DANVILLE (WSLS 10) – The sign outside Jarret Easley’s Riverside Coin Shop depicts the third national flag of the Confederacy, the words “Never Forget”, and the date 8/06/2015.
That’s the day the Danville City Council took down the third national flag of the Confederacy, which had been flying outside the Sutherlin Mansion for more than 20 years.
“I think they made a big mistake. Of course, you can see around the city there’s a lot of protest for it,” Easley said.
Danville Ministerial Alliance members disagree that it was a mistake and say in an effort to bring peace and unity to the city, they’re asking that all symbols of hate, including, they say, the Confederate flags around the city, be removed.
“If you’re not trying to create harm, which will maybe later create more hatred, do the right thing and take the flags down,” emphasized ministerial alliance member and President of the Virginia SCLC Rev. Avon King.
Easley believes the flags may come down, but that would require the flag that used to be at the Sutherlin Mansion go back up.
“I’m sure if it was put back on the capital of the Confederacy, all the rest of the flags would come down,” said Easley.
WSLS 10 reached out to the Heritage Preservation Foundation in Danville Friday, which frequently holds Confederate flag demonstrations outside the mansion in hopes of eventually convincing the city to put the flag back, but the association declined the request for an interview.
Easley said he’ll continue to proudly display his sign until the flag is back in what he says is its rightful place.
“The flag doesn’t belong there. It belongs on the last capital of the Confederacy,” Easley stressed.
King said the ministerial alliance members hope their call for the flags to come down will begin an open discussion about race in the city.
He said in the past year the fire department has hired seven firefighters, all white, and recently the sheriff’s office hired several deputies, also all white.
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