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As Confederate Flags Rise, Orange County Proposes Restrictions

Tom Bullock

As more huge Confederate flags rise along primary roads in North Carolina, the planning board in Orange County – home to Chapel Hill – is looking at restrictions on the sizes of all flags.

The  (Raleigh) News and Observer reports a mammoth Confederate flag started flying along Highway 70 over the weekend. It had been rumored for several weeks and was the subject of local news reports. The Planning Board is taking public comments on a proposal could limit the size of all flags to 4 by 6 feet, and the size of flagpoles to 24 feet. A flagpole would also have to be set back 50 feet from property lines.

The Orange County attorney urges caution because of potential First Amendment lawsuits if the proposed ordinance is aimed at a particular flag.

The flagpole and flag were erected on private property by a group called Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County.

Large Confederate flags are becoming more common along North Carolina roads.

In February, WFAE reported on efforts by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to install large flag poles and Confederate flags along primary roads in all 100 counties. The group is doing this in response to the removal of Confederate monuments.

At the time, it had installed 11 large Confederate flags in six counties northwest of Charlotte. For example, one flag along Highway 16 in Catawba County is 20 by 30 feet.

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