Group raises Confederate flag near Paducah

Confederate heritage band to add memorials at site
May. 22, 2012

PADUCAH, KY. — A Confederate history organization has raised a Confederate battle flag in western Kentucky near Interstate 24.

The Paducah Sun reports about 300 people attended the hour-long ceremony Saturday on private land in Reidland at exit 16.

The flag measures 12 feet by 18 feet and will be a permanent fixture on the 60-foot pole.

Randy Beeler, commander of the Lloyd Tilghman camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, says it is the only Confederate flag sponsored by the group in the state.

He says there are plans to add soldier memorials, benches and other items to the site over the next year.

Kentucky division commander John Suttles of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has said the group is honoring their ancestors by putting up the flag.

During the ceremony, Beeler commented on the negative reaction of some groups.

“My emotions are high. I am very passionate about this,” he said. “I hope that people allow us to have our own opinions. We haven’t stepped on anyone’s toes. We aren’t hiding.”

The ceremony attracted two protesters, who stood across the street waving American flags. Gladman Humbles said the flag represents racism to him and his family.

“One man’s heritage is another man’s horror,” Humbles said. “I respect their right to raise the flag, but the Confederates fought to keep my great-grandmother in slavery. That is against everything our American flag stands for.”

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