Man in the spotlight for flood of Confederate flags is arrested

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A man who gained national attention after adorning his property with Confederate flags has been arrested — and while some in the media may want you to think it was related to the Stars and Bars, it was not.

With some continuing to suggest that flying the flag is offensive and others insisting that freedom of speech is more important, the story of Edward Lee West’s being locked up in a Nash County, North Carolina, jail has nothing to do with either side of the debate.

West was arrested Wednesday on a probation violation charge, according to The Smoking Gun:

According to court records, a judge issued an arrest warrant for West after he failed to show up last week for a court hearing on the probation violation charge. West, whose rap sheet is brimming with weapons-related charges, is serving two years probation for a misdemeanor conviction earlier this year for “Assault Pointing Gun.”


In the days after the death of nine African-American parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, some of West’s neighbors in a predominantly black Rocky Mount neighborhood took exception to the flags he was flying on his property.

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West, 69, has lived in the home for 37 years and began displaying Confederate battle flags on his property over time, according to WNCN. He has collected about 150 of the flags over the years.

“With West behind bars, his flag collection now waves unprotected across his ramshackle compound,” The Smoking Gun said.

With a dangerous social media movement launched last week challenging people to record themselves ripping down Confederate flags, such an enticement may be more than some can bear.


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