NAACP: “The flag must go!”
Wednesday, May 11. 2011
“The flag must go!” That was the message the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) relayed at a rally on the front steps of the Dodge County Courthouse in reference to the Confederate battle flag that flies on the courthouse grounds on Tuesday, May 3 at approximately 5:30 p.m., just before a board of commissioners meeting was to be held.
Approximately 70 NAACP members came to the rally, most from outside Dodge County. Georgia NAACP President Edward DuBose and Dodge County NAACP President John Battle spoke at the rally. Battle stated, We’re here to say to the county commissioners…the flag must go! These commissioners continue to provoke hatred in this county.”
Dubose spoke saying, We don’t intend to stop this fight until this racist symbol is taken down. This is not about black and white, it is about a symbol that set this country back. There is nothing good about this flag flying.”
The commissioner’s meeting was moved to the Dodge County Superior Courtroom inside the courthouse to accommodate the large number of people that attended the meeting. In that meeting, Battle once again asked the commissioners to remove the Confederate battle flag from the courthouse grounds, but stated that he had no problem with it flying one day a year, on Confederate Heritage Day.
Battle went on to say that he had no problem with any residents or businesses flying the flag, because he could opt not to visit those people or stores, but he had to come to the courthouse to pay his taxes or buy his tag.
Dubose addressed the commissioners and said that he differed from Battle and did not believe the flag should be flown at the courthouse at all. He looked at county attorney John Harrington and stated, “You can be legally right sometimes, but morally wrong.” He looked back at the commissioners and said, “I shouldn’t be in Dodge County because of this issue.”
Dubose emphasized to the commissioners to “do what the people want”, and take the flag down.
During the meeting, the NAACP threatened to sue the county. Dodge County Commission Chairman Dan McCranie said that they (the commissioners) would probably be sued one way or the other, meaning that if they left the flag flying, the NAACP would sue them, but if they took it down, the Sons of Confederate Veterans would probably sue them.
Later in the meeting, Dodge County Commissioner Archie Dupree made a motion to ask commissioner Terry Niblett to reconsider his motion to fly the flag 365 days a year, which was made at a previous meeting and passed 4-1. Commissioner Niblett said, “We’ve already visited the issue and there is no new information presented at this time.”