Veteran Denied Confederate Flag
TV station WREG in Memphis reported yesterday that a Korean War veteran, Perry Thrasher, who has been a resident at the Memphis VA Hospital since 2007, was forced to take down his Confederate flag on Friday. The 75-year-old paralyzed veteran had a large flag displayed over his bed in honor of his great grandfather, who fought in the Civil War for Company I, 44th Alabama Infantry Regiment, and was mortally wounded at the siege of Petersburg.
According to the report, a nurse at the facility was offended by the displayed flag. This in turn, of course, offended the Thrasher family, who claims Mr. Thrasher’s rights are being violated. According to a hospital rep, only the United States flag is allowed inside the premises.
In April, a similar controversy arose concerning Mr. Thrasher, only that time, a small flag was under attack. In response, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp, as well as Black Confederate activist H.K. Edgerton, presented Mr. Thrasher with the large flag that is now receiving criticism. Mr. Edgerton said, “It’s disgraceful that a veteran who defended his country should be treated in this manner in a Veterans Administration Hospital where the protections of the Bill of Rights should theoretically apply.”
The hospital is being investigated for allegedly forbidding the taking of family photographs at the facility, and VA police reportedly harassed and threatened the Thrasher family and their friends. Hospital representatives told reporters that Mr. Thrasher will be allowed to keep his flag in a drawer in his room, but if anyone tries to fly it, the flag will be permanently removed.