Rebel Flag Causes Flap
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
TAMPA, Fla., (970 WFLA) – Marion Lambert wears a pin bearing the picture of the Confederacy’s only president, Jefferson Davis, who would have turned 200 years old Tuesday.
For the occasion, he and members of Sons of Confederate Veterans hoisted a 50 x 30-foot Confederate flag atop a 139-foot-tall flag pole at I-75 and I-4. It can be seen a mile away.
"If they won’t honor us with a proclamation, if they won’t honor our heritage with a simple piece of paper, which is all they have to do, if they won’t do that, then, dadburn, we’ll put up a big ‘ol flag," said Lambert of Hillsborough County leaders.
But those county leaders say they want to discuss the rebel monstronsity during Wednesday’s board meeting.
"The flag represents hatred, racism, bigotry and slavery," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White.
He says he respects a person’s right to free speech and expression, but wonders if the Confederate flag, the size of a tractor trailer, is really the image the county wants, especially when the area will host the Super Bowl this next year.
The flag sits at a Civil War memorial that’s under construction at U-S 92 at I-75. And White admits Lambert, who owns the property, has not done anything illegal.
Lambert vows to keep his big flag flying.
"We’ll continue to fly the flag until hell freezes over."