Another flag comes down at the Independence County Courthouse

Another flag comes down at the Independence County Courthouse

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - For the second time in as many months, Independence County has taken a flag down from in front of the courthouse.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) dedicated the flagpole in 2004. For four years the Hardee flag, a Civil War battle flag featuring a white circle on a blue field, flew on it.

However, shortly after the deadly shootings in South Carolina, a local attorney reached out to County Judge Robert Griffin to suggest the flag be taken down out of respect for the families affected by the tragedy.

Griffin agreed and took down the Hardee flag.

In early September, the SCV came to the Independence County Quorum Court with a proposal to fly the First National Arkansas flag, which came about during the Confederacy.

The group had a member present the flag history to the court and they agreed to fly the flag in memory of the soldiers lost in the Civil War in Arkansas.

"They are not Confederate flags in the sense of what we have now concocted to be an evil thing, they are actually things most people have never even seen," Griffin said.

The quorum court and the SCV started to receive some negative feedback about the flag, including lawsuit threats.

Both groups agreed they did not want any controversy so the judge took the flag down, leaving the pole bare once again.

"When there was rumor of potential lawsuits and people coming to the quorum court meeting to demand the removal, they consented for it to come down to avoid that controversy," Griffin said.

Griffin said the quorum court and SCV would work on a way to honor the Arkansans lost during that time without offending others in the process.

"We are looking to find a middle ground which will not allow that flag on that pole but will allow some remembrances of their ancestors which is what they want to honor," Griffin said.

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