Local Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter concerned over flag reaction

A Confederate heritage group says the outcry over the Confederate flag is misplaced.

Wednesday morning we spoke to a local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Commander of the Lt. Robert J. Tipton chapter in Elizabethton, Scott Bowers, walked us around a cemetery where they display the flags, and told us what it means to him when he sees a flag on a grave site.

“It is a monument that reaches out from the grave and says, I existed, I was alive, this is what I did, and I have a right to be known,” said Bowers.

Bowers says he is proud of his confederate heritage, but also says over the past few days he has been on the defensive.

“This is the highest outcry that I know of in my lifetime, so you have to be on your highest alert,” said Bowers.

He is now worried about the safety of the monuments, and confederate flags that fly at a cemetery in Elizabethton.

“Security cameras are being looked into right now, obviously that is an option,” said Bowers.

While Bowers says he feels the anger is being misplaced, we asked what he has to say to those who want to take it down, those who say its time to move on.

“If we go down this slop, next thing you know the Christian flag will be gone, the U.S. flag will be gone and we will be climbing up Mount Rushmore and chipping George Washington’s face off,” said Bowers.

When we took that same question to folks in Johnson City we got mixed reactions.

“The confederate flag just represents the south,” said Kathy Gray.

“Restrict it to ceremonial and historical usage,” said Ken Edwards.

“It should be taken down,” said Johnnie Stewart.

Bowers says while the public continues the debate he will continue to defend and protect what he feels is right.

“At the end of the day this flag will still stand, this memorial will still be here,” said Bowers.

Bowers tells us they plan to meet sometime this week to discuss upgrading security plans where supporters fly the confederate flag.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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