The owner of a Macon, Georgia, business said that he wanted to start a “community conversation” by flying first the Confederate and then a Nazi war flag in front of his business to show that they were “just” flags.
Last week, Anthony Harris, owner of an art store called SEVEN on Second, hung the Confederate flag in front of his store but, this week, replaced it with the Nazi Naval flag, the Kriegsmarine. For a time, he also flew a flag featuring the Celtic Cross that had been co-opted by skinheads.
Harris told the local TV news that he wanted to start a conversation in the city.
“I just want people to realize that it’s a flag. Don’t get so much in an uproar about it; it’s good to have a conversation about it; it’s good to address it, but there’s no need to want to kill someone over it,” Harris said.
On his Facebook page, Harris tried to further explain what he meant to do:
THIS WEEK’S FLAG: The Kriegsmarine, or Nazi Germany Naval flag. I do expect this flag to cause an uproar. If you are one of those that feels the need to vent your anger keep in mind that the swastika was originally a Hindu symbol that meant “Good luck”. Hitler stole it. Just as a bunch or redneck racists stole the Confederate flag. Also, keep in mind that my Grandfather, Walter Meyer, fought for and died under the German regime in World War II. If you can honor your dead relatives that were veterans, I can honor mine. But most of all, remember that it is just a flag. So quit stressing yourself out. Have a great week.
However, not long after posting the message, the SEVEN on Second Facebook page disappeared.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.