Washington didn’t receive statehood until 1889, more than two decades after the end of the Civil War. Located in the northwest corner of the continental U.S., the state wouldn’t seem to be influenced by the North-South division, but visitors and residents can still see Confederate flags flying there.
Jefferson Davis Park is located just north of Vancouver, Washington, in Ridgefield. It was named after the only Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, who apparently had never been to the state. The park was established by the Sons of Confederate Veterans
, Pacific Northwest Division.
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The park, near Interstate 5, features the Confederate flag on one pole and an early version of the U.S. flag that shows 13 stars to represent the 13 original colonies. There are also stone markers dedicated to Jefferson Davis. The markers had once been set along Highway 99 before criticism led to their removal and relocation at the park, according to Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times
The park, which is on private property, has also been criticized for its monuments to the Confederacy. The group that set up the tributes maintains it is honoring the heritage of soldiers who fought with the South. The Civil War was not a conflict over slavery, but a right for Southern states to secede from the Union, according to the SCV.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans includes members who can prove their ancestors fought with the Confederacy. The Pacific Northwest Division stated the park honors Davis’ role in protecting “coastal forts in the Pacific Northwest.”
The Confederate flag has been seen flying in areas of the state over the years. In 2009, students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville were suspended for displaying the Confederate flag. Some students were flying the flag on their cars. One senior student told TV station King 5 the reason
was to honor heritage and “redneck culture.”
The school had banned the displaying of the flag following a racial incident several years earlier when an African-American pastor was the victim of a cross burning at his home.
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