Confederate flags were reportedly burned and buried on Monday in several southern states as part of a movement to get rid of the flag and its offensive historical context.
A total of 13 ceremonies were held on Memorial Day. While not every ceremony involved the burning of the flag, in each, the flag was buried in a series of WSMV called “funerals.”
In Nashville, Tenn., the flag was burned and buried and artists and participants took turn delivering eulogies, according to WSMV.
In Clarkston, Ga. the ceremony was organized by Terone Allen who said the burial was symbolic, according to television station WTVM.
“A lot of lives have been lost around this confederate flag,” Allen said. “If you don’t see the hate that comes along with it, that has come along with it, if you don’t see the racism behind what has been founded with the usage of it, then you’re ignoring it.”
Another event was held in Orlando, Fla. and involved a ceremony in which the flag was put into a box and burned before the ashes were scattered across a wetlands pond, television station WKMG reported.
The Orlando event was reportedly organized by Julian Chambliss, the chair of the Department of History and coordinator of the Africa & African-American Studies program at Rollins College.
“That part of our history needs to be buried,” Chambliss said.
WKMG also spoke with a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who said that, while he respected the movement’s right to free speech, he didn’t appreciate that the ceremony was held on Memorial Day.
“That’s a day for the soldiers,” John Adams told the station. “Respect that day and let our boys who gave their lives rest in peace.”
According to WSMV, the events were meant to commemorate the work of John Sims, the artist who conceptualized the movement. Sims’ work has reportedly focused on the Confederate flag for the past 15 years. Past projects include a piece called the “Recoloration Proclamation,” in which Sims used black, red, and green to re-color the flag with the colors of the Black Liberation movement, according to WSMV.
h/t Raw Story