Texas Town to Feature Confederate Flags Near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive


News has come in that a monument built as a Civil War memorial located alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the east Texas town of Orange, will feature Confederate flags. The memorial will hoist 32 flags in remembrance of the Texas regiment of the Confederate army that fought during the Civil War. A group named Sons of Confederate Veterans is building the memorial. The expenditure is said to be more than $50,000 and the land used for building the memorial is privately owned.

The group has ordered that the flagpoles would stand alongside 13 separate columns signifying the states that seceded from the Union. These flags would represent the states that chose to secede from the United States of America, an act, which then led to the American Civil War. These states fought to preserve and continue the culture of slavery which was later abolished by the then President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, in the year 1865.

confederateAccording to the history of the abolition of slavery in the U.S., by the year 1850, many states in the North had abolished slavery and were known as Free states. However, the southern states which were acquiring a lot of wealth due to their cotton crops, had started threatening the Union of secession and forming a new southern nation, calling it the Confederate States of America. This was because the slaves were bought from across the Atlantic Ocean and forced to work in the cotton fields under inhumane conditions. The manual sourcing for slavery was what the economy of the southern states was based on back then.

As tensions arose, the ministers of the churches in the South who were supporting slavery, and were differentiated by their Christian paternalism, the Methodist churches, and the Baptist got divided into northern and southern regional organizations. When Lincoln became the president after winning the 1860 elections on the promise that there would not be any new slave states, the South broke away from the Union and formed the Confederacy. The fact is that the six states that seceded at first held the maximum number of slaves. This caused the beginning of the American Civil War which marked the end of the slave economy.

Millions of slaves were either liberated by the Union armies or escaped. After the end of war, the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States constitution was formally declared the abolition of the practice of slavery across the United States of America in December 1865. Ironic as it may be, the Confederate memorial will be just off a city street near the Texas-Louisiana state border which has been named after the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The structure of the memorial which will be circular in design is currently under construction. It has been reported that the construction work is nearing its completion and is located north of Interstate Highway 10.

confederateThe attorney for the city of Orange, John Smith, spoke to media about the recent developments. Orange is the town where the Confederate group is getting the memorial constructed and is 100 miles east of Houston. He agreed that it was a bad idea to have a confederate memorial. However, as it is being built on private property, it was their right as per the First Amendment of the United States constitution. He also revealed that the monument is being built with the help of private funding.

Smith also said that in case the officials had made any efforts to stop the construction of the memorial, the city of Orange could have faced a lawsuit as it would have infringed the group’s First Amendment right. Additionally, the idea of a Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas, was supported by 77 percent of the population living in the town. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees a person’s rights and freedom of expression as fundamentals of an elected government under democracy. These rights include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press.

confederateA resident of Orange and leader of the state-wide Sons of Confederate Veterans group, Granvel Block, justified the group’s action and plan of building the memorial. He said that back in the 1860s, defending slavery for their cotton fields and other menial jobs was not the real reason why southern states fought the Civil War. It was in fact the invasion of the South by the northern states’ troops and the Union army that caused the war. The Confederate states were merely defending their right to remain sovereign and maintaining their self-governance. Block further stated that the idea behind the memorial is to set straight the poorly reported historical events. He said that the group intends to correct the erroneous and skewed historical teachings about the Civil War and the Confederacy, along with the events that transpired before, during, and after the war.

Block is also a plaintiff in a recent case that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will decide whether the state of Texas was wrong in rejecting a specialized license plate which displayed the Confederate flag. He did clarify that the group had not chosen the location of the Confederate memorial so close to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on purpose. He said that the group simply bought the cheapest available piece of land that they could find in Orange. He concluded that the location was not finalized to ‘stir the pot’ or as a symbolic victory.

Another spokesperson for the group’s Texas division said that the funding and material supply for the memorial was raised by public contribution and donations. He said that the local residents whose forefathers had fought for the Confederate army in the Civil War donated the memorial bricks. Some residents have also spoken against the memorial and said that it acts as a reminder of the ugly legacy of discrimination and violence in the South. However, the Texas town of Orange is all set to hoist the Confederate flags at a Civil War memorial being built alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

By Ankur Sinha

Raw Story

Photos by:
Bruce Guthrie-Flickr License
Carl Wainwright-Flickr License
Richard Elzey-Flickr License
J. Stephen Conn-Flickr License

7 Responses to "Texas Town to Feature Confederate Flags Near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive"

  1. Pink   April 23, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    If you are going to say Confederates are traitors to the United States, then we must say that the Unites States were traitors to the British. The only difference is we actually won that war. The confederates lost their bid for separation.

  2. Larry Linn   April 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    The Confederates are traitors to the United States of America. Nothing more, nothing less.

  3. David McCallister   April 15, 2015 at 9:33 am

    It is actually very appropriate for the memorial to be near MLK Drive. It was Dr. King who had a dream that the sons of slaves and the sons of slaveowners would sit together st the table of brotherhood. This monument is metaphorically just such a table. Texas and Orange need to allow the SCV to honor their ancestors. Once Confederate flag again is a respected and familiar feature of the civic landscape, it will cease to be a bogeyman misused by extremists of the KKK and NAACP .

  4. greenseas   April 13, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    The War of Aggression/Civil War or War Between the States was actually based on States Rights not Slavery per se and the cotton trade was ending since the soil was over used … also most of the slaves captured and transported via the Columbian Exchange were sent to Brazil and the Carib —– actual the largest Plantation that had slaves was in Maine – the crop Blueberries.

  5. Jeff Hebert   April 13, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    There is no difference between the confederate flag and the Nazi flag. They both are symbolic of bigotry and hatred toward another race of human beings. Hey confederate sympathizers, you lost. Get over it.

  6. chevelle1   April 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Beautiful monument to honor their brave ancestors. All Confederate soldiers are officially US Veterans, per a 1901 law and also by another law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower. Good books to read are “The Un-Civil War” by Leonard Scruggs, “Truth Of The War Conspiracy” by H W Johnstone, and “Complicity: How The North Promoted, Prolonged And Profited From Slavery” by Farrow and Lang. Be sure to read about the Corwin Amendment.

  7. Michael C Williams   April 13, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    To any possible vandals:

    They are also placing hidden cameras in and around the monument so unless you want to get arrested stay away OR ELSE!


Your Thoughts?