April 21st, 2010
Confederate flag flown at city plant

Newburgh – This past week marked the 145th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It also marked the 145th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. However, at the city’s water filtration plant, a modified Confederate flag was flown. The flag, which bared the slogan "The South will rise again", was spotted by photojournalist and City Human Rights Commissioner Ed McCarthy.

McCarthy alerted City Council members Curlie Dillard and Deputy Mayor Regina Angelo. Deputy Mayor Angelo spoke to City Manager Richard Herbek late Thursday afternoon and advised him of the flag being flown on city property.

McCarthy also contacted Human Rights Commission chairwoman Dr. Benilda Armstead-Jones and informed her of the situation at the water filtration plant. Dr. Jones said of the flying of a Confederate flag on city property "This is a statement and it’s on public property." Dr. Jones is planning a meeting of the Human Rights Commission in response to the incident. City Manager Herbeck ordered the flag removed on Friday and has stated that the city and its workers had nothing to do with the raising of this flag.

The water filtration plant is run by a private company. It has been reported that the Confederate flag was put up by workers who were on site for the soil re-mediation as part of the Central Hudson cleanup. The flag was flown from their tool shed. The Confederate flag is considered by some to be the heritage of those who fought on the side of the South in the Civil War. Others consider it to be a symbol of hate that represents slavery and the rape and murder of millions of African-Americans during a dark part of America’s history. On Sunday, April 18, noted African-American journalist Leonard Pitts said in his nationally syndicated column regarding the honoring of the Confederacy that they are trying "to convince the rest of us that an act of high treason committed in the name of preserving human bondage somehow deserves honor and respect."
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