LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — An exhibit set for January 2020 at the Lynchburg Museum is sure to provoke discussion after it was announced the Confederate flag will be displayed as part of the program.
According to Ted Delaney, director of the Lynchburg Museum System, the exhibit does not have a formal title, but will focus on the Five Forks battle flag.
“This is centered around the flag and the context of 150 years [since the Civil War],” he said. “It covers a lot of territory.”
Only a few counties south of Charlottesville, the site of deadly alt-right protests that erupted over the removal of a Confederate statue, Delaney knew the display involving a symbol of oppression at the Lynchburg Museum had to be handled sensitively.
He said museum professionals were consulted for best practices. The Lynchburg community was also consulted on how to best assemble an exhibit on a topic that still evokes passion on all sides.
“We talked to stakeholders in the city and did our due diligence, talking to so many people on the best way to do this,” Delaney told WFXRtv.com. “We are optimistic. We feel this is a way as a community to learn about a piece of local history.”
The Rev. Carl Hutcherson, director of the Lynchburg Chapter of the NAACP, said he was informed of the planned exhibit. Hutcherson shared his feelings on symbols such as the Confederate flag.
“The flag represented for the southern population the whole concept of white privilege. That’s basically how it came across,” he explained. “However, there are people who have pride in that flag and from that standpoint, the city museum probably has an obligation to display the flag.”
Rev. Hutcherson noted that the NAACP has no plans to protest the exhibit, usually taking direction from state or national chapters of the organization before deciding to organize opposition efforts.
“We will look at it on a case to case basis,” he said. “We won’t oppose the placing of the flag at this point. We want to see how it’s reflected, how people who see it and visit the museum respond to it.”
Delaney said the exhibit will open January 5th. The Lynchburg Museum is located at the corner of 9th and Court Streets.
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