Confederate Flag Whips Up Debate in Grady County

Confederate Flag Whips Up Debate in Grady County
Posted at 10:00 AM, Jul 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 06:16:28-04

CAIRO, GA (WTXL) - There is a big discussion over a little flag at the Grady County Courthouse.

During Tuesday's County Commission meeting, chair LaFaye Copeland brought up the proposal to take down a small Confederate flag that sits on the corner of a Confederate soldier monument on the courthouse grounds.

Copeland said several of her constituents have voiced their concerns about the flag, particularly what it stands for, in light of the shooting in Charleston last month.

The flag wasn't built alongside the monument, which has stood at the courthouse for years, honoring an unnamed Confederate soldier.

Copeland said she can't remember how long the flag has been planted at the site, but it's been there for the three years she has served on the commission. And now, she's calling for it to be removed.

"If this little flag is causing some constituents concern as well as myself, then let's just move it peacefully," Copeland said. "I come here to the courthouse everyday just about and I see the flag, and it does remind you of hate, you know, and the way that it was. I don't want Grady County to be reminded of hate. I want us to be on one accord."

While some residents have voiced their concerns to the commissioner, others say the flag doesn't bother them.

"It's part of the history of the county and of the state," said Cairo resident Alvin Thomas. "I don't believe the flag should be taken down for that reason, because of the history."

"We can't change it. It does not represent racism," said Cairo resident Bridgett Whighams. "If people would go by the education of it rather than the ignorance of how people are, then the world would be a better place."

The county commission will have its next meeting on Tuesday, July 21. Copeland said she will bring up the idea of removing the flag again if it hasn't been done by that time.