Confederate flag outside Taunton home causing debate

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

TAUNTON – A debate is going on in Taunton, surrounding a Confederate flag flying high in a man’s front yard.

Edward Filipiak feels his flag is patriotic. “The reason I like the rebel flag is I like most of the culture that goes with it: the politeness, the respect, the ‘yes sir, yes ma’am’ that you’ll hear down South that you won’t hear up here,” he explained.

But City Councilor Sherry Costa Hanlon begs to differ. She thinks the Confederate flag is inherently racist. “He has the right to fly it, but he has to accept the consequences of what that represents to the majority of people in this country,” she told ABC6 News.

Costa Hanlon wants Filipiak to take the flag down. He said he took the flag down once for her, then changed his mind, and won’t do it again. “I have a right to my opinion, and I’m not a racist,” he said.

In the meantime, since Costa Hanlon can’t make Filipiak take it down, she will be handing out 500 small American flags and 200 flag pins to people around the city, to promote what she calls “the real flag, the flag of unity.”

© WLNE-TV 2015