This week the Virginia Flaggers celebrate their five-year anniversary. You may never have heard of this organization, but if you have traveled Virginia’s highways over the past few years you certainly have seen their handiwork. During this time the Flaggers have raised large Confederate battle flags along I-95, I-81, and I-64. In July 2015 the group raised a 30-by-50 foot flag near Danville, Virginia along the I-29 bypass. These flag raisings have been carried out in response to the steps taken by local governments, along with public and private institutions, to remove or re-locate Confederate iconography.
The organization has enjoyed steady coverage by local media outlets over the last five years, but few reporters have looked closely at Flagger membership or the individuals and organizations with which it has found common cause. Some of these individuals are directly connected with White Nationalist groups such as the League of the South, which openly promote white supremacy. Such a close association blurs the lines between legitimate concerns for the preservation of history and heritage and the racial politics of the present.
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