Confederate group raises different flag
 

Friday, July 4, 2008


TAMPA – It took many hands to raise the flag with the correct and proper ceremony Friday. But eventually, the giant banner lifted into the morning air.


"It signifies the United States as a whole, the colonies and the Revolutionary War and the fact that we are all united as one nation," offered Sons of Confederate Veterans Chapter President ‘Ponch.’


The members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans put up what they call the world’s largest Betsy Ross flag along I-4 on the same pole they plan to continuously fly a massive rebel flag. They called Friday’s flag raising a one-day thing.


"This is simply the flag of our founding fathers who were fighting for the same thing that the second American revolution was fighting for and that’s liberty," offered Flags Across American Member Marion Lambert.


The rebel flag won’t go back up until a confederate memorial site at the base of the flagpole is finished. Then, they plan to fly the rebel flag 24 hours a day.


That plan has drawn plenty of controversy around the Bay Area, and made national headlines, but members say despite the controversy, they still believe in their cause and hope Friday’s flag raising is a softer way of approaching it.


"This sort of shows that we are truly a diverse outfit organization that is looking for the true history of the south," Lambert said.


Organizers say the flag is about honoring those that have sacrificed so much for our country, and it’s also about education. They hope it reminds people exactly why they have the Fourth of July off work.


"As united as we are today, we need to remember that we are all Americans and this is all what defines us as a nation today," said ‘Ponch.’


"The Betsy Ross flag is a flag of independence and freedom fighting and that’s what the second revolution – the civil war – was all about," said Lambert.


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