Civil War memorial controversy

POSTED: Monday, March 7, 2011 - 5:05pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

BELLMEAD -- Critics say flying the Confederate flag over a new Civil War memorial sends a message of oppression, The Sons of Confederate Veterans say they're just honoring the soldiers, much like reenactments do.

"The flag in Bellmead that we dedicated on Saturday is intended to remind us and to remind Texans of the men who served the south and sacrificed," says Ray James with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

James believes the Civil War was fought over commerce, not human rights.

"The southern states voted to succeed because of economics of slavery and of the Tariffs. It had nothing to do with human rights, and we have since become enlightened that slavery of anyone, white or black is unacceptable," says James.

The President of Waco's NAACP, Larry Brown, says he understands the memorial represents soldiers who fought in the Civil War, but some say when they see the flag flying at the memorial, they connect it with oppressive groups that use the symbol.

"What upsets people is the flag. Do they truly know what the flag stands for? They definitely need to look at that. Then they'd have to look at the different organizations that came after the civil war carrying the flag, were they truly what the confederacy was about?" says Brown.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans say their memorial marks the anniversary of Texas joining the Confederacy. They hope it will be looked at simply as a battle flag used by their ancestors instead of a symbol of oppression.

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