Confederate National Flag Stirs Emotions In Downtown Kinston

The second national flag of the Confederate States of America flies in downtown Kinston, and some people aren't too happy about it.

"I think it's very offensive to some people, including myself," says Judiea Ruffin of Kinston. "I think it shouldn't be flying like that, I feel it's wrong."

The flag is flying atop the CSS Neuse II, a replica of the ironclad battleship that was built in Kinston during the Civil War. The white flag has the stars and bars in the upper left corner. It's widely know as the "stainless banner" and not a symbol of racism, according to the CSS Neuse II Foundation.

John Nix says the Confederate flag associated with hatred is the battle flag. "I understand the sensitivity, but that flag (the battle flag) has been used in the wrong way and it gets that connotation because it's been used as a symbol of hatred and that's not what it's about at all. It happens to be the flag used in battle," Nix told WITN.

The replica of the CSS Neuse was built from the outside in, to resemble the way the ship would looked back during the war. The foundation says they wanted their ship to be an exact copy of the actual ironclad, even down to the flag.

"We need to remember where we came from and remember the mistakes in the past. so we don't repeat them," said Nix.