Huge Confederate Flag Spurs Debate And Public Hearing

May 14, 2018

people marching with confederate flags in Washington, D.C.
Credit Elvert Barnes / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/ye6c21

Residents of Orange County will get the chance to speak out on plans to clarify regulations on flags and flagpoles.

The debate centers around the flying of a mega-sized Confederate flag over Highway 70.

The huge Confederate battle flag went up on the private property of Robert Hall, Jr. a few weeks ago. It is 20 by 20 feet, and waves from a 60 foot high flagpole. The flag has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Some have called it racist. Others refer to the flag as free speech.

So, Orange County has come up with an ordinance to clear up regulations to "ensure that the display of a flag will not dominate local skylines."

There will be a public hearing on the topic Tuesday. The county's communications relations director, Todd McGee, said speakers will get to talk for three minutes, but there is no limit to the number of speakers who can address the board of commissioners.

Orange County Commissioners are expected to vote on an ordinance that would limit the size of flags and flagpoles, with flag poles having to be 50 feet from all property lines. 

Courts have ruled messages on flags are protected under the First Amendment.

The Orange County Commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Chapel Hill, at the Southern Human Services Center.