A North Carolina county will slash funding to a volunteer fire department because of the department’s flying of a Confederate flag, according to a Thursday report.
While the fire department obtains $19,000 annually and $400,000 every 10 years for a new truck, Montgomery County, N.C. commissioners said they will only cover the group’s fuel and maintenance for two trucks owned by the county until the department takes down the flag, reported The Charlotte Observer.
“We feel that we would not continue to receive the financial support needed to meet our expenses if we remove our flags,” said the department after a July removal request from county commissioners, according to Montgomery Herald. “In our opinion, the protection of life and property outweighs the few people that choose to be offended and have a perverted view of a symbol that is part of our community’s history and heritage.”
The department noted that its operating budget derived mostly from community donations, noting that the community heavily favored the flag and suggesting that the department would not be able to sustain itself if it removed the flag.
“This flag is tantamount to the monuments to the old South,” said Harvest Little, a Montgomery resident who had helped plan a Saturday rally against the flag. “It’s not only offensive to African Americans but to all people who see themselves as Americans.”
Eighteen percent of Montgomery County’s 27,000-person population is black.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the Montgomery County commissioners to determine precisely how much funding would be slashed, as well as the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department for comment, but received none in time for press.
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