A Wilmington, N.C. resident has been repeatedly hanging a white flag on the gun of a statue of a Confederate soldier this week, despite attempts from neighbors to take it down, according to WWAY3 News.
The resident, Andrew Bopes, said he has been hanging the flag because he doesn’t understand why the statue is still there and gets tired of walking past it every day going to work and coming home.
“It doesn’t have too much of an effect on me except my empathy,” he told WWAY3. “There is no context as to why it’s displayed. It’s a participation trophy for someone on the wrong side of history. It needed some context and the white surrender flag gives it context.”
A local neighbor has been taking the flag down when he sees it up and told the TV station that since there’s “a lot going on in our nation right now” the flag could cause things to “escalate in this area and we don’t need that to happen,” the neighbor, Chris Dobrusky, said.
Communities across the country have grappled over what to do with monuments and statues commemorating the Confederacy in the wake of a violent white supremacist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee turned violent last weekend when white supremacists gathered to rally against the statue’s removal. A man associated with the white nationalists allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman.