Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Confederate Flag Flies Over Newcomb

Newcomb House Confederate Flag7/17 UPDATE: The Newcomb House has taken down the confederate flag. You can read about it here.

The folks at the Newcomb House have raised a flag – one flown by white supremacists and traitors – the so-called confederate flag.  Let me start by saying that although I’m troubled that they took down the American flag to raise the flag of an enemy of the United States, they are free to raise whatever banner they like on their flagpole. That’s part of the free expression we enjoy (but which the Confederates States of America did not).

At the same time, I’m free to call them to the carpet, as we used to say in the submarine service.  It’s a despicable act to fly a flag in support of America’s sworn enemies, past or present. It’s an ignorant, arrogant, and anti-social act to fly a flag that symbolizes opposition to civil rights, and that insults your neighbors, guests, and visitors. The people of Newcomb should be ashamed. I know many are.

horrorIn Newcomb, they decorate the graves of veterans while the flag of the enemies of those same veterans flies overhead. The 157 men who left Newcomb (among 474,000 New Yorkers), to defend the United States of America against a treasonous confederacy deserve better. Most Adirondackers who know their family history have a story of someone who served, suffered, or died during the Civil War. In my own family, several men were killed. One died in an enemy prisoner of war camp. While two members of my family were away defending the United States, their family farm was burned and pillaged and their teenage brother hung from a tree in the front yard. That’s the heritage of the confederate flag the Newcomb House is celebrating – it’s a direct insult to veterans and their families.

21 Mar 1965, Selma, Alabama, USA --- White Youth Holding Confederate Flag at March --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBISThe confederate flag entered the public realm during the worst excesses of Ku Klux Klan terrorism and Jim Crow’s denial of basic civil rights. Long part of Klan meetings, it was brought into the streets by white supremacists. It’s the flag of terrorists, used to symbolizes a xenophobic hatred, not just against people of color, but also against the Catholic, Jewish, and Eastern European people who live in Newcomb. The Newcomb House is flying a flag that insults their neighbors.

Of course being offended is easy to dismiss. After all, who isn’t offended occasionally by the ignorance or insults of others? But the flag flying over the Newcomb House also injures the community’s well-being.

While Adirondack communities struggle to keep their small schools afloat, Newcomb Central School has been celebrated for bringing in students from around the world to keep their doors open. On the way to school those students now pass a banner that says “you are not welcome here.” It’s a shameful act to invite someone to your community and then insult them. No doubt many parents now paying tuition to Newcomb will reconsider that choice.

The Newcomb House is attacking the livelihoods of their neighbors, and not just those who work at the school. Two other important economic drivers are also threatened. The State University of New York Environmental Science and Forestry program brings many students, academics, and scientists to Newcomb. It shouldn’t need to be said that they are not all white, and many will be appalled by the hatred on display. Local lodging, campgrounds, outfitters and other businesses will all be impacted by the unwelcome tone set by the Newcomb House.

For example, the second Adirondack diversity symposium, sponsored by the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council (ADAC), is scheduled for August 15th in Newcomb. ADAC’s invited guests being met by the confederate flag is unacceptable in my view, and I will push the ADAC to move that event to a community that is more welcoming. I will be one of many who will not suffer the embarrassment (to myself and my community) by bringing visitors, students, or colleagues to Newcomb.

What should be done?

Those who know the owners of the Newcomb House should talk to them personally about the way they are insulting their neighbors, damaging their community’s reputation, and the negative impact their actions have.

Community leaders should be particularly outspoken and should address this situation in personal conversations and in letters to the editor of their local newspapers. They should develop and implement a strategy aimed at fostering a community that is welcoming to all people, regardless of ethnicity (or gender, ability, or class).

Elected and appointed boards – political, educational, veterans groups and others – should pass resolutions in support of diversity and denouncing the Newcomb House’s attack on members of the communities they represent. This is a time to hear from the Newcomb Central School Board, the Newcomb Town Board, the Essex County Board of Supervisors, the Adirondack Park Agency, the SUNY-ESF Board of Trustees and the President of SUNY-ESF, the New York State Outdoor Guides Association, the local chapters of veterans organizations, the local historical society, and any group whose members this confederate flag targets.

Everyone with a stake in Newcomb’s reputation as a destination, everyone who cares about how their neighbors are treated, how children are treated, or how veterans are treated, should act to protect their community from the harm being done by the Newcomb House.

Photos, from above: Confederate flag flying over the Newcomb House (photo by Steve Signell); the bloated body of a dead Union solider; and a white supremacist holding a confederate flag during the 1965 march in Selma.

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John Warren

John Warren has been exploring the woods and waters of the Adirondacks for almost 50 years. After a career as a print journalist and documentary television producer he founded Adirondack Almanack in 2005 and co-founded the geolocation services company Adirondack Atlas in 2015.

John remains active in traditional media. His Adirondack Outdoors Conditions Report can be heard Friday mornings across the region on the stations of North Country Public Radio and on 93.3 / 102.1 The Mix. Since 2008, John has been a media specialist on the staff of the New York State Writers Institute.

John is also a professional researcher and historian with a M.A. in Public History. He edits The New York History Blog and is the author of two books of regional history. As a Grant Consultant for the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, he has reviewed hundreds of historic roadside marker grant applications from around New York State for historical accuracy.


160 Responses

  1. Dave Whitbeck says:

    Guess you wouldn’t want them flying the flag of the United States then either, since that flag supported slavery until 1863, denied civil rights to manyuntil the 1960’s, & denied woman the right to vote for years. Be carefull what you ask for because it might come back to bite you in the end!

    • AG says:

      Dave – good points – except that the nation changed all the things you noted. The Confederacy had no intentions of changing evil behavior. That’s the difference. You seriously don’t get it?

  2. Walter Wouk says:

    “Why would we want to fly a symbol that has been used by the K.K.K. and terrorists like Dylann Roof? Why would a people steeped in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible want to rally around a flag that so many associate with hatred and violence? Why fly a flag that stands for the very things we as Southerners have worked so hard to move beyond?”

