive about the symbol itself and the attitude that it carries," said White.

Copyright © 2010, WTVR

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