From Fox News: A fire department in North Carolina stands to lose at least $19,000 because of its refusal to remove a Confederate flag from its property.
The Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department has been flying the Confederate flag in front of the fire station for years. Firefighters say it represents history and heritage, not racism.
“The flag is not hurting a thing,” Lee Hudson, with the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department, told WFMY. “We are not a racist department. We are not in any way. Members or the department as a whole.”
Montgomery County Commissioners (click on link to contact them), however, disagree.
“The Board of Commissioners stated their position, that they did think the flag was inappropriate and requested for the fire department to take it down,” Montgomery County Manager Matthew Woodard (click on link to contact Mr. Woodard) told WFMY.
The Board of Commissioners sent firefighters a letter last week saying that they will withhold funding for the department until it takes down the flag.
The Charlotte Observer reports the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department gets $19,000 a year from Montgomery County, plus $400,000 annually for fire trucks. The department was organized as a non-profit corporation in 1983.
Firefighters said they do not plan on removing the Confederate flag any time soon.
“We would love to work with the county and for them to support us,” said Hudson. “But, we’re not going to move on the issue of taking down the flag.”
I found a GoFundMe page for the volunteer fire department. From the page:
“Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department is a small rural fire department located in the middle of the Uwharrie National Forrest. We have served our community and surrounding communities since 1983. The departments volunteers have families, jobs, and are active in local churches. We have 3 fundraisers per year to obtain the necessary funds to provide first response operations to our community and surrounding fire districts. The restriction the county has placed on our funds makes the burden that the volunteers carry that much heavier. All donations received will go towards continued operations, firefighting equipment and turn out gear for the volunteers. The UVFD has always been heavily supported by its community and would like to say thank you for all of your support. The support the Fire Dept. has received during the recent days has been overwhelming and encouraging not only from our local residents but those from other states as well.
We will continue to serve our community regardless of the restrictions placed upon us.”
If you’d like to donate, go here.