Black neighbors of a white South Carolina woman who flies the Confederate flag in her yard have responded with eight-foot wooden fences to hide what they consider a racist banner.
Annie Chambers Caddell, whose ancestors fought for the South in the Civil War, insists the flag is a symbol of her heritage and not one of racism and slavery. When someone in the mostly black neighborhood of Summerville threw a rock at her porch, she put up a wooden lattice. Then the neighbors on each side of her modest brick house responded by by building solid, 8-foot high wooden fences.
Aaron Brown, the town councilman whose district includes Brownsville, told The Associated Press neighbors raised money for the fences.
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"The community met and talked about the situation," he said. "Somebody suggested that what we should do is just go ahead and put the fences up and that way somebody would have to stand directly in front of the house to see the flag and that would mediate the flag's influence."
Caddell next move was to raise her flagpole above the fences, which prompted neighbor Patterson James to erect a similar pole flying an American flag.
Caddell, 51, who moved into the neighborhood a year ago, tearfully insisted at a town meeting that she is not racist
"I'm here to stay. I didn't back down and because I didn't cower the neighbors say I'm the lady who loves her flag and loves her heritage," said Caddell.
Caddell, Brown and James all say things have quieted down in recent months.
"She's got a right to do what she wants to do," James told the AP. "That's all I really have to say. She can do what she wants to do in her yard, but I don't share her beliefs."