It is with grave concern that I write this letter regarding recent comments that the Board has made. I present them below for your consideration.
I have come to learn there is the possibility of moving the meeting from December 17, 2012 to January 2013. Can you please explain why this is necessary? Many Haywood County residents have work schedules that would prevent them from having their voice heard. This presents an undue hardship on many who wish to be present. Is this a representation of how the Board conducts business? Are their concerns and voices not important in this matter? Or will this matter be determined and based on the opinion of a very select few or does the voice of the majority matter? The day of the meeting might be acceptable to change but the time is not. From past meetings and public forum, there has been little to no opposition to the flying of a Confederate flag. The people who have been present are those who support honoring the Southern heroes of Haywood County. The County has a duty to support and uphold the will of the people.
Regarding the flag policy, the concerns are as follows: Was I correct in reading that the flag will be allowed ONLY between 7pm on May 10th until 7am on May 11th? If this is correct, may I ask why? Is it because it is an embarrassment of having ANY Confederate flag present during normal business hours? Secondly, why is policy not in line with the state? In the resolution passed by the state, an official Confederate government flag was allowed to fly on other days besides the one proposed. Why not allow such holidays as Memorial Day or Veterans Day? After all, the Federal government does recognize Confederate soldiers as having the same rights as other veterans.
The third point I would like to address are the recent comments made regarding the “outsiders” that have brought the flag policy out into the national spotlight. The decision before Board is not only concerns Haywood County, but the nation as well. The character of the people involved should not be what our focus is. The focus should be on the principles this nation was founded upon as well as what is right in the sight of Almighty God.
Finally, I would like to take a moment and say there has been no history of confrontation or violence regarding the Confederate flag on County property and the basis to implement such a policy is not sound. The First Amendment does not begin on the sidewalk and end once a person steps on County property. Tinker v. Des Moines in 1969 supports the position that the people involved have taken in this matter.
I thank you for your time and attention to this matter. May God bless you and yours during this Christmas season.
Southern Heritage Association