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The Virginia Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will not hear an appeal of a local judge’s decision upholding the City of Danville’s removal of a Confederate flag from a monument on the grounds of the Sutherlin Mansion.
In rejecting the appeal, the three-judge panel said it found “no reversible error in the judgment” of Danville Circuit Judge James J. Reynolds, who in October dismissed a lawsuit against the City of Danville by the Heritage Preservation Association and others.
The association and others filed the lawsuit after City Council adopted an ordinance on Aug. 6 that permits only the U.S. national flag, Virginia state flag, city flag of Danville and the POW/MIA flag to be flown on flagpoles owned by the City. Danville Police removed the flag – the Third National Flag of the Confederacy – from the grounds of the city-owned Sutherlin Mansion following City Council’s adoption of the ordinance.
The ordinance does not prohibit individuals from carrying any flag in public or displaying any flag on private property.
In granting the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Reynolds ruled that a state law protecting monuments to war and war veterans does not apply to the monument at the Sutherlin Mansion.
In a petition for appeal, the association argued last month that the latest version of a state statute protects the flag that flew atop the monument at the Sutherlin Mansion. Jeremy Carroll, an attorney with the Roanoke law firm of Glenn, Feldmann, Darby and Goodlatte, argued on behalf of the City that the statute’s language does not apply to this monument and that the statute’s language does not apply retroactively.
The association has 14 days to file for a rehearing.