Independence County judge furls the Confederate flag at courthouse | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 2, 2015

Independence County judge furls the Confederate flag at courthouse

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 11:13 AM

NO LONGER FLYING: A banner that represented the Confederate States of America in the early days of Arkansas secession has been removed from the pole at the Independence County Courthouse.
  • NO LONGER FLYING: A banner that represented the Confederate States of America in the early days of Arkansas secession has been removed from the pole at the Independence County Courthouse.
Independence County Judge Robert Griffin confirms that he had a Confederate flag taken down last night at the Independence County Courthouse because of continuing controversy.

The League of the South, a neo-Confederate group with some secessionist tendencies, had taken some credit for a unanimous Quorum Court vote to support flying a Confederate flag on a flagpole installed by Sons of Confederate Veterans. We've written about the ongoing controversy regularly.

The flag's disappearance was mentioned on social media this morning. I sought confirmation from Griffin, who recently announced a party switch to seek re-election next year as a Republican. His response:

Long story short, I had no intention for the QC to vote on this issue and create policy. I intended to allow the Hardee flag [a banner flown by some Confederate troops] return if no dissent by the QC's silence.

That way I could respond quickly if an issue arose. The QC wished to be on record and I allowed them to exercise that right. After it became policy, my job is administrative. Under that requirement, I worked to get the consent of the SCV and it took a week to achieve that end.

The pole was put up years ago and had various flags over time. In the current atmosphere, I convinced them of the political realities and told them how the endgame would play out. They were agreeable and sensitive to that request. With their consent, I took it down last night. I wish to emphasise this radical LOS group had nothing to do with the QC decision. No one knew who or what they were because they were nonexistent to county government. You may certainly quote me as denouncing their goals and intention. They have taken credit where absolutely none was due.

I talked by phone with Griffin who said he'd never expected the Quorum Court to have a formal vote on the flag and thus set policy for the county. He said the law might support flying a historical emblem. But he said he'd decided to take the flag down for a cooling off period following the shootings in South Carolina. He said the county was likely legally able to display a historical banner. But the subsequent controversy convinced him, he said, it shouldn't have been put back up "because of what it can turn into." 

He said, ""We don't need to allow any Confederate flag up there. We're not going to divide a community."

Griffin said he expected his decision wasn't the end of division. He said he expected the Quorum Court would likely discuss the matter further and be divided on whether the flag should stay or go. From his standpoint, however, "It's laid to rest forever."

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The suffering children's open line

    Until it's fixed, nobody is doing enough to resist the Trump administration's cruel and thoughtless handling of asylum-seeking children.
    • May 27, 2018
  • Arming teachers: An insurance complication

    Gun lovers in the Arkansas legislature are spoiling to put more guns in classrooms at the earliest opportunity. Today, the Washington Post reports a complication — from insurance companies.
    • May 27, 2018
  • Razorbacks plan a return to real grass in 2019

    I don't know why the news of a return to real grass at Razorback stadium seemed like such good news to me. Old fogey, I guess.
    • May 27, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation