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Confederate Flag Still Causing Mixed Feelings Among Midlanders

Some Lee fans still wave the flag at the games, generating mixed feelings among the fans.
MIDLAND -- You don't find many symbols that generate as many feelings as the confederate flag.

For some fans, it's simply a show of support for the team and not a political statement or symbol of racial hatred.

Football on a Friday night is a West Texas tradition.

Jeff Wickham has had a Friday night tradition of his own for 20 years, but not all traditions sit well with everyone.

"I think those are two words that need to be stripped from the english language: Politically Correct," Wickham said.

Wickham waves the Confederate Jack after every Lee touchdown.

To him, it's about pride; nothing else.

Wickham says it's a symbol of school spirit that he brings to support the team.

As a symbol of the confederacy the rebel flag brings up memories of the past, good and bad.

Some say it's the wrong way to remember the past.

Wickham disagrees.

"You don't forget your culture, you don't forget your history. Regardless of what they might want to say; it's part of our history," Wickham continued.

Outgoing city councilman Michael Trost tells Big 2 he's okay with seeing the Confederate Flag at football games.

"I don't think it should be an emotional decision. These are schools, high schools that have merely adopted these symbols in times gone by," Trost said.

African-American school board member, James Fuller, voted for the ban in 1991.

He is against using the flag for school spirit.

He tells Big 2 we've come a long way in terms of ethnic tolerance but we still have a long way to go.

Fuller says he doesn't believe the flag has posed a problem since the ban in 1991 but before that, it could be found on football helmets, trash cans, even waving in the school parking lot.

This was a time Felipe Hernandez might not remember: he wasn't born yet, but he still supports the ban and feels the "stars and bars" are inappropriate.

"It's just too negative to associate it with a public school," Hernandez said.

He understands that old habits die hard, though.

"They either don't know or don't care what it means to a lot of different people," Hernandez continued.

Others want the flag at the games too.

It can be found scattered throughout the stadium on hats and jackets, even if it causes unrest for others.

Midland Lee plays their next game Friday, Novermber 19 in Saginaw (TX).

You can bet if Wickham is there he will be waving his flag everytime Midland Lee scores a touchdown.

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