In a 20-1 vote, the Greene County Commission in Tennessee voted down a proposal to fly the Confederate battle flag above its county courthouse.
The lone vote in favor of flying the flag was made by Commissioner Buddy Randolph, who proposed the measure. “I didn’t figure the resolution would pass,” Randolph said following the vote. “I wish it had went through because it is a part of history and it ain’t got anything to do with race or anything like that.”
Ironically, Greene County, near Tennessee’s border with Kentucky, Virginia and North Carlolina, was not popular with the Confederacy for its pro-Union leanings during the Civil War. In 1862 it was declared “enemy territory” by the secessionist government.
“Greene County was profoundly anti-Confederate,” historian Richard Hood, who lives is in Greene County, wrote in a letter to the editor published last week in the Greeneville Sun. “Commissioner Randolph may not like this history, but it has the virtue of being factual. He should be celebrating Greene County’s heritage of resistance to the Confederacy, not propping up a grotesque distortion of ‘history’ that debases our true past and offends many, many of our own neighbors.”
The proposal and vote came just a few months after South Carolina ceremoniously removed the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds this summer and Alabama removed the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds in the wake of the Charleston massacre.
The Florida Senate on Monday voted unanimously to remove the Confederate flag from its official seal. The seal depicts the Confederate flag together with four other flags that have at one point flown in Florida. The Senate’s vote applies only to its seal, and a proposal to remove the Confederate flag from all state properties and buildings still remains to be scheduled.