Vernon, Texas -
April is Confederate History month in Texas and in years past, a Confederate flag has flown in place of the American flag over the Wilbarger County courthouse in honor of Confederate soldiers.
This year, the tradition set by Sons of Confederate Veterans members, an organization that preserves the history and heritage of the Confederacy, will not take place.
Rusty Haynes with the Sons of Confederate Veterans says Wilbarger County officials told him he could display the Confederate flag under the American flag but he says that goes against proper flag protocol.
The Confederate States of America First National Flag waves high above the graves of confederate soldiers at Eastview Cemetery in Vernon.
Confederate battle flags mark their final resting place.
Throughout the month of April, the First National Flag would also be found next to the Confederate monument outside of the Wilbarger County courthouse.
"Ordinarily, I would take all of those flags down; put up the First National Flag of Confederacy and then I'd put the burn ban flag underneath that," Haynes says.
Haynes says Wilbarger County officials told him the bars and stars could be showcased on the courthouse square's other flag pole which is located in front of the World War II memorial.
"It just didn't seem right to me to go to the other flag pole which would be a block away from where our Confederate monument is," Haynes says.
Haynes has decided not to raise the First National Flag.
It is a decision people in Vernon like Frank Romero say is right.
"We're no longer the Union or the Confederate," Romero says. "We are America so we should fly our American flag and be proud of who we are today even though we do have a heritage of who we were then."
Other people like LaDonna Wilkerson say, " I can understand them wanting to honor the Confederate soldiers however when do we honor the Vietnam soldiers, the Iraqi soldiers, the soldiers who fought in Afghanistan. That is our American flag. It stands for all of us. Let's leave it where it is."
Haynes says it is only done in honor in Confederate History month.
He says, "I mean no disrespect or dishonor to the American flag."
Wilbarger County officials would not comment about the issue.
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