RICHMOND, VA – A giant, Confederate flag will soon be flying along the side of Interstate-95, just south of Richmond.
The group “Virginia Flaggers” says it is leasing space next to the interstate to build a 50-foot flagpole. The flag itself will measure about 10 feet by 15 feet.
The group says the goal is to “remind drivers of our honorable confederate history and heritage.”
“When they see it driving up, I think they will realize there are people in Richmond who still honor and remember our confederate heritage and that there is something worth stopping for in this city,” says Virginia Flagger Susan Hathaway.
“They went, they fought honorably, they served honorably. In many cases they died for Virginia to defend their home, to defend their hearth against invasion.”
But some people say this is a bad move that takes Virginia back to the days of slavery.
“It's been used to
terrorize African people,” says King Salim Khalfani, VA State NAACP
Executive Director. “To traumatize us. The Ku Klux Klan, white supremacy groups, they
killed and murdered under that flag.”
“The state is spending all this money on tourism, and we are going to look like a back water, redneck, hick town. And those people who will be coming, especially right near the 50th anniversary march of the march on Washington, they will be coming north on 95 and see this, they'll probably give Richmond the finger. They won't come here to spend their money, they'll go pass.”
But Karen Cooper, also a
member of Virginia Flaggers, disagrees.
She says she started
supporting the group after taking a look back at history.
“The whole country
practiced slavery, so why should I just blame the Southern Hemisphere when it
was an American legal institution?” she says.
The Virginia Flaggers still need to raise $3,000 for the project, but they've already started construction and expect to unveil the flag on September 28.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond