Local News

Confederate 'mega flag' turning heads along I-95 near Fayetteville

Posted April 28

— As part of its "Flags Across the Carolinas" project, the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has unveiled a massive confederate flag along Interstate 95 in Cumberland County.

The 20-by-30-foot flag, which is on a pole about 90 feet in the air, sits just off the southbound lanes of the highway between mile marker 63 and 64 near Godwin.

Drivers passing the location have honked their horns and stopped to take pictures since it went up on Wednesday.

Josh Hagge was one of the drivers who stopped. He says he's happy to see it.

"It shows people that this is the South. It's a symbol for the South. It's not hatred," Hagge said. "People think it is, but it's not, really."

Ronnie McBryde, an African-American man who lives nearby the site where the flag is placed, said he sees the flag as a racist symbol but that it doesn't bother him.

"Freedom of speech," he said. "As long as they don't put it in my yard, I don't have a problem with it."

Don Ward said the flag is a sign that "people haven't learned anything yet."

"I just can't understand it no more. They're still trying to make a statement. About what? That's what I want to know," Ward said. "They're trying to make a statement about how it used to be. They're trying to push people back to how it used to be. I take offense to it, but I don't say anything."

David Brewer, of Wade, said he doesn't have a problem with the flag if the intention is to honor the past.

"Some of my ancestors in the past fought in the Civil War. They were soldiers. That's part of my history," he said. "It's nothing racial, that's the way it was, North against the South. Northern way against the Southern way. If that's what (the flag) is in memory of, and in honor of, I don't have a problem with it, because that's part of our history. If it's for racial reasons, then I do have a problem with it."

James Buxton, president of the Fayetteville chapter of the NAACP, released a statement Friday in response to the flag, saying "it is not worth being upset about."

"It has been 152 years since the Civil War ended and people are still trying to relive a dreadful era. I doubt very seriously that the flags on I95 were placed there because of history. Because of tensions in our country and the world today surrounding this flag, it is a known fact that it is being used to rekindle contempt and to display it as a symbol of prejudice and racial hatred, much like it was used in the 20th Century by white supremacists," Buxton's statement said. "Therefore, I encourage everyone who might be offended by the flags along I95 to ignore them. It is just a piece of cloth that doesn’t mean anything to us. It is a display of the ignorance of individuals who refuse to accept that all men are equal as stated in the constitutions of our state and country. Above all, they do not understand that we were created with equality by God."

In a news release about the flag, the Sons of Confederate Veterans says it will maintain the flag and the property it sits on.

The group says it is also considering other sites across the state for more flags.

49 Comments

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  • Deborah Turner Apr 30, 9:50 a.m.
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    The Northern states segregated the black population from all segments of society and would only allow them to have the dirtiest and hardest jobs at the very lowest pay. They were not allowed to eat at 99% of the public eating establishments in the North. They had no medical care and hundreds died during the harsh winters of the North. The poor black people were treated like scum up north and half of them were totally homeless. In the rural Southern States of the 1800's the black and white people worked and eat together and their children played together. They had a lot better relations than the Northern history books wanted to record. All literate women in the South and some men kept daily diaries of all activities. A lot of this recorded history can be found in most museums through out the South now. The North wrote their version of this period of American History to distort the truth and to distract from how bad the North treated Blacks.

  • Michael Bawden Apr 30, 8:30 a.m.
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    And thus you think of Southern states as your enemy! Please make a bumper dtcker with your comment and put it on your car. Then go read about slavery since the beginning of time! It is not like the South invented slavery. You had Irish fighting Irish. You had English fighting English. Most of the land in the 13 colonies was deeded by the King of England. George Wasington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. I guess they were your enemy too. I believe only white people were land owners for quite sometime. I believe Jim Crow laws came out of the Civil War. Of you you cant be honest about the past, you cannot honestly move forward as a culture.

  • Bill Gibson Apr 29, 6:20 p.m.
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    Another defeated enemy of the United States.

  • Travis Perry Apr 29, 2:51 p.m.
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    You do realize that a large portions of the North's economy was prop up by slavery as well.

  • Gary Thompson Apr 29, 1:11 p.m.
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    wrong again. Under the constitution at that time a state had a right to suceed from the union which is what started the war when the federal goverment ordered troups against south carolina. Due your research before openong your flap and looking stupid man

  • Gary Thompson Apr 29, 1:07 p.m.
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    due your research man. Slavery wasnt an issue until the end of the war and even then there was still slavery states in the north. The only place it was illegal was in the confederate states.

  • John Mallernee Apr 29, 12:53 p.m.
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    I like seeing that flag, because I'm very proud to have a Confederate ancestor, my biological (i.e., I was adopted) great great great grandfather, Corporal Jonathan Trueblood, North Carolina Seventh Regiment, Confederate Senior Reserves.

    I currently live in Vernal, Utah, but I grew up in Spring Lake, North Carolina, where my father, mother, and stepmother are buried.

    This is the URL for a song I composed about the town I grew up in:

    https://youtu.be/_dUg2Opk6xM

    Oh, so many years ago, when I was a boy in Cumberland County, you could buy a Confederate flag or Confederate souvenirs in any local store, but now all of that has disappeared.

  • Carrie Hurrelbrink Apr 29, 12:26 p.m.
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    Amen Deborah Turner! You are exactly right.

  • Carrie Hurrelbrink Apr 29, 12:25 p.m.
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    Look to the North for all of the treason. The South fought for their freedom of their people and land.

  • John White Apr 29, 11:28 a.m.
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    I don't feel the flag is racist anymore then a black person calling another black person the N word because it is not racist when used in that way. The flag is no longer a racist symbol. It just represents people of the south.

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