A Oklahoma woman is taking it upon herself to place Confederate flags on the grave sites of fallen confederate soldiers. She is combating the movement that has taken storm recently to remove confederate monuments and symbols from the South.
Arlene Barnum, is a black veteran woman, who spent Labor Day weekend placing small confederate flags next to the graves of confederate soldiers in Oklahoma, KWTV reports.
Barnum does not want the color of her skin or for any black people for that matter to use race as an excuse to take down these tributes to confederate soldiers.
“Most of the white people are afraid of being called racist. And I let them know that’s their personal problem, but I don’t have that issue,” Barnum said. “And I’m not going to tuck and run.”
Barnum places around 120 Confederate flags at Rose Hill Cemetery and plans to keep adding them to other sites. She believes that the current debate about confederate monuments and whether or not they should be taken down has only deepen the racial divide in the U.S.
“’I think it’s another way to divide the country using black people as an excuse to divide it because they think the black people are knee-jerk a lot and they think black people are the ones they get all excited and riled up,’ said Barnum, who was decked out in a cowboy hat and Confederate flag bolo tie.”
Oklahoma was only Barnum’s most recent stop on her tour around the confederate states which she plans on continuing to do.
“Most men, they go out and buy guns and fishing gear, I spend mine on road trips,” she said. “I’ve traveled to every southern state below the Mason-Dixon line, with the exception of Virginia and Florida.”
Not only does Barnum erect symbols of the confederacy herself, but she has raised $2,000 to restore a Confederate monument in Bryan County. Her goal is to raise $10,000 to see various monuments restored and sent back up.
Barnum is a patriotic veteran who wants to respect other veterans of this country who died defending what they believed in.
“They were veterans,” Barnum told KXII. “They did what was commanded of them. They fought for what they believed in – whether it is right or wrong.”
Barnum does not plan on stopping any time soon and the most recent controversies has just added fuel to her fire.
“If they do it (protest Confederate symbols) 24/7, we fly them 27/7,” she said. “They take one flag down, we put a bigger flag up. They take a monument down, you try and get the money to erect the monument back up.”