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Oregon Commission To Discuss Confederate Flags In Historic Cemeteries

Sarah Stierch
Wikimedia Commons - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en

The topic of displaying Confederate flags in historic Oregon cemeteries will be addressed in a meeting later this month.

It’s the first time the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries has addressed the issue at this level. On July 16th, commissioners will present their position via conference call. There’ll also be an opportunity for public comment.

Kuri Gill is with Oregon Heritage, the state historic preservation office.  She doesn’t know exactly what the commissioners will decide, but they’ve examined what the National Park Service and National Cemeteries Association have done.  

“Those are both federal programs that have taken a position on this and they do not allow the cemeteries themselves to fly the flags," explains Gill. "And they do allow for Confederate Memorial Day, individuals to place flags on the individual plots and then remove them at the end of the day.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Pioneer Cemetery in Eugene, Oregon.

The Veterans Administration also restricted large-scale displays of the Confederate flag back in 2016.

Confederate symbols and monuments have come under greater scrutiny recently, as the Black Lives Matter movement has decried the nation’s legacy of slavery and civil conflict.

The commissions’ position will be on an advisory basis only. Gill adds use of the Confederate Flag in Oregon cemeteries is uncommon, especially when compared to southern states.

Parties interested in the July 16, 1pm conference call - including the agenda or information on the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries - can visit www.oregonheritage.org

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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