WALPOLE, Mass. – Massachusetts’ Walpole School District recently decided to permanently block a citizen’s Confederate flag banner that overlooks a high school athletic field, but opted to keep the school’s Rebels moniker.
The Walpole School Committee voted unanimously Thursday to make permanent a 14-by-7-foot banner it erected during last year’s graduation ceremonies to block a neighbor’s large Confederate flag banner alongside Walpole High School’s Turco Field, the Boston Globe reports.
The Confederate banner was installed by 1969 Walpole High graduate Joseph Finneran, who attended shortly after the school transitioned from the Hilltoppers to the Rebels, and the school’s football team rallied around the Confederate flag.
Finneran installed the display about five years ago to honor the Rebels football team and doesn’t plan on taking it down, WWLP reports.
A racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina this summer that left nine blacks dead created hysteria over the Confederate flag, mostly because the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, liked to pose with it and post the images to Facebook.
In the wake of the tragedy, and amid calls to remove all traces of the Old South from communities across the country, several locals pressured the school board to take action against Finneran’s flag.
The one thing they can’t do, however, is remove it.
“The high school has no authority to abridge a private citizen’s rights to fly that flag,” superintendent Lincoln Lynch III told the Globe. “Although it is frustrating and it does not represent our community, it is…