    — Paterson Hood, writer, musician, founder of Drive By Truckers — born and raised in Florence, Alabama

    • Bryan King says:

      Walter you need to look at our history, it wasn’t the confederate flag flying when the U.S. Calvery massacre the American indian

      • Walter F. Wouk says:

        Tell that to Paterson Hood, the person I quoted. That said, you have completed missed the jist of this article.

        • Personally, flying the Confederate flag is like flying the swastika. They are both symbols of hatred and white supremacy. Of course we honor our ancestors but not many of their beliefs based in hatred and, the case of the Civil War, slavery. The Confederates were defeated as were the Nazi’s. Their flags belong in museums, NOT flying for all to see and feel one’s hatred of others.

  3. Jeff Farbaniec Jeff says:

    Bravo John for calling them to the carpet on this.

  4. Angela Nolan says:

    I will continue to support this LOCAL business. Perhaps you don’t remember your history lessons. The war was mainly over States rights, slavery came into play at the end. Some northerners fought for the south. Some southerners fought for the Union. Up here that is generally considered a rebel flag. I get the meaning as a born and raised Adirondacker. We are rebels in our own way. We choose to live here 365, make a living doing many different jobs, we do not come here a few weeks a year to play. It is home. Your spin on this article is in poor taste, basically condemning a LOCAL business that puts on fund raisers for people who are ill, or lost their homes to fire, or any thing else. This folks are great people. Maybe you should fact check before assuming You know the old saying about that.

    • Kim says:

      The so-called confederate flag that is being flown is the battle flag of Robert E. Lee – not the confederate flag that was adopted by the Confederate States.

    • The “states rights” argument is a red herring. The rights they were seceding to protect were the right to own slaves. The statements of secession made that quite clear.

    • Karen Mc says:

      Sorry Angela but your just spewing soundbites from fox news. The war between the states was absolutely about Slavery.
      The Civil War, also known as “The War Between the States,” was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America, a collection of eleven southern states that left the Union in 1860 and 1861 and formed their own country in [ order to protect the institution of slavery.] Jefferson Davis, a former U.S. Senator and Secretary of War, was appointed President of the Confederate States of America. The United States thought that the southern states were wrong to leave the Union and initiated a war that raged across the country for four years. In 1865, the United States defeated the Confederate States and abolished slavery nation-wide.
      Cited from the civil was trust

      This is the flag of treason beside all the hate that it symbolizes and why anyone would want to fly it is beyond me,

      • Beth Rowland says:

        Sorry, Karen, but you are incorrect and spewing soundbites yourself: the war was about many things, among them slavery. Your simplistic version is typical. However, Union soldiers did not believe they were fighting to free black people, nor did the average Confederate soldier think he was fighting to preserve slavery (most did not even own slaves). Read their letters and diaries: I have and it’s clear.

        Furthermore, those “treasonous” people did nothing more than the Founding Fathers had done with England roughly 85 years before. Whoever wins wars of rebellion like that gets to call the other guys treasonous. And it is definitely not beyond me why you spout what you did and point at others.

        • John Warren John Warren says:

          Beth, there is wide consensus among historians and clear evidence in both the timeline of secession and the documents of secession, that the war was fought over slavery and its extension to the rest of the country through various “compromises” and most directly the Fugitive Slave Act, which in effect extended slavery once again into the North. What you are expressing is a false narrative from the most racist period in American history after the Civil War (1880s-1960) that sought to downplay the role of slavery. It’s simply not true.

          I suggest you read any peer reviewed recent book by a scholar of the Civil War in order to bring your understanding of the war up to date.

          At any rate, no where in this story do a reference the role of slavery in the Civil War, that is a red herring to distract from the real issue – a lack of empathy at the least, and an outright racist attack on people in your own community at worst.

          • M.P. Heller says:

            John, you are absolutely correct with your above summary. It frightens me to think that so many people have either forgotten their own nations history or chose to replace it with mistruths popular in the current era.

            South Carolina left the union in an attempt to protect what they perceived as their right to own slaves. This all began in the 1850’s and by the time of the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln and the newly formed Republican Party made ending slavery permanently in the US a major campaign issue.

            As we all know, Lincoln won. The south revolted, and for 4 years more American lives were lost than in any other war in our history.

            Anyone who thinks the war wasn’t about slavery should read Vice President of The Confederate States of America Alexander Stephens “Cornerstone Speech”.

            Anyone who may have forgotten about the horrors of slavery should read Harriet Beecher Stowe.

            The rebel pride/redneck pride justification for flying this disgusting symbol is firmly rooted in supreme ignorance.

          • Beth Rowland says:

            John, I am an historian and write on the Civil War. Here’s one recent piece:

            I suspect I’m way more well read than you on the subject so you may not want to sound so patronizing. Serious historians are divided on the topic. Wars are complex human failures that cannot to reduced to your modern day soundbite explanation.

            But let’s let Mr. Lincoln’s own words clarify the issue for you:

            “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or destroy slavery.” Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, April 22, 1862

            • M.P. Heller says:

              You cite a Jim Crow piece you published and a Lincoln quote (which the meaning of is evidently lost on you) as evidence that the Civil War wasn’t primarily fought over slavery???

              Go back and study the compromises of 1820 and 1850. Then the acquisition of Texas in 1845. After that come back and tell us about why the Civil War broke out in 1861. If you still don’t think it was primarily over slavery please do us all a favor and never refer to yourself as a historian ever again.

              • Beth Rowland says:

                I’m afraid I’ve read too much primary resource material from people, leaders and regular people who actually lived in this time to reduce complex human actions to simple slogans or one sentence causes. I wonder what’s behind your rudeness about my profession other than you have a different interpretation.

                Frankly, to my mind, the war was caused by preachers and newspaper editors—on both sides, who inflamed people to the point there was no going back. There are lessons there for today.

                Using your logic, you might just as well say the Civil War was caused by cotton.

