Virginia Flaggers continue to fight for Confederate flag over I-64

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A hearing was held Thursday in Louisa County Circuit Court regarding the Virginia Flaggers' appeal to keep up a Confederate flag overlooking Interstate 64.

In 2018, the Louisa County Board of Zoning Appeals denied a request made by the Virginia Flaggers that said the flag is a monument and should be left as is. The board had agreed with the zoning administrator that the flag broke county code.

On Thursday, the Flaggers appealed the board's ruling.

"The county ordinance as it stands now doesn't restrict the height of monuments," said the Flaggers' attorney, David Konick. "But it does restrict the height of flag poles only in that one zone. In a residential zone, the county ordinance doesn't have any restriction on the height. They're exempt."

Konick's argument was that the 120-foot pole should be considered a monument because it is part of a former Confederate soldier's grave.

County attorney Sandra Robinson declined to comment, but she argued in court that whether or not the flag is a memorial is subjective and that the Flaggers simply do not have the power to appeal the board's decision.

The judge disagreed with Robinson that the Flaggers cannot appeal.

Kelli Wilkinson, a Louisa County resident at the hearing, said keeping the flag up is a constitutional right.

"I may not care for what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," said Wilkinson. "And that is our right to free speech."

She said she has Confederate ancestry.

"I really don't feel like I should be an ardent Confederate supporter or neo-Nazi, or anything like that," said Wilkinson. "That's not how we live in the 20th century, but heritage and history have always been my life and I think that when we begin to forget our history we become doomed to repeat it."

The Flaggers have asked to submit more evidence for the case. The judge now has to decide whether or not to accept more evidence and then set another hearing in the future.

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