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Court sides with Va city on Confederate flag ban

Friday - 7/5/2013, 4:09pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal appeals court panel says Lexington's ban on the flying of the Confederate flag on city light poles does not violate a heritage group's right of free speech.

The three-judge panel of Richmond's 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court ruling on the city's 2011 ordinance.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans had challenged the ordinance limiting flags that may fly on the poles to those representing the city, the U.S. and the state of Virginia.

The city enacted the rule after some residents complained that the flag is an offensive, divisive symbol of the South's history of slavery.

But the Southern heritage group argued the ordinance violates its constitutional rights.

The lower court said it was reasonable because it banned all non-government flag displays.


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