White woman moves to all-black neighborhood to display her Confederate Flag
By Nigel Boys
A South Carolina woman who has displayed the Confederate flag at her home for years despite protests and attempts by the NAACP to have her ordered by a court to take it down, claims that it was never meant to be a racial symbol, but shows her distrust in the government.
Annie Caddell, who moved into the historically Black neighborhood of Brownsville several years ago, is White and proudly shows her Southern heritage. After one of her flags gets tattered after a few months, she replaces it with a cache of others she keeps on her front porch.
Visitors to her home are greeted by an imitation street sign painted in green which reads, “Confederate Circle,” that is, if the “no trespassing” sign near her door doesn’t put them off.
Despite protests, marches and legal action taken against her to have the Confederate flag taken down, she is adamant that it will stay in place, and the state determined they couldn’t force her to take it down.
While some neighbors agreed that she has the right to fly what she wants on her property, others took to building fences around their homes so they wouldn’t have to look at the symbol for slavery and oppression. Caddell just flew the flag even higher.
“Would you let your family history die like that? I don’t think so,” Caddell said. “That’s tantamount to treason in my family. You just don’t do that.”
Caddell insists that the flag is to demonstrate her Tea Party leanings, that she is a Republican and that she doesn’t trust the federal government. Apart from her pride about her Southern heritage, the flag has nothing to do with anything else, especially nothing untoward against Black people, she states.
“It’s all calmed down. Nobody’s aggravated with me anymore,” Caddell said. “They understand it’s not a racial thing with me, which I’m very thankful for, because it never was.”
However, some of Caddell’s neighbors don’t feel the same way about having to see a symbol of the nation’s cruel past against minority races every day.
“Blown over? Nothing’s blown over,” said Rollins Edwards, 93, who lives two doors from Caddell and was the first African-American member to serve on the Dorchester County Council. “We don’t want nothing to remind us of slavery in the morning. To look over there at that flag, I don’t like it.”
“People come by here and stare in disbelief that that flag is flying in this neighborhood,” continued the World War II veteran.
“You can call it heritage all you want it. It’s a symbol of hate,” added Edwards’ wife, Juanita.
“It doesn’t represent me,” said Fred Ellington, a 67-year-old African-American who lives three doors from Caddell. “What it represents is what happened to our people back in the day. If they want to represent murder, rape, slavery, I don’t let that bother me.”
“They’re gonna do what they wanna do anyway. It’s been going on ever since the beginning of this country, hatred,” continued the outraged neighbor. “I don’t have to mess with that lady. I haven’t never said nothing since she moved here.”
Neighbors have been forced to agree that Caddell has the right to fly any flag she wants on her own property, but it doesn’t stop them from cringing every time they see it. What they fail to understand is how Caddell can be so proud of her heritage, given the legacy of slavery, but insists the flag has nothing to do with racism.
Caddell’s final words about her flag were that she doesn’t intend to take it down anytime soon, and she believes “People just want something to talk about, I guess.”
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