County raises Civil War era flag at courthouse

County raises Civil War era flag at courthouse
Arkansas First National flag flying at the Independence Co. courthouse (Source: Robert Griffin)
Arkansas First National flag flying at the Independence Co. courthouse (Source: Robert Griffin)
The county judge says the flag is to honor the first soldier from Batesville killed in the Civil War. (Source: Robert Griffin)
The county judge says the flag is to honor the first soldier from Batesville killed in the Civil War. (Source: Robert Griffin)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A commemorative flag flying at the Independence County courthouse may have also flown during the Civil War; but, don't call it a Confederate flag.

County Judge Robert Griffin told Region 8 News that the quorum court voted Monday night to reinstate Arkansas' First National Flag. Monday's decision came after Griffin decided to remove the flag after a shooting at a Charleston, SC, church that left nine people dead.

Griffin said the quorum court voted unanimously to raise the flag in honor of Private Job S. Neill. Neill is recorded as the first soldier from Batesville killed in the Civil War. The flag, featuring 2 red stripes and one white and 10 stars surrounding one large star, is flying over the Confederate Veterans' Monument at the courthouse.

Judge Griffin said he took the flag down after the shootings "out of respect."

After some time, however, he asked the quorum court to discuss the issue. It faced no opposition at Monday's meeting.

Griffin also told Region 8 News he has spoken with multiple people in the community and "no one has been offended."

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android