Potter Voices Objection to Confederate Flag at Charity Event

The day before Flag Day is celebrated nationwide, the acting governor of the Virgin Islands said one particular flag deserved no celebration. Lt. Gov. Osbert E. Potter, acting as governor while Gov. Kenneth Mapp is out of the territory, on Tuesday denounced an incident that occurred on Sunday at Brewers Bay on St. Thomas.

Sunday’s event, the Float-A-Thon, was a fun filled beach party raising funds for My Brothers Workshop. But for the acting governor, one thing stood out in a negative way. In a news release issued Tuesday, Potter denounced the display of a Confederate battle flag by party goers arriving on the beach in a dinghy.

“A dingy boat with multiple occupants approached the shores with a Confederate flag prominently displayed, alongside the American flag on the boat. This took place during the ‘What’s Going on St. Thomas’ event, which was a fundraiser for My Brother’s Workshop. The attendees at the event were enraged and expressed concerns and offense towards the flying of the Confederate flag,” Potter said.

Public indignation about displays of the flag known as the “Stars and Bars” has spread across the southeastern United States in recent years, with the flag’s image appearing in some manner in several state flags.

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The Facebook page hosted by What’s Going on St. Thomas included comments made Wednesday by those still feeling an unfriendly presence at the party.

“What happened on St. Thomas with persons flying a known symbol of hate and racism is disgraceful and abominable,” said site visitor Tiffany Scatliffe.

Potter, a military veteran, agreed.

“The Confederate flag is not welcomed, not accepted, nor tolerated in the Virgin Islands under any circumstances,” he said. “The Confederate flag represents divisiveness, bigotry, slavery, and oppression. This is totally out of line with what we as Virgin Islands residents embrace, which is unity and acceptance of all people, regardless of race, color, religion or creed. ‘The flying of the flag is totally offensive to Virgin Islanders, and I will not tolerate this blatant display of hatred to our people.”

Flag Day, celebrated each year on June 14, is observed to mark the adoption of the American flag by the Continental Congress in 1777.

The Confederate battle flag was carried into the American Civil War by soldiers of the Southern states attempting to secede from the Union. Many historians say the conflict arose over the practice of slavery, and while revisionist historians argue that the conflict was more about states’ rights, slavery was still a central issue.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Well Osbert – you have heard of the 1st Amendment have you not?
    Whether you and others like it or not it is every persons right to display that flag or any other. You seem to want to change history like other Leftists so that history is what YOU and others want it to be – not what it really was. With all the problems I see in the Virgin Islands news it would seem to me that there are many other things you should NOT TOLERATE.

      • I was stationed in Puerto Rico in th early 1960’s and visited St. Croix and other Caribbean Islands. It was truly paradise in those days. I lived in St. Croix during the Fountain Valley trial days and during the time that Chuck Blair owned Antilles Airboats – before he died in a plane crash. I also lived in St. Thomas for a few years. However it is plain to see the changes by reading the news, watching the politicians make a mess as they always have and blame everything on something or somebody else and seeing that people have changed dramatically – like you and your limited vocabulary.

        • Richard your not getting the point.Limited vocabulary No!I like to get straight to the point.Okay I gone give you the benefit of the doubt,You said back in those days St.Croix and other Caribbean Islands was truly Paradise,True!You said you been here from way back in the days when Chuck Blair owned Antilles before he died and blah,blah,blah I`m listening to you.Okay now think about it.You mentioned it Fountain Valley Trial Days.That wasn`t nice back then and we don`t want it happen now.We are people that welcome any race with open arms as you was welcome.Have you ever seen anyone waving a confederate flag around since you was living or visiting the U.S.Virgin islands until now?You see my point.We already have a lot of problems,we don`t need more problems in the U.S.Virgin Islands.

  2. I wish not to enter this debate. Plenty of people on both sides have already said enough. For the sake of accuracy, however, the media release confuses the Confederate battle flag with the “Stars and Bars,” which was the first flag of the Confederacy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America#/media/File:Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1861-1863).svg
    This is the Confederate battle flag, which is most likely what comes to mind for most people. http://www.ultimateflags.com/images/P/rebel-battle-flag.jpg

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