HANOVER, Pa. (AP) — Many Americans assumed the Confederate flag was retired for good after governors in South Carolina and Alabama removed it from their statehouses this summer and presidential candidates from both parties declared it too divisive for official display.
But people still fly it, and not just in the South, despite announcements by leading flag-makers and retailers that they will no longer sell products showing the secessionist battle flag.
Some who display it are motivated by pride in their ancestry or enthusiasm for Southern history. Others see it as a symbol of their right to challenge to authority in general, and the federal government in particular. And some have hoisted Confederate flags in recent weeks precisely because it's generating controversy again.
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"You can't take it out on the flag — the flag had nothing to do with it," said Ralph Chronister, who felt inspired to dig out his old Confederate flag, which is decorated with a bald eagle, and hang it from his weather-beaten front porch on a heavily traveled street in Hanover, Pennsylvania.