A considerable number of Orange County residents addressed the Board of County Commissioners late last month to express concern regarding the possibility of massive Confederate flags being raised along U.S. 70 in Hillsborough and NC-54 outside of Chapel Hill.
Two groups, Sons of Confederate Veterans and Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County or ACTBAC, are behind the efforts to raise the flags, the latter of which has been characterized as a Neo-Confederate hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
ACTBAC is also considering locations on Interstates 40 and 85.
Opponents of the flags are citing the county’s unified development ordinance which regulates the type, placement and physical dimensions of all signs in the interests of public health, safety and welfare.
Although flags are exempt from this code, the code defines a flag as insignia of any national, state or political subdivision, which Orange County resident Ivy Barger claims would not include the Confederate flag.
“Is it the flag of a country? Nope. There never was a country for which that symbol served as a flag,” said Barger. “There was an entire war fought and lost to declare the Confederacy its own country. This was 150 years ago. It didn’t work out for them.”
President of the Northern Orange County NAACP Patricia Clayton urged the commissioners to do what they could to stop the flags from coming to Orange County.
“We are a close-knit community in northern Orange County, and we want to continue our unique unity,” said Clayton.
Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners Mark Dorosin thanked those who spoke and called the flags a matter of concern.
“I want to assure you all that we are taking this matter very seriously, and we are going to continue to explore all of the options that we have going forward,” said Dorosin.