                • John Warren John Warren says:

                  “Frankly, to my mind, the war was caused by preachers and newspaper editors—on both sides, who inflamed people to the point there was no going back. ”

                  And by that she means abolitionists. Beth here is making the same argument that southern slave holders used when they started the war. That’s why the south banned abolitionists newspapers, because according to southern politicians, it was the media who were the problem, not slavery.

                  We’ve got your number Beth. You are no historian, you are an apologist for bigotry.

            • Wayno says:

              The Civil War was so clearly about slavery that I cannot fathom any ‘serious historian’ would entertain any other thoughts. The ‘Cornerstone Speech’ makes that abundantly clear. US history from the writing of the Constitution until Lincoln’s election was increasingly dominated by questions of slavery. To suggest otherwise is an attempt to white wash the confederates.

      • Steve says:


    • Dave says:

      You keep capitalizing LOCAL as if the fact that it is a local business should somehow excuse what they’ve done or otherwise affect how we view this situation.

      If anything, the fact that this is a local business makes it all the more concerning and depressing. These are our neighbors? Our fellow Adirondack residents? Yikes. If it were some faceless, far away corporate office doing this, that would be terrible too, but the fact that these are member’s of our community make this all the worse.

  5. Beth Rowland says:

    Gee, since the KKK also carried crosses (along with the US and Confederate flags) I guess we’ll have to take down that symbol too. Churches are really going to be mad about that.

    Seriously, Angela Nolan is correct. Your condemnation of a local business that is practicing their 1st Amendments rights leaves a far worse taste in my mouth.

    Very disappointed in this article. First time ever I’ve felt that way with you. Interesting.

    • AG says:

      Actually if churches read their bible they wouldn’t make symbols like crosses which can lead to idolatrous practices.
      To play your game though – the KKK CHOSE to use crosses. Crosses do NOT symbolize the KKK. BIG difference.

  6. Rick says:

    As a lifelong Virginian of 50 years and as a person who absolutely LOVES the ‘Dacks and all of the other great Northeastern mountains, I couldn’t agree with you more. It would be nice to be able to escape such ignorance when I’m in the hallowed ground of the Adirondacks but I guess every region has its own rednecks. Oh well, I guess seeing one rebel flag in New York is better than seeing one every few miles in the Southeast.

  7. Outlier says:

    To prevent secession, Lincoln endorsed a Constitutional Amendment (the Corwin Amendment) to protect slavery such that even future amendments could not remove the protections.

    The CSA Secretary of State was Jewish (Judah Benjamin).

    General Grant issued General Order 11 which ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district. This was later rescinded.

    The CSA Constitution was almost identical to the US Constitution with the exception that it incorporated the above mentioned Corwin Amendment and also had provisions against what we would today call corporate welfare. So, if the CSA had had not seceded, we would today be living under a Constitution similar to what the Confederate states would have had if they had won.

    Lincoln illegally suspended habeas corpus and threatened to imprison the state legislature of Maryland so it’s hypocritical to point out CSA wartime limitations of freedom of expression.

    During the war, the Union found time to conduct the brutal Dakota War against the Sioux.

    I think the next time I am in the area, I will have a beer at the Newcomb House!

    • Hawthorn says:

      So you support racists?

      • Outlier says:

        I don’t support keeping political states together by force. Everyone would have been better off (even the slaves) if the South had been allowed to secede.

        If I can point out facts that undermine a leftist meme, I will do so.

        • Bryan King says:

          amen brother

        • ethan says:

          even the slaves would have been better off?

          Let me understand this: you’re arguing the enslaved African-Americans in southern states would have been better off as slaves in an independent CSA than as freed slaves post-war in a united USA?

          Come work for me for a bit, please. I’ll pay you $0, beat you when I like, take your wife and children from you on a whim, and brutally prevent you from leaving. If you think you’re better off then, I’ll eat my hat.

        • Wayno says:

          The rebel states were okay with honoring their commitment to the USA until the majority of the population started going against slavery. Once Lincoln was elected with his Republican ‘Free Soil’ platform the slavers saw that as a threat to the future of slavery and decided that they would break the contract to which they had previously committed themselves. The problem was that the USA is ‘indivisible’ and that lead to a Civil War between the traitors and the unionists. The rebel flag is a symbol of racism and treason and no amount of double talk and propaganda can change that simple fact.

    • Beth Rowland says:

      Have one for me too, Outlier!

    • Wayno says:

      Lincoln once said the North must prove “that popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. If we fail it will go far to prove the incapability of the people to govern themselves.”

  8. David Olbert says:

    First, I sincerely hope no one believes the choice of the owner of the Newcomb House to fly the flag is in any way a reflection of similar sentiment of the other business owner, our political leadership, or the general population of the Town of Newcomb. In addition to that I hope that potential visitors or planned conferences in our town don’t boycott us for a choice we have no control over. I must also point out that that flag flew for years at the Newcomb House along with a MIAPOW flag until both were taken down a while ago because they were worn out. Recent events obviously have drawn attention to the choice to re-fly the Bars and Stars at the Newcomb Bar and Grill. I had a conversation with the owners today and asked them to consider taking it down. They respectfully listened to me and the conversation was civilized. Hopefully they will reconsider and put the Stars and Stripes up in its place.

    • Giffgerling says:

      I certainly will never, ever visit, Newcomb, (or even go anywhere near it) as long as it’s flown…

      • Peace and Love says:

        The people of Newcomb are wonderful people and welcome everyone with open arms no matter what. I grew up in Newcomb my whole life and did not know about the racism attached to the confederate flag until I became an adult and moved away (when I was growing up people didn’t really have that flag around and if they did we just assumed they were country). The reason for this is because Newcomb doesn’t have the issues that other places have. We welcome everyone to our community with open arms so we do not know of true hate. If you are in Newcomb we treat you like you are apart of our family no matter who you are because that is how most of us were raised. I can honestly understand some people in the community not knowing the hate associated with the confederate flag since it is a very sheltered life living in a little mountain town. The owners of the Newcomb bar and grill are not racists or bad people, they just simply didn’t know. It seems to me that Mr. Olbert and the owners had a conversation about the flag and they realized their mistake and took it down. The people of Newcomb have always been open minded and if you are willing to talk we have always been willing to listen. I am thankful that I was able to grow up in such a wonderful place. While I agree with everything the author said about the confederate flag, THAT flag(which has since been removed) does NOT represent our beautiful mountain town. I really hope that anyone that had previously decided to not visit Newcomb over has since changed their minds after reading this. Thank you for reading and God bless.

