RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Confederate flag flew over the North Carolina Capitol again – but not, as it usually does, on Robert E. Lee’s birthday.
Lee’s birthday was Tuesday and the Sons of Confederate Veterans have traditionally requested that the Confederate national flag fly over the Capitol on that day. Capitol officials have approved it.
On Tuesday, there was no Confederate national flag over the Capitol on Jan. 19, the birthday of the Confederate general. But that’s not because North Carolina officials decided against it. Instead, the flew over the Capitol Saturday, and just under the North Carolina flag.
Terra Schramm, site administrator for the State Capitol, said the SCV asked that the flag fly Saturday because the SCV had an event that day honoring Lee.
Confederate symbols have been highly controversial in recent months, with many Confederate monuments in the area being defaced. A Confederate monument on the Capitol square was spray-painted in the middle of the night, as were Confederate graves at nearby Oakwood Cemetery.
The flying of the Confederate national flag has generally received little attention though, perhaps because the national flag – with its blue field and red and white bars – looks similar to the American flag. The Capitol has not flown the more well-known Confederate flag with the red field and the blue cross.
Schramm said the Sons of Confederate Veterans have also requested the flag be flown in March in honor of Confederate Flag Day.