The Confederate flag has been flying over a city-owned history museum in Danville, Virginia, for the last 20 years, but it was taken down on August 6 after city council members voted to remove it.
The Sutherlin Mansion, which serves as a museum, was the last official meeting place of the Confederate presidential cabinet - the Third National flag of the Confederacy had been flying on its grounds, with some controversy, since 1995, Think Progress reported. However, the tipping point came as a growing number of cities have taken down their own confederate flags following the murder of nine African-Americans at a historically black church in Charleston, South Caroline. The alleged shooter left a racist manifesto online before the massacre and several photos of him posing with the Confederate flag have since surfaced.
The ordinance to remove the flag passed 7-2, although the city council’s chambers were flooded by both supporters and detractors of the measure.
“History is to be learned, not erased,” said Councilman Buddy Rawley, who voted against the measure, GoDanRiver reported.
Rev. William Avon Keen, president of the Virginia Southern Christian Leadership Conference, had a different view. “The Confederate flag must come down. We must stand on the words, ‘We believe that all men are created equal,’” he said in an address to the council.
Though the battles of the Civil War have long passed, the conflict over this flag might not be over yet. A local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has vowed to sue the city over the matter, arguing that the flag is legally protected as a memorial to veterans.