A Florida artist has vowed to stage burnings and “belated burials” of the Confederate flag as part of an exhibit he said would take place in multiple Southern cities on Memorial Day, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“The Confederate flag is a flag of terror from its use by the [Ku Klux] Klan in the ’20s to the anti-civil rights movement in the ’50s and ’60s,” John Sims said. “The flag is almost too toxic to handle, and for those who do, I’m suspicious of their engagement. Are you in denial?”
The project is reportedly slated to take place in all of the former Confederate states, along with cities in Kentucky and Missouri. The exhibit is the latest in a series of works Sims has done involving the flag, saying he was inspired by how often he saw it after moving to Florida.
He has previously painted the flag red, black and green — the colors of the Pan-African or Black Liberation flag. According to Nashville Scene, the 2004 exhibit “The Gettysburg Redress,” Sims hung a Rebel flag from a noose, which he said prompted threats against his life from the Klan.
One of the “burial” events will be coordinated by Rollins College history professor Julian Chambliss in Orlando. Chambliss told WKMG-TV that he will put the flag into a wooden box and burn it, before scattering the ashes in a pond.
“When people talk about what the flag represents, they talk about it from a kind of mythology that’s been created by people who are very vested in trying to justify the things that they did,” said Chambliss, who also coordinates the college’s Africa & African-American Studies program.
A local member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, John Adams, said that while he respected Chambliss and Sim’s right to political speech, he questioned their choice to hold the event on Memorial Day.
“That’s a day for the soldiers,” said Adams, who had nine relatives who fought for the South. “Respect that day and let our boys who gave their lives rest in peace.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans have not issued a statement regarding the exhibit.
Watch WKMG’s report, as aired on Thursday, below.
WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.
Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.
"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."
John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police
John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.
It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."
While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.