Edgerton waved to passersby – even saluting a few – on Patton Avenue near the intersection of Haywood Road Friday morning. He said he’s been traveling to cities and towns in South Carolina and Tennessee, where he’s asked for a similar proclamation and received them. He said he was frustrated that his hometown hadn’t followed suit. Many view the flag as a symbol of Southern pride and adorn their homes with it, some going as far to have a confederate flag on a blanket.
“What the hell, y’all. C’mon,” said Edgerton. “It’s the decent thing to do. At least acknowledge these honorable folks who fought for the South. We’ve just shut out one whole section of history.”
While six states observe Confederate Heritage and History Month, it’s notable that four states of the former Confederacy do not: South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. But the fact that this state-sanctioned month of honoring the Confederacy exists in so many states so long after the Civil War is worthy of debate.
It was back in 2002 that the former head of the Ashvegas chapter of the NAACP donned a Civil War uniform, picked up a Confederate battle flag and walked from Asheville to Texas. He did it to bring attention to a symbol he says has been hijacked. He argues that many blacks and whites got along well before and after the Civil War. He continued his argument along the side of the road Friday morning.
“No African saw this flag on a slave ship,” he said, waving his flag. “They saw the Stars and Stripes,” adding that his symbol has its roots in the Christian cross of St. Andrew.
“Discarded history and lies created all this hate” around the Confederate flag, he said.
Edgerton has made a living for years off the the controversial contradiction he embodies: a black man traveling the country espousing the greatness of the Confederacy and the Confederate flag, and many people vehemently disagree with him. More Edgerton background here and here.