The Sons of Confederate Veterans received permission to hold their day of celebration for racist symbology at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial on Oak Hill at the Gettysburg National Military Park. See stories here and here. “Confederate flag day” will be on March 5. Park spokesperson Katie Lawhon made the announcement. “As custodians of land owned by the American people, the National Park Service has a responsibility to make that land available for exercising those rights.” She also said “the Code of Federal Regulations, the Director’s Orders on Special Park Use and the management policies of the National Park Service all provide clear guidance on First Amendment activities in the parks.”
There will be displays of the racist symbol and a speech giving a highly cherry-picked “history” of the flag and some phony claims about its significance. Gary Casteel, the sculptor to blame for the Longstreet-on-a-carousel horse monument, is organizing the event. “Between 15-20 people are expected, but Casteel said he’s not sure how many will attend.”
While local NAACP officials disagree with the message of the confederate flag, they support the group’s First Amendment right to free expression and have tried to discourage protests of the event.