Apartheid Flag Placed at Destroyed Confederate Monument

Photo via Trent Gremillion, Facebook

Hurricane Laura may have destroyed the South’s Defenders monument in front of the Lake Charles courthouse, but the spirit of racism behind it remains.

It’s unknown who placed a large South African apartheid flag in front of the monument, which is situated just outside the Lake Charles courthouse, or exactly how long the flag was allowed to remain. According to some reports, the flag may have been there for several days.

Apartheid was a policy of segregation adopted by the all-White South African government in 1948 similar to Jim Crow segregation laws in the United States. Under apartheid, non-white South Africans were forced to live in separate areas and use separate public facilities. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, many South African apartheid resisters were arrested or killed – including Nelson Mandela, who was incarcerated from 1963 to 1990. According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacists around the world adopted the former South African flag as a symbol of white supremacy and began using it around 1994.

According to Calcasieu Parish Deputy Clerk of Court Trent Gremillion, he emailed the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury this morning after being informed by a friend about the flag on Sunday.

“A friend reached out to me yesterday after she first noticed the flag. I work for the Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court and the confederate monument (where the flag was placed) is directly in front of our office,” Gremillion said. “When I got to work this morning I emailed administration. I made a comment that I was tempted to remove the flag myself on my morning break. I was advised that all employees should avoid the area until further action was taken. My email was forwarded to the Calcasieu Parish police jury and within 10 to 20 minutes we received a response, “Has been removed.” We have cameras on the front of the building that faces the monument. I’d be interested to know who placed the flag there and when it occurred. Seems a little ironic the flag appeared during the final days of Black history month.”

Big Easy Magazine has reached out to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury for a statement but has not yet received a reply.

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