Pa. lawmaker questions use of Confederate flags in battle reenactments

Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown says it’s a symbol of hatred and murder

Pennsylvania Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown is fighting the use of the confederate flag in Civil War reenactments.
WHTM Photo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Confederate flags and the soldiers carrying them came to Gettysburg on July 1-3, 1863.

The history books tell us it was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Historians tell us it was the turning point for the North.

Every year, participants from around country flock to Gettysburg to reenact the famous battle.

There’s the blue.

And the gray.

The flag of the North.

And the South, which has state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia) fighting mad.

“I’ve been to a lot of reenacting and the reenacting does not tell the stories accurately,” Brown said.

Brown recently protested a Confederate flag in a display at the state Capitol and Gov. Tom Wolf ordered it removed. Brown says it’s a symbol of hatred and murder which wasn’t mentioned in the Capitol display and likely won’t be on the battlefield reenactment.

“If they’re not going to tell the story properly, then they should not be displayed and they should not be reenacted unless they’re going to tell the truth,” she said.

“Well, I’m not so sure that trying to rewrite history is where we want to go,” state Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) said. “We’re going to have people there reenacting Confederate soldiers as well as Union soldiers. Are we going to take all the Confederate soldiers off the battlefield and just have the reenactment one sided? Of course not, that would be crazy. Rewriting history is crazy.”

Moul represents Gettysburg and concedes bad things happened under that flag but happen they did.

“It was still America’s history and to deny history at this point is something we shouldn’t do,” he said.

But Brown insists that to deny the hurtful nature of that flag is also something we shouldn’t do.

“I’ve been to many [reenactments] and there hasn’t been many that have really told the story about the oppression of the Confederate flag. I’ve not seen it and I enjoy those reenactments,” she said.

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