Confederate flag rally in Danville draws hundreds

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DANVILLE — More than 300 Confederate flag supporters gathered at the Sutherlin Mansion Sunday to show their support for keeping the Third National flag of the Confederacy atop a war memorial on the mansion’s grounds.

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The rally was held in advance of a Thursday meeting in which the Danville City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance that would specify that only flags of the United States, Virginia, Danville and the MIA/POW movement would be allowed on city-owned properties.

Attorney Fred Taylor said he would be representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans in a lawsuit against the City Council if the flag is removed.

The Sutherlin Mansion served as the final capitol of the Confederacy for eight days in April 1865.

City Councilman Fred Shanks attended the rally Sunday. He supports keeping the flag in place and selling the mansion.

Tony Lundy, camp commander of the Jefferson Davis chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, told the crowd Shanks has been under “tremendous pressure” on the issue, but has stood his ground.

“There are few places more deserving places to fly this flag than the Last Capitol of the Confederacy,” Shanks said.

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