Confederate flag comes down Friday

Confederate flag comes down Friday
Published: Nov. 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2016 at 12:58 PM CDT
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Photo courtesy: Google Images
Photo courtesy: Google Images

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - UPDATE:  After repeated efforts by opponents, the latest one to remove the Confederate flag outside the Caddo Parish Courthouse in downtown Shreveport finally succeeded.

The difference this time:  The discovery that the parish owned the land all along, and not the Daughters of the Confederacy.

That group had always contended they were given the deed back in 1903 for the monument honoring four Civil War Confederate generals.  Then in 1951, the then-Caddo Police Jury voted to include a flag pole with that version of a Confederate flag.

Commissioner Joyce Bowman, who spear-headed this new effort to remove the flag pole, and the flag, credited work by lawyers and other experts for discovering that the deed itself never actually went to the Daughters of the Confederacy.  And that, said Bowman, is what allowed the Caddo Parish Commission to move forward.

The commission also voted to work with the group when taking down the flag and pole, because the 'Daughters' group does own them, just not the land.  But the vote made it clear that both were to be removed by 4:00 p.m. on Friday (11/4/11).

The vote came after a series of public comments, some of which became very heated in defense of their position.  Supporters argue the flag became a symbol of southern heritage and a monument to all those who died in the Civil War, a staggering figure of at least 618,000 Americans, with some historians now arguing the true death count was even higher.

But Confederate flag critics say it is a symbol of hate and racism, and a grim reminder of the tremendous suffering endured by African-Americans in this country.  Even a recent opinion by the Louisiana State Supreme Court appears to side more with critics.

The court wrote, "It is not an irrational inference that one who displays the Confederate Flag may harbor racial bias against African-Americans."

The Caddo Parish Commission has voted 11 to 1 to take down the pole that has carried the Confederate flag for more than 60 years outside the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

Caddo Parish District 1 Commissioner Doug Dominick was the sole vote against the resolution proposed by District 5 Commissioner Joyce Bowman.

Back in May 2011, members of the Shreveport chapter of the NAACP along with representatives with the ACLU and other community leaders lobbied and protested to get the flag taken down.

The group filed a brief with the Louisiana Supreme Court, earlier this year on the grounds that it's hard to enforce equal justice with a Confederate flag flying outside the courthouse.

The flag was even used in a death sentence appeal filed by convicted killer Eric Mickelson in August of 2011.

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