A large Confederate flag on a 90-foot pole flies over Interstate 95 in Virginia, north of Fredericksburg, and the local chapter of the NAACP wants it down.
The activist group Virginia Flaggers, who say the flag honors Confederate soldiers, erected the flag in 2014 amid controversy, which has only heightened in the wake of the mass shooting last week at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., and the ensuing debate over the place of the Confederate flag in contemporary society.
“The Confederate Flag is a constant reminder of the oppression, marginalization and dehumanizations of African slaves and African Americans in the U.S. post slavery,” reads the petition on MoveOn.org, which is being circulated by the Stafford County chapter of the NAACP. “The large flag flying on I-95 in Stafford VA should be removed.”
Organizers will deliver the petition to the Virginia state House and Senate, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Congress and President Obama.
McAuliffe announced earlier this week that he would phase out a state-sponsored license plate featuring an image of the Confederate flag. But the Confederate flag along I-95, which measures 30 feet by 22 feet, is legally staked on private property.
Hubert Wayne Cash, 65, a Navy veteran and retired phone company worker, told The Post in 2014, that he allowed the Virginia Flaggers to plant the pole for the flag on his yard to honor the heritage of his 50 ancestors who fought in the Civil War. The Virginia Flaggers have long rejected the idea that the flag is a symbol of racism and hate.
“We’re not sitting around like a bunch of yokels thinking slavery was a good thing,” Cash said at the time, adding that none of his Confederate ancestors owned slaves. “You think they fought for someone else’s slaves?”
Over the past week, politicians across the country have been calling for the removal of the flag from government sites and national retailers have pulled the flags off their shelves and Web sites.
Despite the controversy, manufacturers that produce the flag say sales are soaring.