A panel of Oregon officials voted unanimously last week to ban the Confederate flag from being displayed at historic cemeteries in the state, calling it “a symbol of treason, oppression, racism, and dishonor to the USA.”
The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries voted last Friday to adopt a position paper that recommended against displaying the Confederate flag at historic cemeteries either on a flagpole or on an individual grave.
“Oregon does not have cemeteries specific to the Confederacy, as exist in other states,” the paper states.
“The Confederate flag is a symbol of treason, oppression, racism, and dishonor to the USA,” it adds. “It is the flag of the enemy of the USA. And over the decades since the US Civil War [it] has become a symbol that makes many people feel unwelcome and unsafe.”
“We do not support allowing flags in historic cemeteries that promote systemic racism, fear, and oppression of anyone,” the paper concludes. “It is extremely important that historic cemeteries are maintained as places where the visitors feel safe and welcome.”
Despite this, the panel’s chair, Bev Power, told NBC affiliate KOIN in Portland that the move is essentially symbolic, and the commission has no intention of punishing people over the Confederate flag.
“It’s not law, you’re not going to be fined, you’re not going to be denied any grant applications or anything based on whether or not you agree and follow the position we take or not,” Power said.
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