NAACP, Homestead in dispute over Confederate flag

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Black leaders are mobilizing to pressure Homestead leaders to stop the Confederate flag from flying at parades and city-sponsored events.

It started during a day of patriotism. The Sons of Confederate Veterans waved the Confederate battle flag as they marched for the first time in a Veterans Day parade in Homestead last November.

Six months later, the Miami-Dade chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has launched a campaign to prevent future public displays of the flag, a divisive symbol that speaks of racial wounds to some and Southern heritage to others....

''I don't understand why, in 2008 as we are all taught to be tolerant, people cannot be tolerant of me as a white Southern man and my right to fly a Confederate flag,'' said David ''Chili'' Baglin of Cutler Bay. ``The Confederate flag is not a symbol of racism to me. It is only a symbol of my Southern heritage that I am proud of.''

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