The Southern Legal Resource Center has notified the Ringgold, GA, City Council that it will face legal action unless it replaces within 10 days a Confederate Battle Flag it removed from the Historic Ringgold Depot monument three years ago.

The letter puts the city on notice that its clients, the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and its local camp in Ringgold, will “seek legal redress” if the flag is not replaced within the stated time period.

The ultimatum was delivered after the city council failed to respond to a detailed January 15 letter from SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie. That letter set forth reasons why the Battle Flag was the appropriate flag to be flown at the depot site and asked the Council to restore it to the flagpole from which it was removed in March of 2005.

At that time the Battle Flag, one of four flags displayed at the recently completed memorial site, was removed at the request of local NAACP members and was replaced by a so-called Hardee pattern flag on grounds that the Hardee flag was the one used by Confederate units at the Battle of Ringgold Gap; however, in its January letter the SLRC cited primary source material proving that other types of Confederate flags were present at that action. McCredie’s letter further stated that the battle argument was moot anyway because the Depot monument was erected to honor Confederates who departed from Ringgold to serve throughout the Confederacy, and the Battle Flag, as a soldiers’ and later a veterans’ flag, was therefore the appropriate flag to display. The SLRC also indicated that the city may have acted in violation of Georgia law by violating the integrity of the monument.

The current letter was signed by SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons, with Georgia attorneys Martin K. O’Toole and Daniel A. Coleman acting of counsel.

The SLRC has been doing legal and historical research since last summer, in preparation for contacting the city council, McCredie said.

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