  9. Ruth Olbert says:

    John Warren shame on you! You need to change the title of this article immediately. The confederate flag is NOT flying over Newcomb. It is one business. Thanks a lot for this one John. Unbelievable.

  10. With the sudden spurt of Confederate Battle Flags in the North Country I have to wonder how these same people would feel over neighbors taking down their US flags and replacing them with the Union Jack, a German, Japanese, Russian, North Korean or North Vietnamese flag. The Civil War is settled history folks. It belongs in a museum. We ARE one nation.

    • Adirondack Rebel says:

      Watch the news. We are hardly one nation anymore.

      • Sindy says:

        I am not defending this flag by no means but to some (not all), it is merely the flag of a rebel. It is popping up in the strangest places in support of freedom of speech.
        The nazi flag also represents history but it shouldn’t be flying atop a state capitol. If you choose to fly it on your home or business, that is your choice. It tells your neighbors more about who you are.
        I do not like the flag….never did. But I am not going to fight with my friends and neighbors over it. That war is over.

    • Bryan King says:

      no its not one nation anymore. the race baters and liberals has split this country in two. hopefully it will some day be one nation under god.

  11. Adirondack Rebel says:

    Gotta love the PC movement.
    “I don’t like this. You need to take it down.”
    What bull$hit!

  12. Richard says:

    Go ahead, display your ignorance or racism, Newcomb House, run up the swastika next, it’s essentially the same symbol,one of facist oppression, but let’s not hear any whining about the reaction.

  13. Theresa h says:

    Obviously you didn’t go to school in Newcomb or you would have a better knowledge of history. The Civil War began over money, the issue of slavery came later. The confederate flag was never a national flag, but was a battle flag so therefore was not a flag of a slave nation. In fact the U.S. Flag flew over a slave nation for over 85 years. Should we ban that. As I was growing up the Newcomb House always flew 3 flags, the United States, the Confederate and the POW. Now because of bad publicity you are condemning them over something that was never an issue in the past. Goes to show you are just another one of the Sheeple. Shame on you for bashing an entire town over such a B.S. Issue

    • G. Pierce says:

      Because of “bad publicity”??? Is that all you think it is??

      • Theresa h says:

        I in no way meant to minimize the murders. But to suggest that some how a flag is responsible for a sick individuals action is just ludicrous

    • Bryan King says:

      bravo Theresa

    • Argee says:

      You wrote:
      “The Civil War began over money, the issue of slavery came later.”

      They were one and the same thing then. Look up the definition of ‘euphemism.’

      IMO, the Confederate battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia has come to symbolize different things to different people. It does symbolize rebelliousness and a sort of ‘outlier’ independence, which can be attractive. But the flag also symbolizes white supremacy and Protestant nativist sentiments (which were essentially anti-Catholic, back before the time of the Civil War and definitely during Reconstruction and the subsequent Jim Crow period). It’s a potent symbol, and it antagonizes large numbers of Americans.

      As I see it, it could be good business to fly the Stars and Bars if you want to attract a clientele of exclusively like-minded people to your establishment, and don’t really care how you look to people from outside your circle. But it’s very bad business to fly an emblem that alienates people from outside your circle (whether they be locals or visitors) and drives them away from your establishment.

      Let me put it this way. If you wanted to make sure no Jews visit you, you could fly a Nazi flag on your lawn. If you wanted to make sure no conservatives visit you, fly an ACLU flag. Likewise, if you want to exclude liberals, fly a Don’t Tread On Me flag.

      If you wanted to make sure no African-Americans or liberals visit you, a good way to do that would be to fly a Confederate battle flag on your front lawn.

      These are symbols, with meanings. Using these symbols says something powerful. If you try to duck that simple fact, you are merely hiding your head in the sand.

  14. steve says:

    Were you offended by the confederate flag your whole life or are you just recently jumping on that bandwagon?

    • As the son, grandson, great-nephew and brother of US veterans (one of whom was awarded Purple Hearts), I’ve never been a big fan of symbols of treason.

      • Dave says:

        Guess then Brian, you don’t really care for the US flag or the 50 states either, because we got our start by committing TREASON against Britian & rebelling/fighting a war over it.

    • Hawthorn says:

      Yes, I have been offended my entire life, and so were my parents and grandparents and I assume various relatives who fought and died in the Civil War including the one memorialized by a big statue in town.

    • Heavy D says:

      The hypocracy of this question nearly makes my head explode.

      The stars and bar start flying over the homes and businesses out of teh blue in Northern NY, and its the people who object to it that are bandwagoners?

      Not surpised that someone who would apparently supports the flying of this flag can work that logic out in their head.

  15. I was raised to prefer the Stars and Stripes, the flag of our nation. If this bar’s owner prefers the Treason Flag, I suppose that’s his prerogative. At least we know where are loyalties lie.

  16. Newcomb Resident says:

    As a Newcomb resident and a student at NCS, I couldn’t be more ashamed of my town. The confederate flag is a symbol of the USA’s bloodiest war in all of its history. And what were they fighting? To keep the country as one and not separate in two. Sure there were other factors like state rights and slavery but slavery was only abolished in the rebelling states against the Union. It was still legal in the northern states that were not causing an issue.

    There are probably so many people who are offended by the confederate flag being flown. Sure the owners are given the right to fly the flag as a freedom of expression in the First Amendment but it’s still not right to be flying this for all to see. If you want to fly a flag then fly the Stars and Stripes not this symbol of secession.

