New Law Suggests Confederate Flag Could Make Comeback In California

Residents of a California community where the Pride flag flew in June have strongly suggested that the Confederate flag should be raised over their Community Hall.

A Carlsbad City County meeting on Tuesday debated a proposal to fly alternative flags on the government building. The Christian flag, a “straight pride” banner, a Juneteenth flag, and a National Rifle Association (NRA) flag were among the other flags proposed by locals.

The gathering followed years of contentious discussions on where and how to display Confederate flags and memorials around the country. After white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine Black churchgoers in June 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, the situation worsened. Before the incident, he was seen in social media posts posing with a Confederate flag. The death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2020 stoked the flames of controversy over the Confederate flag.

Carlsbad City Council member Melanie Burkholder agreed with the idea of flying different ideological flags after the pro-LGBTQ+ flag was exhibited during Pride month.

Burkholder said during the meeting on Tuesday that it is all about “fairness.” She said if they allow one group to convey government speech, why not others?

At the meeting on Tuesday, some locals voiced their outrage at the possibility of flying the Confederate flag, which is seen by many as a symbol of hate.

Burkholder clarified that she was neutral on the issue of which flag should be flown over City Hall, but that the council should create a policy requiring uniformity.

After the Council chose to fly the Pride Flag for the month of June, Burkholder received a number of requests to display other flags.

She said since they don’t have a flag policy, she wanted to have a conversation about it with coworkers, and a public hearing is the only way to do that without breaking the Brown Act. She said the reason she brought up the constituent’s concerns was to prevent any kind of bias against their point of view.

Burkholder, speaking in advance of Tuesday’s meeting, said that some of the other flag demands are “really shocking” but must be put up so that a comprehensive discussion on flag policy can take place.

She stated that, in the absence of an official regulation, Carlsbad residents should only fly the American and California flags on city-owned property.