Confederate flag flap on MLK Day


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Confederate flag flap on MLK Day

By Matt Grant. CREATED Jan 21, 2013

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - A Bonita Springs resident chose to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the second inauguration of the nation's first black president - by flying a Confederate flag.

"What message are we sending?," a viewer wrote to Fox 4. "This is embarrassing and inappropriate."

Fox 4 was alerted to the Confederate flag, attached to a mailbox near the street, at a home on Rue De Paix Drive.

Several neighbors say they have never seen the flag flying at the home before Monday, which happens to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"Perhaps it's a little incentive on a day like today," one neighbor said.

Neighbors we spoke with had mixed opinions. Some say the flag symbolizes racism and is inappropriate. Others say it represents southern heritage.

"I think he lives in the south and has the opinion to do what he thinks is right," a neighbor, who didn't want to give her name said. "It doesn't bother me."

"It's kind of disrespectful in a way," said neighbor William Lees, who said the flag didn't bother him. "People have to understand the history, where it comes from and what it represents."

Fox 4 tried to get the homeowner's side of the story. A woman inside would not come out. Minutes after we left, she came outside and quickly removed the flag - showing, in this case, actions speak louder than words.

The neighbor who wrote to us believes the homeowner specifically chose Martin Luther King Jr. day to fly the flag.

The Lee County NAACP was unavailable for comment.

The NAAC has banned college championships in South Carolina, because a Confederate flag flies on the grounds of the state capitol building.

Matt Grant