- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2016

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) - The NAACP in Catawba County met with the Sons of Confederate Veterans to discuss the Confederate flag and its use in an upcoming parade.

The Hickory Daily Record reported (https://bit.ly/1RG80RW ) the groups were unable to come to a common definition Sunday about the flag’s meaning.

Jerry McCombs with the NAACP and Pastor Vincent Ross of Maiden Chapel Baptist Church argued the flag represents a symbol of suppression and mistreatment of African-Americans. The two said they are not calling for a complete ban of the flag, but they are asking the group to reconsider displaying the banner at the parade given that it’s a public event.

“What we would like to happen is you would be sensitive to the perception of the African-American community when it comes to public events or things that represent all people,” Ross said.

Bill Starnes with the Sons of Confederate Veterans denied that Confederate soldiers fought to preserve slavery. He said the flag represents courage, valor and honor as soldiers fought to protect their homes.



“Not about slavery at all,” he said. “To me, that flag represents our right to self-government.”

Starnes said he understands how McCombs and Ross feel about the flag, but he doesn’t see it as a reason to exclude it from the parade.

Ross says he understands the flag means something different to the Confederate group.

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Information from: The Hickory Daily Record, https://www.hickoryrecord.com

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