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A Changing City In Western North Carolina Battles Over Confederate Flag

people marching with confederate flags in Washington, D.C.
Elvert Barnes
Flickr - Creative Commons -
At recent town meetings in Canton, NC, most residents who spoke expressed opposition to a proposed policy that would ban Confederate flags from town parades. (Pictured Southern Heritage Confederate Flag Rally demonstrators in Washington, DC.)

Alderman Ralph Hamlett wants symbols of hate and racism to be banned from parades in his town of Canton, North Carolina.

The idea stemmed from complaints he received about the presence of Confederate flags at Canton’s Labor Day Parade earlier this year.  

And at this week’s Christmas parade, the Confederate flag was once again flying high as part of two floats, and flyers from a white supremacist group were stapled to wooden utility poles along the parade route. At recent town meetings, most residents who spoke expressed support for allowing Confederate flags in parades.

Smoky Mountain News Staff Writer Cory Vaillancourt talks with host Frank Stasio about how the debate speaks to the changing makeup of the town. 

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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