Confederate flags fly at Craven Country Jamboree despite backlash
Organizers say it's not appropriate to fly controversial flag on Saskatchewan festival's grounds
The Confederate flag has raised plenty of controversy in the United States, but you don't need to head to the U.S. to see it.
Despite being deemed "not appropriate" by organizers, the U.S. Civil War battle flag has been making appearances at Saskatchewan's Craven Country Jamboree.
Flags of one sort or another fly on almost every camper van at the country music festival near Regina, but most are for the Saskatchewan Roughriders or beer brands.
- Kim Blevins, Craven Country Jamboree organizer
There is a growing push to ban the Confederate flag across North America following the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., last month.
Nine black people were shot and killed by Dylann Roof, who posed in photographs with the Confederate flag that were posted online and also ran a website that advocated white supremacist views.
Those want it banned say it is a symbol of hate and racism. But defenders argue it is a symbol of pride in southern heritage.
At the jamboree, CBC reporter Adrian Cheung asked attendee Logan Karakochuk about the Confederate flag he was flying.
"Love it, It's just like the Dukes of Hazzard," Karakochuk said, referring to the TV show from the late 70s and early 80s which prominently featured the flag painted on the roof of a 1969 Dodge Charger.
"I don't see the big deal about it," Jake Bashutsky agreed. "They only flew it for four years during slavery so I don't see the problem with it."
Eric Popadynec said he also doesn't understand the controversy.
"I think it's just too overrated," Popadynec said. "Everything's getting blown up way too much. It's just a flag."
Weeks ago, Craven organizer Kim Blevins said it was not appropriate to fly the flag on the grounds. However, Blevins said she doesn't anticipate a huge problem with it.
"If we do see them on the site, we'll go and talk to them," she said. "We will encourage people to take them down."
On Thursday, the governor of South Carolina signed a bill to take the Confederate flag down from the state house grounds.