    • Ruth Olbert says:

      Newcomb resident??
      Ashamed of your town? Really the whole town? Why?
      The Newcomb House does not represent the Town of Newcomb and its People. It is one business.
      To wrap every other business in a choice they have made is wrong.

      • Newcomb Resident says:

        Yes, ashamed of my town. That flag is seen as hateful and racist. I don’t want my town to be seen that way, especially when my school lets other students from around the world come and learn here. I know that a lot of people wouldn’t want to be seen as racist for one group’s actions but how can we not all look racist when this flag is flying high? It’s not like it’s on a side road. There’s pretty much one road in Newcomb so you have to see it as you get from one side of town to the other.

        • Real Newcomb resident says:

          The town is not an issue the bar is. Any REAL local knows what goes on down there and most people in the town don’t even go in there. There are bad apples in EVERY bunch, but that doesn’t make the whole bunch rotten.

  17. Lisa says:

    Yes, it was about slavery. Yes, it is treason. Yes, it deeply dishonors the men of the North Country who died to preserve the Republic.

  18. So to clarify: foreigners burn the American flag and chant “Death to America” and Americans go apoplectic with rage.

    Peaceful, law-abiding American citizens are treated as enemies of the state simply because they happen to be Muslim.

    Other Americans fly a symbol of treason against their own country, the symbol of a place that started a war that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and we’re supposed to shut up, spare these people’s precious feelings and not criticize this?

    What kind of world are we living in?

  19. Ann Breen Metcalfe says:

    Good for you, John! Well said.

  20. Ken Tucker says:

    South Carolina, where the first shots of the slavery-based war of secession were fired, had the good sense and common decency to remove & retire this inflammatory symbol to a museum.

    What possible logic or reasoning can there be for choosing now to fly it in the Adirondacks?

    • G. Pierce says:

      My question exactly…..

    • Townie says:

      Just so you know.. Because it wasn’t written in his article… The owner has always flown three flags.. The bars and stars, the Stars and Stripes, and the pow/Mia flags…. He recently took down the other two as they were tattered… Just some insight into the facts that were never presented. He has in fact replaced the stars and bars with a pow/Mia flag.

      • Ken Tucker says:

        Townie, thanks. I appreciate that insight.

        It still begs the question; given the events of 17 June & this flags’ relation to the shooter’s justification for slaughtering Americans at bible study in an historic Black church,…’why’ replace it?

        Especially, since SC saw fit to remove it after they flew it for 55y.

  21. Newcomb Resident says:

    This flag does NOT represent the town, its people or leadership in any way. It showcases the choice of an individual to exercise free speech…and a poor choice at that.

  22. Kathryn Behuniak says:

    No matter what you believe about the Confederate flag, this article is irresponsible and misleading. It is not a “news” story as the author apparently didn’t even talk to the owners of the bar. It’s an opinion piece.

    The title is misleading because it makes it sound as if one private business owner choosing to fly the Confederate flag (which is his right) was somehow a decision of the entire town of Newcomb. If anyone is offended by this display, they certainly have the right not to frequent this establishment. For the author to suggest the Newcomb House’s choice to fly the Confederate flag is an insult to everyone in town seems a bit extreme. It also paints all the local business owners with one brush and that’s not fair either.

    To all those who proudly wave the Stars and Stripes, let’s remember we can agree to disagree without hate or condemnation.

  23. Hawthorn says:

    Whatever its historical meaning that flag says one thing today: “Racists here, and proud of it.” Lots of symbols and flags change meaning over time. The current meaning of that flag is disgusting filth, and particularly despicable in light of the recent murders committed by someone who used it because it represents hate.

  24. liberalslovehomos says:

    The confederate flag is a symbol of southern heritage. Anyone who doesn’t like it can kiss my ass. Kid Rocks new song comes out tomorrow Kiss My ass

    • Hawthorn says:

      “Southern heritage,” aka “slavery.”

    • Ken Tucker says:

      ‘Kid Rock’…⁉ That’s your standard bearer? Talk about clueless in the dacks! a) Kid Rock is ‘southern’ all right…Michigan! (west side of metro Detroit) b) KR made his name ‘rapping’…eg a suburban white punk on dope ripping off urban black music, stylistically & thematically c) your confused (among other ‘issues, I’m sure) about him fronting for your ‘heritage’ (slave) let’s be honest loser, flag. “Kid Rock has offered a lengthy response to criticism and protest surrounding use of the Confederate flag during concerts. His publicist confirms what many of his fans already knew: Rock hasn’t used the flag in years. In fact, there’s a very specific reason he packed it up for good.

      Nick Stern tells the Detroit Free Press that when Kid Rock accepted the NAACP’s Great Expectations Award in May 2011, he was humbled and overwhelmed. That night, he made the quiet decision to remove the Confederate Flag from his stage show. Stern goes on to say that it’s actually been more than five years since the singer appeared with it.”

      Read More: Kid Rock Hasn’t Displayed Confederate Flag in Years |

      btw, using a pseudonym like yours & telling folks to ‘kiss your ass’? NOT the wisest choice, sounds pretty gay to me dude. Might wanna rethink or just start flying the LGBT flag. #justsaying

      • Ken Tucker says:

        *Not that there’s anything ‘wrong’ w/that but unless it’s some kind of subconscious ‘cry for help’ of coming outta the ‘closet’, you might want to ‘butch up’ the pseudonym.Kid Rock has offered a lengthy response to criticism and protest surrounding use of the Confederate flag during concerts. His publicist confirms what many of his fans already knew: Rock hasn’t used the flag in years. In fact, there’s a very specific reason he packed it up for good.

        Nick Stern tells the Detroit Free Press that when Kid Rock accepted the NAACP’s Great Expectations Award in May 2011, he was humbled and overwhelmed. That night, he made the quiet decision to remove the Confederate Flag from his stage show. Stern goes on to say that it’s actually been more than five years since the singer appeared with it.

        Read More: Kid Rock Hasn’t Displayed Confederate Flag in Years |

  25. Joe says:

    I’m curious if you’ve spoken to the owners/occupants of this Newcomb House? Do you know why they’re flying that flag? Do you think their purpose is to insult their neighbors, or to dishonor the fallen? Many people, whether we agree with it or not, think it’s a contemporary statement to raise that flag in opposition to a white washing, or erasing of American History. The Civil War is a part of our history. I just think that you might be surprised as to why YOUR neighbors over at that Newcomb house might be raising that flag. Have a nice talk with them over coffee, before you try to hurt their livelihood. Do YOUR due diligence.

    Signed- an uninterested party from NYC.

    • Heavy D says:

      You have to fly the stars and bars or else you are erasing American History? That is akin to saying you need to wear a swastika tee shirt in order to remember WWII.

      The wirter is not hurting the owners livelihood, the owner is hurting their own.

      They have the freedom of expression, but they do not have the freedom from reaction to their expression. They obviously wanted to make a statement by flying this flag. They made it, and now they have to deal with the reaction to that statement.

      • Joe says:

        I said ‘many people, whether we agree with it or not, think it’s a contemporary statement to raise that flag in opposition to a white washing, or erasing of American History.’

        I didn’t say ‘you have to fly the stars and bars or you’re erasing American history’ You’ve misrepresented, or misunderstood entirely, the point I was making. Your comparison to wearing a swastika in order to remember WWII is equally confusing.

        In my opinion the reporter is misusing their power of the press to bully and intimidate another because they don’t agree with their opinion while exercising they freedom of expression.

  26. Joe says:

    I’m curious if you’ve spoken to the owners/occupants of this Newcomb House? Do you know why they’re flying that flag? Do you think their purpose is to insult their neighbors, or to dishonor the fallen? Many people, whether we agree with it or not, think it’s a contemporary statement to raise that flag in opposition to a white washing, or erasing of American History; of which the The Civil War is a part of. I just think that you might be surprised why YOUR neighbors over at that Newcomb house might be raising that flag. Have a nice talk with them over coffee, before you try to hurt their livelihood. Do YOUR due diligence.

    Signed- an uninterested party from NYC.

    – See more at:

  27. John Lacy says:

    There have been genocidle numbers of America Indians slaughter under the flag of the United States. We barbarically ripped them from their land and put them into camps or forced them into other parts of the country. We built on their sacred land and stole their freedoms. So before rushing or judging someone that waves that flag, remember what your ancestors did to the people of this land first!

  28. John doe says:

    Alright so all of you need to get over yourselves. Sure, the flag was flown in one of the bloodiest wars and symbolizes many things but for the owners to be flying this flag outside their bar shouldn’t cause this much debate.

    To the idiot who wrote the article, you sure made other businesses in town look just as bad and for that I lost all respect for you. The rest of newcomb or anyone or anything should not be judged based on this flag being flown at one building. It’s pathetic and unprofessional that even you jumped to that conclusion.

    Also, who the hell are any of you to judge the owners? Who are you to tell them they are racists? Hasn’t anyone ever told you, “don’t judge a book by its cover”? and that’s exactly what you’re all doing. “Oh, they hung the Confederate flag, they must be racist” how do you really know? Oh wait, you dont. And maybe they would have hung both but only have one pole. There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.

    This shouldnt affect anyone and if it does, get over it. It’s a thing of the past. Really, most people today who wave the Confederate flag behind their cars or anything just do it to show their pride in the south not intentionally meating thr whole history behind the flag. They mean no harm. So everyone put on their big boy panties, get over it and move on. Its just an opinion and you’re never going to change it.

    And whoever wrote the comment about the school and the International program needs to go visit the school. We accept all those students into our communities and if they don’t like it here, it’s not because of the school, it’s the students in the school because they treat some of the exchange student poorly. Every student who has attended NCS from another country has their countries flag hanging in the hall.

    I guess what I’m saying is, everyone needs to get over it. If it affends you, don’t look at it. You don’t always get what you want in life. Not everyone is going to think like you, so please, turn your backs, walk away and let it go because im pretty sure we have more impprtant things to worry about than what flag is being flown.

    • G. Pierce says:

      You’re calling the writer of this editorial an idiot?? While you defend those who are CLEARLY making a statement of hate and the support of treason of this country? Seriously?

    • Ken Tucker says:

      “It’s a thing of the past” …Try telling that to the families of the 9 dead in SC, no name.

  29. treeman says:

    They are looking for attention; like a kid that misbehaves. I would love to see people respond by not going there while that flag flies.

  30. Outlier says:

    Since Sanctuary Cities are defying US law in a clear act of rebellion, shouldn’t this treason be crushed by force? How about the states that decriminalized marijuana?

  31. Tim says:

    I’m never eating or drinking there again!

    • BuSh says:

      Tim, if you’ve eaten or drank there before…. It was flying then oh and it wasn’t the American Flag that was taken down, it was the Budwiser flag

  32. pittsburgh says:

    this place will do good business for a couple weeks, as the morons will flock to it in support. in the long run they will lose, as most passerby will see the flag and look elsewhere for lunch…i am even a bit surprised some of the commentators passed the math problem at the bottom to leave a comment.

  33. Brian says:

    No need to hold the community responsible for the actions of one household or business. Though I personally find it offensive to display the confederate flag and all that it represents, it is their right to do so as you stated. We cannot and should not bully these people into taking the flag down. It will, after all, not change their core beliefs. Let them wallow in their ignorance and let them be known by all,

  34. G. Pierce says:

    What a superb editorial on this volatile issue!!

  35. Mr Barton H D'Avignon says:

    I enjoyed reading this article . Never actually gave the confederate flag much thought until the controversy the last few weeks .I do agree that this would have been even a much better write if the owner was interviewed . There are two sides to every coin . No doubt about it, I’m ignorant on what some feel this flag represents. I just always felt to was to show southern heritage and being rebel to our big government. with all its laws. Even thou it also bothers me when someone takes down the stars and stripes and replaces it with another .I believe as the author states, we do live in a still somewhat free country. One of the prices is, that something what others do, we just have to live with. Another is our military graves. The souls in these graves gave the ultimate price so, a so called rebel can, as long as he doesn’t physical harm another, express himself in a manner he chooses. Next time I’m in the area I think I’ll stop in and ask the guy. about his flag.

