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Sons of Confederate Veterans protest in Lexington on Lee Jackson Day

They're angry over the city's flag ordinance

January 13, 2012|Justin McLeod | Reporter

The past and the present collided once again in Lexington.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is protesting the city's new flag ordinance passed in September.

The ordinance says only the city, state, and American flag can be displayed on city owned light posts.

Heritage groups believe the ordinance unfairly targets displaying the Confederate flag.  

"We're tired of everyone putting down our symbols and our heritage and we're going to stand up and fight," said Sons of Confederate Veteran Dan Boyette.

To mark Lee Jackson Day, the group plans to stands next to the light posts and wave the Confederate flag on Friday and Saturday.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is also targeting Lexington Mayor Mimi Elrod.  She points out she didn't vote for the ordinance.  The mayor only gets a vote if there is a tie.  

Elrod points out the group can still display the flag, just not on the city's light posts.  "We are not banning the flags.  I mean go down the street and you'll see all kinds of Confederate flags down there so people have the right to express themselves," said Elrod.

Some Lexington residents feel the Confederate flag shouldn't be displayed.  "It was about slavery and it still represents slavery and it will always represent slavery and it's disgraceful to continue to fly it like this," said David Compton.

Other residents question why city council got involved in the first place.  "I think the sensible thing would have been for the city just to say we're sorry if you are offended by these flags, you will just have to live with it, it's one weekend a year," said John Morman.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is now suing the City of Lexington saying the ordinance violates their constitutional rights.

Members say they will protest every Lee Jackson Day until the city reverses its stance.

"I'm passionate because this is my family, this is my blood, this is my heritage," said Sons of Confederate Veteran Dan Boyette.

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