AFTER FLAG REMOVAL: The Flags Over Fort Smith site.

Confederate irregular Joey McCutchen teamed up with Arkansas Supreme Court wannabe Circuit Judge Gunner DeLay for a court win against the city of Fort Smith’s decision in 2020 to remove a flag display.

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As the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports, DeLay agreed with a lawsuit brought by McCutchen that the city violated the state Capitol and Historic Monument Protection Act when it decided in 2020, following the George Floyd shooting, not to reinstall the display, which included the Confederate flag as among seven that have waved over what is now Fort Smith.

It’s a head-scratcher, apart from the obvious politics being played. The flags were removed in 2020. The law Delay cited didn’t take effect until April 29, 2021. Nonetheless, he said the city must seek a waiver from the Arkansas History Commission by next week on the disposition of the display items, including tattered flags and a plaque. He prohibited the city from doing anything with the items.

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The city had proposed to keep three flagpoles in place for a U.S., state and city flag.

I hope the city appeals. Because DeLay’s ruling would seemingly allow anyone who had quarrels with any change to nominal historic “monuments” around the state to come back long after the fact to challenge the removal.

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Can Gen. McCutchen (CSA-hon.) sue Little Rock to put the Confederate statue back up in front of the military history museum (he has threatened such a suit)? Must the Little Rock School District maintain in perpetuity the tribute to the traitorous David O. Dodd on the now-closed school named for him? Agreement with Bentonville aside (brokered though it was by McCutchen) couldn’t someone now require an Arkansas History Commission proceeding on the removal of the Confederate statue from the Bentonville town square though it’s long gone?

Bad laws make for bad court decisions, particularly when you have a judge running for Arkansas Supreme Court in Trumpansas.

This law doesn’t apply only to tributes to the traitors who lost America’s bloodiest war in defense of enslaving human beings. It applies to anything deemed historic. If somebody wanted to take the name of accused briber Gilbert Baker, the former Republican state chairman, off the Baker-Wills Parkway in Conway, would it require a waiver from the Arkansas History Commission? If he’s a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I like his chances of retaining the honor.

 

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