Entries in Anderson County Courthouse (1)


Texas Town Raises Confederate Flag, Sparks Racial Tensions

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PALESTINE, Texas) -- The raising of the Confederate flag along with the U.S. and state flag outside an east Texas courthouse has divided the town over whether the flying of the "Stars and Bars" is a tribute to racial oppression.

A replica of the original Confederate flag was raised outside the Anderson County Courthouse in Palestine, Texas, Friday after county commissioners narrowly approved a motion to fly the flag there throughout April in honor of Confederate History Month.

Though the officials said the decision had nothing to do with race, some members of the community said they cannot see the Confederate flag separate from the South's support for slavery, which was the central issue in the Civil War.

Kenneth Davidson, a veteran and president of the local chapter of the NAACP, led a protest at the ceremony, when a group of residents turned their backs as the flag was raised.

"I did not fight for this flag," Davidson told ABC affiliate KLTV in Longview, Texas. "This flag was hung over my people as they were hung. This flag was flying. So, how can you celebrate this and say this is for education for me. It's not."

But other residents of the area said the raising of the flag was a moment of pride and a tribute to the 1,100 men from Anderson County who fought in the Civil War.

After the demonstration Friday, Palestine mayor Bob Herrington called an emergency meeting for Monday to consider passing a resolution asking the county to remove the flag.

Other groups of southern veteran and historical groups have looked to spread their love of Confederate history across Texas and other parts of the U.S. south. The Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans have said they want to build a Confederate memorial near the Louisiana border, and a program called Flags Across the South has made efforts to have the Confederate flag flown on private properties.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio