Confederate Flag Banned from Bee County's Western Week Festival

Bee County Commissioners voted to ban the Confederate flag from being displayed during October's annual Western Week Celebration.

It was a real controversy, with some feeling it was an overreaching of government. Others said the flag is a racist symbol that should never be displayed.

Bee County Commissioner Ken Haggard said the controversy began after last year's barbecue cook-off at the festival, when a few of the teams flew the Confederate flag.

Western Week is the largest and longest running festival in the county, but when one county commissioner found out about the Confederate battle flag flying at the event last year, he took the matter to the court and it voted to ban the flag.

Haggard voted against the ban because he doesn't see the stars and bars as a symbol of racism and hatred.

"I don't find it personally offensive," Haggard said. "Because the history around the flag, it can go either way."

"But to have it flying out there, that's like we're honoring the Confederate flag, I think, and I don't like it," Bee County resident Mollie Barefield said. "It reminds me of slavery. and me being black, it reminds me of slavery."

"I really think it means slavery," said Pastor Eric Tarver of the Bethlehem Baptist Church. "That is what I perceive it to be, because that's what the public back then, you know, it was a slavery thing."


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