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Thread: Huge Confederate flag to fly over Tampa

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Huge Confederate flag to fly over Tampa

    The i's are dotted, t's are crossed and a 139-foot flagpole is ready to fly the Stars and Bars over one of the busiest highway interchanges in Florida.

    The Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tampa plan soon to raise what they claim is the world's largest Confederate flag on a private triangle of land tucked near where Interstates 75 and 4 meet. The flag measures 50 feet by 30 feet.

    John Adams, commander of the organization's Florida division, has spearheaded the flag project, which includes plans for an accompanying memorial park. And he wants to make sure that the only objections the group faces are based on opinion, not the law.

    "You're going to hear some complaints about it for sure," Adams said. "But it's a free country as far as I know."

    To some, particularly across many Southern states, the rebel flag represents a rich heritage that includes fighting and dying for the Confederate cause during the Civil War. To others, the flag represents dark memories attached to slavery and racial inequality.

    One of those people is Curtis Stokes, president of the NAACP in Hillsborough County, who hopes that a groundswell of opposition to raising the flag might convince the Sons of Confederate Veterans to reconsider.

    That's an unlikely scenario, according to Adams. Nearly a decade ago, the 220 members in the state's Sons of Confederate Veterans group launched a project called "Flags Across Florida" in response to a decision by state officials to remove the Confederate flag from a place of prominence near the state capitol in Tallahassee.

    "Our members decided the trend is going to be that there's a major outlash against these being flown on public property, all we need to do is buy our own property and put them up there," Adams said.

    The flag will be the group's third in the state, but will be not only the largest, but will also fly square in the middle of one of the most highly-trafficked intersections in the state. An estimated 124,000 cars pass by the highway ever day. The two Interstates link the Tampa Bay area to Orlando to the northeast and Miami to the south.

    The pole, which will be anchored by a 100,000-pound concrete base, is the tallest the Federal Aviation Administration would allow in that spot. The 1,500-square-foot flag was ordered from a Chinese company after an American flagmaker begged off, citing union objections to making the flag. It will be illuminated by spotlights at night.

    Adams said the project, which will cost an estimated $80,000, has been going through approvals with the Hillsborough County government for more than two years. The park that accompanies the flag will feature landscaping and parking as well as plaques detailing the state's historical contributions to the Confederacy. One will even pay tribute to the small group of black soldiers who fought on the Confederacy's behalf, Adams said.

    Throughout the permitting process, Adams admits he never revealed to officials that it was the Confederate flag he intended to fly atop the pole. He had no reason to, he said. "The flag is political speech so it's not like they can do anything about it," he said. "You cannot simply discriminate because the message is one you don't like."


    To Adams and members of his organization, the soldiers who fought and died for the Confederacy deserve the same historical deference as those who died fighting for the Union cause. They are veterans who fought for what they believed was right for the country, he said.

    Hillsborough County and the state of Florida are both familiar with the differing opinions on the flag. In 1994, the county government removed the Confederate flag from the county seal.

    Motorists in nine states can pay for a license plate bearing the logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans a design that incorporates the Stars and Bars. A similar proposal in Florida, however, so far has been unsuccessful. Still, the Sunshine State is one of just two states to celebrate the birthday of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, a state holiday that is held tomorrow, June 3. Adams said the group will honor the holiday by previewing the flag on Tuesday.

    In popular culture, the Confederate flag has been celebrated as a hood ornamentation on the General Lee in the television show "The Dukes of Hazzard" for example but also used to depict racism and racist characters.

    It is also listed in the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols. "Although the flag is seen by some Southerners simply as a symbol of Southern pride, it is often used by racists to represent white domination of African-Americans," according to the Web site.

    Stokes, the president of the local NAACP, told ABC News that the group will do what it can including work with the county commissioners and county administrator to prevent the flag from flying. "We certainly understand the First Amendment rights they have, but as a county, that's not the way we want to move forward," Stokes said. "We don't want to revisit a dark part of our history because it doesn't represent the values of Hillsborough County."

