Oregon Commission To Discuss Confederate Flags In Historic Cemeteries

Jul 7, 2020

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

Confederate soldier's grave at Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia.
Credit Sarah Stierch / Wikimedia Commons - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en

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.”

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

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

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