ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WYFF) – Hours after “Black Lives Matter” was spray-painted on monument for “North Carolina’s Civil War Governor,” H.K. Edgerton stood with a Confederate flag, telling those passing by why he wanted it to continue to fly.
The monument is for Buncombe County native and former North Carolina Governor Zebulon Baird Vance.
Vance was a Confederate military officer during the Civil War.
He organized a company called the “Rough and Ready Guards.”
Edgerton, a former president of the North Carolina NAACP and one of few African-American members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was outside the monument waving the Confederate flag soon after the graffiti was removed.
He said the graffiti artist protested incorrectly.
“I’m not going to blame it on a Yankee because I’ve seen some southern folk around here that are real questionable too that don’t know anything about who they are and their families and the honorable people in the southland of America, red, yellow, black, white and brown,” Edgerton said.
He said the Confederate flag needs to continue to wave.
“Black folks earned a place of honor and dignity with this flag; black folks and white folks in southland America are family,” Edgerton said. “This is our flag. This was my message when I walked to Texas; that was my message when I walked to the White House. And it’s my message still.”
However, those walking past Edgerton disagreed with his stance.
“For some people, represents proud history of the past in the South, but it seems to me, the offense nature of it to people of African-American descent outweighs that and certainly want to be respectful of everybody or make anyone feel uncomfortable,” Ben Abzug, a visitor from Charleston, said.
“It’s like the nativities at Christmas time. Should the state be doing it? It’s completely different than if you should be doing it,” Allen Doile said. “If people stop worrying about symbols and start worrying about each other, none of these problems would be happening.”