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Confederate flag flying near I-20 causes mixed feelings in Roscoe

By Jenna Rogers, Reporter, jrogers@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 28 2013 07:17:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 29 2013 08:59:59 AM CDT
ROSCOE, Texas -

Driving along Interstate 20, it's hard to miss the large Confederate flag just east of Roscoe.

It is on private property west of US 84 where it joins I-20.  

Over time, the flag has been viewed as a controversial symbol. Many relate it to negative, racially-fueled events in American history. Others say it's only a symbol of southern pride.

The flagpole was resurrected last August. The flag flying now was put up about a month ago. It is the most recognizable flag from the Civil War, originally used as the battle flag for the Army of Tennessee.

"I can see where people would be offended by it, but I'm not," said one Odessa native passing through the town.

"It's just people speaking out for America. Wanting things to go back the way they used to be," said one man from Munday.

"I think we're past that now. Well we should be anyways," said a Roscoe resident.

"I don't agree with it myself because of the heritage that's behind it," said another man from Roscoe.

While the flag might bring up negative feelings for some, others say it's just a part of United States history.

Gaylan Harrison of Coahoma is part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He said the flag was put up in the Roscoe cotton field to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.

"This is part of my heritage. Why should i sweep mine under the rug because somebody doesn't like it?" Harrison said.

He said he's especially connected to the flag, as many of his ancestors fought in the Civil War.

"I have a lot of affection for that flag. I know what those men went through. I know what they did. I know what they sacrificed," Harrison said.

Harrison said he is tired of his organization being associated with groups he said have misused the flag.

"We're not any part of any of those organizations. The clan, the skinheads. That's not us. This was the flag of the soldiers," Harrison said. "It was for those men who went into battle so they could tell where their troops were."

As a former teacher, Harrison said he hopes it will spark conversations and encourage people to learn more about our country.

"I wish that everyone would do a little studying before they make decisions about whether things are good or bad," Harrison said.

That particular flag has been flying for 30 days, but the group switches them out to various other flags that represent the South.