White neighbor displays confederate flag in historically black neighborhood
Annie Caddell, who is white, lives in a historically black neighborhood called Brownsville, and she has been proudly flying the Confederate flag in her home for years.
When Caddell, who also displays a fake street sign that reads “Confederate Circle,” moved into the neighborhood, there were marches and protests against her display of the flag. The NAACP even got involved. Neighbors built high wooden fences to block their view of the flag, but Caddell only flew it higher. Despite the controversy, she won the legal battle, since it was determined there was nothing the state could do to compel her to take it down, and neighbors even agreed it was her right to fly it.
“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 said that her flag was meant not only to show her Southern heritage but to display her Republican, Tea Party-leaning politics. She said that she does not trust the federal government, and the flag was meant to show that.
“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.”
“Blown over? Nothing’s blown over,” said Rollins Edwards, 93, who lives two doors from Caddell and served as the first African-American member of 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,” Rollins, a World War II veteran, added.
“It doesn’t represent me,” said Fred Ellington, 67, who lives three doors from Caddell and is African-American. “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. I don’t have to mess with that lady. I haven’t never said nothing since she moved here.”
“You can call it heritage all you want it. It’s a symbol of hate,” said Edwards’ wife, Juanita.
But Caddell says the flag isn’t coming down any time soon, and neighbors are forced to agree that she’s within her rights to fly it. That doesn’t mean they have to like it, though.