BURKE COUNTY — Another large Confederate flag is flying near a North Carolina interstate.
Smitty Smith of Burke County put up a 20-by-30-foot Confederate flag over the weekend on his property beside Interstate 40. It’s part of a larger project by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to raise flags in every North Carolina county along the interstate, he told Spectrum News.
The flag, waving above the treeline on I-40 near exit 94 for Dysartsville Road, is high enough for drivers to see as they enter the county, WCNC reported.
The flag cost the Sons of Confederate Veterans group nearly $7,000, according to Spectrum News.
Smith, a member of the group, told WCNC the project is a response to the removal of Confederate memorials in the South, including the memorial for Gen. Nathan Forrest that was removed in Memphis, Tennessee, in December.
For Smith and other members of the group, the flag represents Southern heritage, but some people say it represents racism and slavery.
“We said before, when they take down our monuments, we put up flags,” Smith told Spectrum News. “It’s our heritage, our ancestors. There’s not anything racist about it.”
This isn’t the first Confederate flag to be seen near a major highway in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans called “Flags Across the Carolinas” raised two Confederate flags last year on N.C. 16 and Interstate 95.