Since the horrific mass shooting in June at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., Confederate flags and monuments have been a hot topic for debate, given the white supremacist manifesto allegedly written by accused church shooter Dylann Roof.
Nonetheless, while many are pushing for these monuments and flags to be removed, some Confederate groups in Alabama are planning to erect a Confederate flag right across the street from the HBCU Alabama State University in Montgomery.
The Tallassee Tribune reports that the Tallassee Armory Guards, the First Capitol Flaggers and the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans announced at a meeting this week that TAG had donated $500 to the First Capitol Flaggers in support of the project, and that they were halfway to the $3,000 goal.
The land was donated by a physician specifically for the flag's placement, but the groups have refused to give out the doctor's name because, said Dana Jones, a founding member of the First Capitol Flaggers, they didn't want anyone to "pitch a fit."
When it was announced at the meeting where the land was located, "right across from ASU," the crowd broke out in applause and cheers.
The First Capitol Flaggers will manage the property, which has just enough space for the flag and the space immediately surrounding it. Jones said that it made sense to fly the flag in what she described as the first capital of the Confederacy, adding that her group wanted to create interest in the role Alabama played in that era.
She insisted that the placement across from the HBCU was "not a slap in the face," adding that the benefit of that spot was its visibility from Interstate 85. Whether or not the flag could be seen from the ASU campus would depend on the height, which would be no less than 30 feet high but could be up to 50 feet high.
"We're hoping everyone can see it. We want people to ask questions; we want them to listen," Jones said, according to the Tribune, adding that she flies five flags from her own home.
When asked about the current climate in the U.S., given recent cases of police brutality and the rise of movements such as Black Lives Matter, Jones countered that Confederate groups were misinterpreted and treated unfairly in the media.
"We are descendants of Confederate veterans. Our lives matter just as much," she said.
"I'm not prejudiced [or] racist," she added. "I am a Christian."
Read more at the Tallassee Tribune.