  36. I am very proud of my Uncle Mike for flying a flag that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whatever you were babbling about in your article. This flag is a symbol of a war that was fought, not between black and white but between the north and south. Black and white fought together, side by side! If you are going to attack a business and a town then I’m thinking you should get your facts straight!

    • Hawthorn says:

      It’s a racist hate flag.

      • JG says:

        I believe, knowing Mike, that he is doing nothing more than “rebelling”. His point is, don’t tell me what to say or do. He is slamming home the point that this IS or WAS a free country, and you have the freedom of speech and expression, no matter what that opinion is. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you are going to offend someone. The hardcore Christians are offended by the gays flying a rainbow flag, because the rainbow was a convenant between God and his people. They see it that the gays have committed a heinous offense against God in choosing those colors. BUT.. they have every right to fly it in America. Because it is America.. What anyone’s opinion as to what any flag represents is null and void. The point is ….the right to fly it.

        • M.P. Heller says:

          You have a right to fly the Nazi flag too, but regardless of your reasons you still look like as @sshole for doing it. This is no different.

    • Kevin Donovan says:

      That is another southern history falsehood, along with the one that the war was not over slavery, that blacks fought side beside with whites on the side of the confederacy. That was discussed in the south as things got desperate but the whites in the south were terrified of arming the slaves, after the slave rebellion in the Caribbean. At the end of the war the actually did start to raise 2 units of black troops but they were never used because the war ended.

    • Briana says:

      I completely disagree with this article the flag is NOT a racist flag, people made it racist. And I agree with you Sherri. I am also proud mikes flying that flag. Won’t loose my business!

  37. Curt Austin says:

    Somehow, I’ve always pictured Newcomb as an enlightened place, truly “The Heart of the Park”, but I find myself thinking otherwise this morning.

    Wait, you say, I’m judging the whole town by the actions of a few. Isn’t that prejudice? Why, yes, it is! What a helpless feeling, being judged by the actions of others.

    But this is a problem for you, Newcomb. You’ll be judged – properly – by how you react. Will you continue to patronize the Newcomb House? Will your town council pass a resolution? Will you choose to defend freedom of speech but forget to use it yourself? Will you speak out against a symbol of prejudice? Will you call out the Fox-inspired Big Lie about this flag representing something other than the obvious?

    You’ve got some work to do to defend your tagline “The Heart of the Park”. Good luck.

  38. Mechelle Roy says:

    PLEASE let it be known that this does NOT represent the mentality of the people of Newcomb. There are so many of us mortified and offended by this insensitive and tasteless display of an embarrassing piece of history. Newcomb has so much to offer in the it’s environment and it’s people. Don’t let it’s bad apples dissuade you. Believe me when I say you can enjoy Newcomb without going anywhere near that place and you’re not missing a thing.

  39. Joe Steiniger says:

    This really all comes down to manners. Some people have good manners. Some people don’t. Some people flying this flag may have none so in the past because it is “part of their heritage” and had no ill intent. Anyone who is flying it in 2015 certainly knows that many others are deeply offended by it. They see it as a heritage of bondage, of rape, of families exploited, broken up for sale, and hung from a tree to die.
    You want to fly this flag because it is a symbol of what you think of as “the good old days”? Sorry, you lose. A century of torture trumps your nostalgia. Have some consideration. At least have some manners.

  40. Ray says:

    I agree 100%. And while we’re at it- Robert E. Lee was the worst traitor in American history, responsible for the deaths of over 600,000 young American men. So why is he honored in the South?

  41. D Ling says:

    Two of our uncles left their home in the High Peaks to volunteer to fight the South in that bloody war and neither returned home. One died in a horrific prison camp. Even before reading the article, I saw the photo as just another example of ignorant bigotry that would again tear my beloved United States apart if it could. It is indeed the flag of traitors to our country – the flag of a people to whom slavery was more important than the United States. People who fly it today are not freedom-loving Americans at heart as they would tell us – they are fascists who would be more at home in Putin’s Russia, where bullying, intimidation and persecution triumph over freedom. Ironically, they are free to leave because we won, but once there, they could lose the freedom to return.

  42. Curt Austin says:

    A white person might say “n****r”, while claiming he doesn’t mean anything derogatory by it. He can support this assertion: it was used quite innocently long ago, it’s just the way the Spanish word for “black” was pronounced in the South, it’s even used today by blacks among themselves. All true, but this word – this symbol – has acquired a meaning that only racists will want to express.

    Like it or not, the flag in question is a similar symbol. Not so obviously, perhaps. It may even have legitimate uses. The users of this symbol must be aware of all of its meanings. Fly it, and all of its meanings flap in the breeze, not just the one they want. They cannot blithely disclaim the most serious of them.

  43. Pete Klein says:

    The people of Newcomb and all who vacation and pass through Newcomb can best display their displeasure at the flag being flown at the Newcomb House by not patronizing the Newcomb House.
    It should be shunned.

  44. Jennifer Stickney says:

    Flag is OFFICIALLY DOWN as of this morning. AMEN!

    • Paul says:

      That’s good to hear. When I saw this post I was wondering if it was really a good idea for John to call this out so publicly. Looks like it was. I just worry that sometimes when you give these kinds of people the attention they are probably craving they seem to dig in and double down. Glad to hear they have come to their senses.

  45. Dave says:

    Some people on here don’t like that the business in Newcomb is flying the Confederate Flag, & some could care less. To those that have a issue with it I point out the followinf:

    General Washington- owned slaves. But the still got a city & Monmunent named after him. His birth place is a National historic landmark.
    Thomas Jefferson – owned slaves. Got a monmunent in Washington DC, his birht place is a national historic location.

    13 original states COMMITTED TREASON against Britian in 1776.

    And now onto the civil war: We have MANY battlefields where battles were fought & WON by the Confederates that are National Historic Places. Vicksburg Mississippi still refuses the celebrate the 4th of July, because that was when they surrendered to the Union Army in 1863.