    Stokes acknowledged, however, that the group went to great lengths in to make sure they could legally raise the flag. "The've done everything they can on their side to make sure it was done legally," Stokes said. "But we would appeal to them directly. Is this something that they want to see depicted national and internationally about Hillsborough County?"

    Preventing the flag raising, he said, will have to be a combined effort by residents and leaders of the county. "I think we're going to rise up as a diverse citizenry and show the Sons of the Confederate Veterans that this isn't something we want," he said.

    Kevin White, the sole black member of the Hillsborough County Commission, oversees the area where the flag will fly. He said that he is "saddened and frustrated" by group's effort, but unsure if there is anything that can be done.

    "It appears that if all of the permitting is legal, there isn't anything we're able to do except show a loud, vocal opposition and maybe bring some sense to people," White told ABC News. "The symbolism of what it stands for totally brings a negative connotation to the community as a whole."


    White fears that drivers who might have planned a stop in Hillsborough County will drive right through when they see the massive flag. "They might have stopped for lodging or to get something to eat," White said. "Now they'll say, 'Maybe I'll just keep driving and get out of this county altogether.'"

    Adams said that the flag is not meant to symbolize racial inequality. "Nobody's going to spend $80,000 to build a park to honor racism," he said. "We're building a park to honor veterans."

    He also said that the group will consider filing a lawsuit if any attempt to restrict the flag were made by county officials.

    "Telling me you can't fly the flag is like telling me you can't honor the Confederate dead," Adams said. "You can only honor the Union dead."

    Giant Confederate Flag To Fly Over Tampa - The Huffington Post
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    It's just so stupid, holding onto this flag from 150 years ago. You LOST, "States' Rights" (i.e., slavery) LOST, get over it! You just make yourselves look like redneck idiots living in the past.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Kkklassy
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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Cool.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    racist

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy View Post
    racist
    Of course! Gotta run now and get my gun rack fixed on the back of my red pickup. The Budweiser cans ruined it when I went off-roading in the muck ponds.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    ew, that'll teach you for drinking Bud.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    ew, that'll teach you for drinking Bud.
    It matches my pick up, ya'll!

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkdgirl View Post
    Of course! Gotta run now and get my gun rack fixed on the back of my red pickup. The Budweiser cans ruined it when I went off-roading in the muck ponds.

    ....that's woman's work.....

  10. #10
    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ....that's woman's work.....
    Did I forget to mention I was going to do that while towing my six children? Oh, and I'm also barefoot and pregnant.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    were all six fathered by your cousin?

    now I'll get Cheney'ed for that joke
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    were all six fathered by your cousin?

    now I'll get Cheney'ed for that joke
    Hehe! I always love the Simpsons for the redneck guy and his family. There was one ep where he rattled off the names of his several children, and one was named Condoleeza.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    .....I've got neighbors who have enough confederate flags flying, along with their various NASCAR flags, that when we get a good stiff breeze, the place sounds like a used car lot.....and with their junk cars and ugly, barking children and dogs......kind of like Bubba's Gently Owned Vehicles........

    ,....and why do those who say it is a free country never want to pay their taxes?.....
    Last edited by cynic; June 3rd, 2008 at 12:43 PM.

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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ....and why do those who say it is a free country never want to pay their taxes?.....
    Well, to them it is free. If you don't pay taxes, at least.

    I'm glad to live where we might have freaks, but at least we don't try to honor a racist tradition and flip shit when people don't like the stars and bars. Plus, Nascar isn't big here...I like that.

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    I understand that there are racist undertones to the confederate flag and alot of people that display it are ignorant rednecks.
    This flag is just as much a part of their history as the US flag. While it may represent a racist time in US history it also represents standing up for individual rights and state's rights. It is a shame that an idea like that is trampled all over because of ignorant ideals of a few uneducated and hateful idiots.
    I am all for states and individuals saying something and actually taking action when it has been decided the central federal government is overstepping.
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