CHARLESTON, S.C. - A Texas Confederate flag activist says the U.S. flag has no place at the April burial of the last crew of the ill-fated Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.
In August, Carl McClung posted a petition on an Internet site that says "the flag of their eternal enemy, the United States of America, must not and will not be displayed at any ceremonies preceding or during the burial of the Commander and crew of the CSS Hunley."
More than 1,660 people have signed the petition since Mr. McClung posted it.
The Hunley became the first submarine to sink a ship in wartime Feb. 17, 1864, but it sank before it returned to shore near Charleston, taking a crew of eight to their deaths.
In August 2000, the Hunley was recovered from Charleston's waters. The crews' remains were removed and are stored at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where the Hunley Commission works to preserve them.
In a letter to Hunley Commission Chairman Glenn McConnell, Mr. McClung says the U.S. flag was his "Battleflag" in Vietnam. While he respects it and honors it "when the occasion arises," Mr. McClung says the April 17 funeral isn't one of those times.
"I am here to protect the honor and integrity of those courageous men," he said.
Roger McCredie, an Asheville, N.C., resident, signed the petition. The protest is about years of frustration over rampant political correctness that has trampled Southern heritage, he says.
ON THE NET
HUNLEY FLAG PETITION: www.petitiononline.com/css1861/petition.html