In Response To Huge Confederate Flags, Orange County Limits Sizes of All Flags

May 17, 2018

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans install a 50-foot flag pole for a Confederate flag earlier this year in Alexander County. The height of the flag pole would be illegal in Orange County under regulations its county commission approved this week.
Credit Tom Bullock / WFAE

The Orange County Commission this week approved limits on the size of outdoor flags after a large Confederate flag went up along Highway 70 near Hillsborough. Several huge Confederate flags have also gone up along major roads northwest of Mecklenburg County.

In Orange County, the new rules say flags can be no bigger than 4 by 6 feet and flagpoles are limited to 24 feet.  The Confederate flag that prompted the change is 20 by 20 feet.  The flag pole was 60 feet, according to WUNC. The owner has a year to come in to compliance with the new rules. Orange County Planning Director Craig Benedict told WFAE this month that the rules don’t violate the 1st Amendment because they don’t single out a particular flag.

“All our flag regulations are content neutral. So no matter what is on the flag, that's not legislated within our ordinance.”

Several mega Confederate flags have been raised along highways northwest of Charlotte recently by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  The flags are a response to Confederate monuments coming down in the state.  The group wants to put up a Confederate flag in every North Carolina county. The flag in Orange County was put up by another group.