Banks County News
March 21, 2001
Votes for 'no
I am a black woman and have lived in Banks County all of my life.
I am a 1995 graduate of Banks County High School. At my graduation
June 1995, I was presented with the Steven B. Tanger Business
scholarship. One of the presenters was the Chamber of Commerce
Now, I may be wrong about this. But I was under the impression
that the chamber of commerce was a sort of promotional agency
that sought to promote and attract business and industry to the
area and to make those businesses attractive to residents and
The Tanger Outlet Center is the only major shopping area in this
county. All races of people from all parts of the country shop
there. Not just people from Banks County, "trashy whites
and blacks" and all. These shoppers include thousands of
blacks and whites who would not appreciate the derogatory references
the chamber president made in the Banks County News (March 9,
2001). I know I am offended. I am sure that the tax revenue that
the county makes from this center is quite substantial. Now,
I wonder how Mr. Tanger and the rest of the business owners at
Banks Crossing would feel about having a flag representing this
area that a vast number of consumers found offensive. I also
wonder how they would feel about a chamber of commerce that promotes
Y. Faye Richie
Banks County News
March 21, 2001
Final thoughts on flag issue
Now that I've calmed down a bit, had some time to think and talked
with some of you, I have just this one last thing to say about
the proposed county flag. I know that not everyone who is in
favor of the flag is a racist. That would go without saying.
I understand that the stars and bars are a part of the heritage
of some of the county's residents. Their ancestors fought under
it and it does have great meaning for them in that regard.
I, too, have a connection with the Confederacy. My great-great-grandfather
was a major who fought the North in Kentucky. When I was young,
my mother donated his uniform, saber, batallion banner and a
few letters he had written home to the museum in my hometown.
While I have connections, it is not my life, nor is it something
I base my "heritage" on. There is a lot more to me
The big difference is what the flag meant then and what it means
today. Two very different interpretations.
Yes, it's unfortunate that bigoted hate groups, including the
KKK, used it as a symbol of terror all across the South for over
100 years. But use it they did - for oppression, fear and murder.
Like it or not, that is the image and the intent the Confederate
flag carries for most people in the country today, whether white
And from talking to many of you, even you understand that that
is how the flag is commonly perceived.
Perhaps the reason many are so unwilling to part with the stars
and bars is because it would mean an admission of dishonor. It
would be admitting that the emblem that has distinguished southerners
as "separate," as "special," is tarnished
The Confederate flag has a place in the history of our country.
But no longer should it be flown high at government offices,
public buildings or schools in Banks County. Display it in museums
and special places of historical significance.
To let it go is not an admission of guilt. It is an acceptance
of freedom and equality. It is a recognition of not only people's
rights, but just as importantly, their feelings. And, in this
situation, that is what should count to good Christian people.
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.