Controversy after Confederate battle flag raised over liberal North Carolina county

A large Confederate battle flag was raised over a North Carolina highway over the weekend, sparking outrage and a potential legal challenge.

The Durham Herald-Sun newspaper reported that the flag flies over U.S. Highway 70, a major thoroughfare in Orange County -- a liberal enclave that is home to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The flag-raising apparently was arranged by the group Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County North Carolina (ACTBAC NC). On its Facebook page, the group says it's committed to "support our precious Confederate Flag" and "our rights as American citizens."

According to the Herald-Sun, Orange County banned the Confederate flag and "other divisive symbols" in its school dress code in the wake of deadly violence by white supremacists in Charlottesvile, Va., over the summer. Still, getting rid of the flag could be more of a challenge.

"A property owner has the right to fly whatever flag on his own property as he pleases," ACTBAC NC told the Herald-Sun. "There are no flag pole height restrictions in the Orange County code of ordinance. Specifically related to flag poles or flags."

That could change when the county's board of commissioners meets next month to consider proposed changes to sign rules. Some proposed changes would ban flags over 24 square feet, flagpoles over 24 feet in height or flagpoles taller than a property owner's main roof.

The possibility of rule changes has not deterred ACTBAC NC, who say the flag is "up, it's flying, it's on private property, legal permit, and we followed all rules and regulations.

"Simple as that."

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