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City plan to revise flag ordinance retracted

By Michael Butler

The Tallassee City Council introduced an ordinance to amend a 2007 zoning ordinance regarding flags and quickly dismissed it. What would have been considered at the upcoming March 28 council meeting was a flag height restriction for certain districts.

"The resolution's purpose was to express the council's concern," councilman Bill Godwin stated in referencing the city's stance on issuing a Feb. 11 resolution about the possibility of a Confederate battle flag being raised in downtown at the headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "To the credit of the SCV, they have considered (the resolution) with (erecting) the SCV flag. I don't think we need to make any changes."

Councilman David Stough agreed. "I did sign the resolution," he said. "If we're trying to make our ordinance shooting directly at the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I don't see supporting lowering of the flag pole."

"This (isn't) against the SCV," councilman Darrell Wilson said. "We have something that's taller than power poles in (the) downtown historical (district)."

City council member Heather Johnson also chimed in. "The timing makes it appear that's it's for a certain group. I don't see this as the appropriate time."

Councilman Charles Blalock concurred. "It gives that appearance. I can't support it along those lines. I'm about ready to let this flag business go to sleep." With that comment, Blalock drew a few "amens" from those in attendance.

A motion was then made to remove the introduction of the ordinance. Ann Christian expressed her support with applause and was reprimanded by city attorney John Smith. "The council has yet to vote," he said.

"I do applaud y'all for (doing) this because it did look odd," Christian added.

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