Massive Confederate flag raised over North Carolina highway

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — The Sons of Confederate Veterans raised a 20-by-30-foot Confederate flag Friday on an 80-foot pole along a highway in North Carolina.

The flag replaces a smaller one and is one of several that have gone up as Confederate memorials have come down.

“The Sons of Confederate Veterans, we’re trying to replace the statue with flags, and we try to put them on the interstate so more people can see it,” said Elgie McGalliard, with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

County leaders can’t remove the flags because they are on private property and there are no ordinances against it.

The mayor of a nearby town opposes the flag that cost nearly $800.

“I’ve had numerous contacts from people saying they wouldn’t do business in town because of that flag -- $800 -- that could be better used to help veterans,” Hildebran Mayor Wendell Hildebrand said.

A similar flag was damaged this week along Highway 16 in Newton.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans said they’re also watching the memorial in downtown Morganton 24/7 to keep it from being damaged.

They said they are not trying to put anyone down but instead share their Confederate heritage.

“Take down our statues, and we’re going to put up a flag somewhere along the major interstates in North Carolina,” McGalliard said.

The group says it raised the large flag for the Fourth of July weekend.

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