A group of self-described Confederate flag enthusiasts cruised through Carlsbad streets last Friday according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus.
The enthusiasts say it wasn’t about hate, but rather about heritage. New Mexico was on the periphery of the Civil War and while the Confederate government claimed control of the southern part of the territory, including current day Carlsbad, that control was broken after the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
The Confederacy fought to keep slavery intact during the Civil War and many view flying the flag as an offensive act.
The NAACP chapter in New Mexico is urging calm and saying that the display of the Confederate flag could create conversation.
In a previous Current-Argus story, the organizer, Ryan Hicks, said that there was no negative reaction.
“After we got back to the beach, I was asking everybody, with all the honking and waving, maybe I missed it, but was there any negativity? And they said, ‘No,’ ” Hicks said according to the southeast New Mexico paper.
Debate over the Confederate flag has exploded in recent weeks after nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina were killed. Dylann Roof, who has expressed white supremacist feelings, has been arrested and charged with the killings. A manifesto after his arrest included Roof in front of the Confederate flag.
After this, South Carolina legislators voted to remove the flag that flew over the State Capitol since the early 1960s.
The debate over the Confederate flag and remembering the Confederate States of America has also taken place in Albuquerque.
From the Albuquerque Journal:
“Things started in the summer of 1861 when Southern troops from Texas occupied Mesilla (just south of Las Cruces) and the Confederates were basically out of New Mexico and heading back to Texas by late June or early July 1862,” said John Taylor, author of “Bloody Valverde” and co-author of “The Battle of Glorieta Pass,” books about Civil War battles in New Mexico.
During that time, Confederate troops occupied Albuquerque from March 2 to April 12, 1862, a fact commemorated in Albuquerque’s Old Town plaza by several plaques, two replicas of Confederate cannons and an early version of the flag of the Confederate States of America.
Still, some think that the Confederate markers should be removed from the plaza in Albuquerque’s Old Town.