Friday, Jun. 24, 2011
NAACP asks Macon, Bibb leaders to denounce Dodge Confederate flag
By CARYN GRANT – email@example.com
The Macon-Bibb County branch of the NAACP has called for city and county leaders to write letters denouncing the Dodge County Commission’s vote to fly the Confederate flag on the courthouse grounds in Eastman.
The first letter received was from Mayor Robert Reichert, said David Booker, local president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as he held a sealed envelope outside Macon City Hall.
Reichert said later Thursday that he tried to include in his letter to Dodge County commissioners much of the same language he used on the floor of the state House of Representatives several years ago when he spoke about the changing of the state flag — the idea of visual ambiguity and the need for a symbol such as the flag to bring people together instead of apart.
“Some people look at it and see heroism and sacrifice and courage. … Other people look at that same flag and see hatred and prejudice and intolerance,” Reichert said Thursday of the Confederate battle flag.
Reichert said his letter stated that while he thinks there are plenty of places where the display of the Confederate flag was most appropriate, such as cemeteries, memorials or parks, “when it’s displayed at a public building like the courthouse is where you get into this idea of visual ambiguity.”
Booker said he also would like Macon City Council members and Bibb County commissioners to submit letters, which he will collect through July 1 and deliver to Dodge commissioners July 5, the day that local NAACP members will attend a rally in Dodge County against the flying of the flag.
The rally is an ongoing effort of NAACP State Conference President Edward DuBose speaking out against the Dodge commission’s vote to continue flying the flag there.
The flag, positioned in front of a series of war memorial statues on the side of the courthouse property, has been a topic of contention in Dodge County for years. The county commission voted in 2002 to fly the flag one day a year, but Dodge County NAACP President John Battle said it has flown continuously. In April, the board officially voted to fly the flag every day, sparking a chain of protests led by the NAACP.