Community leaders react to Confederate flag emblem on town welcome signs

Published: Jun. 23, 2015 at 8:33 PM EDT
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The state house isn't the only public place in South Carolina where the confederate flag can be seen.

Several cities and towns around the Lowcountry are still displaying a confederate flag sign at the entrance of their communities.

Live 5 investigated if the city leaders are changing their mind about having the symbol attached to their name.

The City of Goose Creek is one of a handful of communities who still have the symbol of a confederate flag at the entrance of their city lines.

Drivers on Highway 52 can spot the Confederate flag on the City of Goose Creek welcome sign.

Goose Creek's city clerk says that as of now, Mayor Heitzler has no intention of taking it down.

Just last year, in a push to be more fair of everyone's freedom of speech, Heitzler allowed the NAACP to add their signage. It's posted right next to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

However, following Governor Haley's push to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, other communities, with the same sons of confederate veterans sign, are starting the conversation about if it needs to be taken down or moved.

Both the towns of Mount Pleasant and Summerville, there seems to be confusion as to who is responsible for deciding the fate of the emblems.

In Mount Pleasant, the confederate flag is one of several signs on Coleman Boulevard, at the Patriots Point entrance.

A representative for Mayor Linda Page says consideration of taking the Sons of Confederate Veterans flag down was discussed, but it's not up to them. According to Page's rep, that the decision would be up to the Patriots Point Development Authority.

Page also wasn't willing to share her opinion on it.

However, an official with the Patriots Point Development Authority says it's on a Mount Pleasant owned sign, so it's the town's call to make.

In a statement from Mac Burdette, Executive Director of the Patriots Point Development Authority, he said Patriots Point stopped selling confederate flag paraphernalia in their gift shops months ago.

"For Patriots Point to be true to its mission of honoring the sacrifices of all veterans regardless of color, race, religion, creed or ethnicity we felt it important to remove symbols that might be offensive to our veterans and our customers," said Burdette. "It is not intended to be a statement about the flag."

Meanwhile, in Summerville, after Live 5's inquiry, town officials believed the post in their community, with a confederate emblem, was owned and operated the the Chamber of Commerce.

After clarification from the Chamber, town officials now believe the owner of that specific property is who can make the ultimate decision about whether or not to keep the Confederate symbol on the post. They have not reached out to the property owner yet to discuss plans moving forward.

A confederate flag also welcomes you into Monks Corner on Highway 17-A.

Town Mayor Mike Lockliear quoted Bishop Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff, Sr. and said "There is a time and place for everything."

Lockliear continued by saying, "We can talk about the flag when the time is right and the right time, in my opinion, is certainly not now. Let's not let the victims and their families become an afterthought to another issue."

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