Local News

Confederate Flag Flies Over Raleigh Without Controversy

Posted May 9, 2000

— A confederate flag is flying over the state Capitol in Raleigh Wednesday, but it is not igniting the battle of emotions seen in South Carolina.

The flag flying in Raleigh is the "Stars and Bars." The flag flying in the Palmetto State is the "Southern Cross," or "Battle Flag."

The big difference is that the "Stars and Bars" -- also known as the first national flag of the Confederacy -- has been flying over the state capitol every May 10 for more than 30 years. The flag is flown in honor of Confederate Memorial Day.

"It was deemed inappropriate to have the 'Battle Flag' fly over the Capitol because it would have never been over a government building. The first national flag would have been over a government building, so that's why it was chosen," says Fay Mitchell Henderson of theDept. of Cultural Resources.

Most visitors to the Capitol did not recognize the flag and were comfortable with it being flown once a year.

Those who were familiar with the flag and its meaning did not seem to have a problem with it.

"It's Confederate Veterans Day, and I think it's appropriate to fly. And other than that -- other than today -- I don't think that it would be appropriate," says visitor Bill Dooley.

In 1961, the General Assembly passed a resolution allowing the flag to fly over the state capitol. However in the past, they used the Southern Cross. In 1978, Gov. Hunt called for the change to the current "Stars and Bars."

There are two other occasions when the flag can be flown, Robert E. Lee's January birthday and Confederate Flag Day in March. The flag can only be flown during ceremonies on those occasions.


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