Artists and activists around a purported 13 Southern states followed through on a plan to burn and bury the Confederate flag on Monday, WTVM-TV reported.
“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,” said Terone Allen, who organized a ceremony in Atlanta as part of an exhibit by Sarasota-based artist John Sims.
Artists taking part in the various events shared “eulogies” they composed for the flag before burying it.
“You decided to fight for the wrong side of history,” said a speaker at the Atlanta ceremony, Egypt Robinson X.
WKMG-TV reported that a similar event in Orlando drew some protesters, including a man who carried a sign saying, “Obama go home give our USA back,” suggesting that the man supported the conservative belief — debunked many times over — that President Barack Obama is not a US citizen.
History professor Julian Chambliss, who organized the Orlando event, said he burned the flag at home over the weekend, citing regulations covering the event site, a local pond. However, he was one of several participants who scattered the flag’s ashes onto the pond.
“The Confederate flag means a lot of things to a lot of people,” Chambliss said. “But to a lot of people, it’s a repressive thing.”
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at various event sites also criticized the demonstrations, with many of them arguing against holding it on Memorial Day.
“With all due respect to the men of the other wars, those men were, whether you like it or not, defending their homes,” said Scott Gilbert, who identified himself as a former “post commander” for the group.
According to WSMV-TV, Sims said Monday’s events were the final part of a series of projects involving the flag. He has previously recolored it red, black, and green — the colors associated with the black liberation movement — and staged a hanging of a flag.
Watch WTVM’s report, as aired on Monday, below.