Greene County, Tennessee, voted overwhelmingly against a proposal to fly the confederate flag above the county courthouse.
The Greene County Commission voted 20-1 against the proposal, which suggested that the flag be raised because it is a part of the state’s history.
The proposal was sponsored by Commissioner James Randolph, who argued the flag’s importance.
“Greene County recognizes and remembers those who fought for the South ... These Tennesseans' fought for what they believed to be right,” the proposal read.
“These efforts of these men to persevere must not be forgotten and the Confederate Flag represents that heritage and history that our County should be proud of."
Tennessee State Historian Dr. Carroll Van West said that despite Randolph’s claims, Green County was predominately Unionist during the Civil War.
“Before the fighting began Unionists from across the state met in Greeneville at what became known as the Greeneville Convention of 1861, the largest and most important pro-Union meeting held in the state before the civil war began,” Van West said.
Historian Richard Hood echoed Van West’s statements, maintaining that Greene County was “profoundly anti-Confederate.”
“Commissioner Randolph may not like this history, but it has the virtue of being factual. He should be celebrating Greene County's heritage of resistance to the Confederacy, not propping up a grotesque distortion of "history" that debases our true past and offends many, many of our own neighbors,” Hood wrote in a letter to the Greenville Sun news.
Historians weren’t the only ones speaking out against the proposal and Randolph’s portrayal of his county’s history. Mayor David Crum also opposed the measure.
“If you want to embrace the Confederate flag as part of your heritage that's your decision,” Crum said. “In my opinion it has no place being endorsed by a government entity.”