WASHINGTON — The Confederate battle flag that flies high above Interstate 95 near Falmouth is not going anywhere despite renewed complaints, said the man who owns the land the flagpole sits on.
“The flag will stay,” Hubert Wayne Cash told WTOP Friday. “It sits on posted private land and is protected by the laws and ordinances of the state of Virginia and Stafford County.”
About 20 people asked the Stafford County Board of Supervisors this week to do something to get the flag taken down, including several who described the flag as a hurtful, racist symbol standing for a time when black people were only counted as three-fifths of a person.
Cash described complaints like that as attacks on his “Southern heritage” that have hurt him deeply.
“I am not just a bystander on this issue as this to me is an attack on my family and their history, all my great-grandfathers and in most cases their brothers,” he said.
Those who do not believe the flag should be flying over the interstate told supervisors that seeing the flag hurts them and their families.
The flag went up on Cash’s property in the spring of 2014, after Cash leased out the space for the massive flagpole that towers over the tree line.
“The site has been leased to the Southern heritage group Virginia Flaggers, but the lease will be up for review and possible renewal in 2114,” Cash said.
The Virginia Flaggers told WTOP Thursday that they plan not only to keep up the flags that they have already, but also to fast-track even more flags near major highways on private properties across the state, because of the vocal opposition from people who consider the flags and many Confederate monuments to be symbols of hate.
Calls to take down Confederate monuments have intensified since last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, when a man drove a car into a group of people protesting white supremacists. Heather Heyer was killed, and others were hurt in the crash.
Photographs show suspect James Alex Fields Jr. marching with white nationalists prior to the attack.