    SO get over it. If they want to fly it, so be. If you don’t want to support their business so be. But geeze some people on here need to grow a pair!

    • Paul says:

      It doesn’t make any difference that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves. People make mistake and they learn from them and we move on. Same goes for the US. Move forward and look back. Things like this belong in the museum.

  46. Randy says:

    Every time I see this nasty rag displayed it’s usually on the property of some chest-thumping ignoramus who is filled with self-centered hate for the “others” who took away their jobs, respect or their position in life. If you live in the Adirondacks you are part of a heritage of those who fought to preserve a union that would have been dissolved by those who would fight to preserve their right to own “property” that would ensure their economic livelihood, in other words, human beings as slaves. Those who slept through history class made themselves known by their comments.

  47. Louise Fishgut says:

    Holy cow! Thank you Newcomb House, now everyone in the Country knows how intolerant you all are. As a tax payer in Newcomb I am relieved that you have identified yourselves so I may keep my friends and relatives ( my blended family members) out of you establishment for good. Since the 1960’s I have found the MAJORITY of the folks in Newcomb, NY to be the , most giving, sincere, unbiased and tolerate people I know. Shame on you fools for your display of ignorance and intolerance at a time when we as adults need to teach by example, our young and impressionable kids that bigotry is not cool. So get over yourselves Newcomb House push yourselves away from the whiskey you obviously drank before you did this. Sober up knuckleheads and take the dam flag down.

    • Deb Me says:

      I pay taxes in Newcomb also.. You need to get over yourself, just because of a flag
      you berate people who have done more than you for the community. Did you ever show up for any of the fund raiser events over the years? Newcomb House has raised many dollars for the community and surrounding area. You are the knucklehead for not joining,afraid you’d get drunk!

      • Louise Fishgut says:

        Deb, You are correct, the Newcomb House has been a great partner in the community however, all that good goes out the window when they raise a flag that is without a doubt symbolic of slavery and oppression in this country. Moreover, it has only been one month, June 17, 2015 that Dylann Roof walked into the Church in South Carolina and assassinated 9 peaceful, innocent people during their bible study group. This young man’s manifesto depicted pictures of himself shrouded in the Confederate Flag. One would have to be drunk to allow a Confederate Flag to wave over their place business in light of the NATIONAL controversy today. Perhaps the the Newcomb House would like to put on a fund raiser for the families of those killed in the church shooting. If so, I will be the first one to write a check.. Peace to you sister.

  48. Travis says:

    The title of this article is irresponsible journalism. I believe in your freedom of speech and you have every right to feel the way you feel, but maybe before writing this you should have done a little research into the business that you’re writing about. It’s funny how you can read through your previous articles and your personal Facebook page and you never see a word about this flag until it became popular to be against it. If you’re going to stand for something don’t just jump on the bandwagon when it’s popular to do so. Also it’s odd for someone like you John, to speak of Traitors and Treason when you openly quote Edward Snowden on your personal Facebook page. You also seem to have jumped on the I Hate The Police bandwagon as well(again Facebook). See unlike you, I took a look at what you stand for before I wrote something about you that other people may actually read. All that being said, I do not stand for flying the bars and stars and yes I am from Newcomb. I believe in flying the Flag of The United States of America. At the same time, it is his right to be able to fly whatever flag he chooses whether it be the Gay Pride Flag, the Japanese Flag, the German Flag, the Canadian Flag or any other Flag. The great thing about being an American is that it’s your choice to do so. I’m sure the Japanese Americans that were put into internment camps during the 2nd World War and their relatives may not always love the US Flag or the government that put them their for no other reason than their race. How about the Native Americans who we took land from and murdered, the land that you’re currently living on right now, maybe they’re offended by the US Flag? If you look at the past, pretty much EVERY Flag has some pretty terrible history at some point in its existence including our current Stars and Stripes. I love the US Flag and I would never change it, but it along with many other flags across the globe have flown over both amazing and terrible moments in history. I recently saw a pick-up truck drive through Glens Falls/Queensbury with a Confederate Flag flying in the bed of it, by your logic, I guess that means the entire towns of Queensbury and Glens Falls should be held accountable for allowing that to happen? You can’t hold an entire town liable for one persons right/choice to use their freedom of expression as they wish. If it offends you, don’t visit his establishment. It’s really that simple, but no one has the right to make him remove it. Also just so that you’re aware since you didn’t do any research about the Newcomb House before writing this article. They in fact did not remove the American Flag to raise the Confederate Flag. The American Flag and the POW MIA Flag were taken down long ago due to the fact that they were worn and just haven’t been replaced yet. All 3 Flags have flown for years at the Newcomb House. The owner himself is a veteran of the United States. Like I said at the beginning, this article was written without any fact checking. A responsible journalist would have done that and you sir, are clearly not a responsible journalist.

  49. Bob Worth says:

    Dear John Warren:
    Good article; good for you; and thanks.
    Bob and Blaikie Worth

  50. Bellota says:

    Thanks, John for bringing this issue of the Confederacy’s battle flag to our attention. Whenever I see this symbol, I equate it with morons.

  51. DaveO says:

    I booked our campsite at Lake Harris yesterday, before I saw this article. I had planned to dine at the two local eateries sometime during our stay. I googled them. I like dinner-type food and try to support local businesses whenever I can. We will not be dining at the Newcomb House.

    BTW, I am 100% southern-blooded. Our flag has been stolen, completely embezzled by hateful racists and their contemptible violence. We cannot change or stop that now. Only thing to do is move on, and use other symbols to show pride in our heritage and ancestors. Unless, of course, one is, in fact, a hateful racist.

  52. M. Meyer says:

    Interesting and lengthy conversation. Many good points raised in this emotionally charged issue. I would certainly like to hear from the owners of the Newcomb House why the confederate flag has flown now or in the past. Perhaps then we can understand better their motivation.

    • Sindy says:

      I find this extremely interesting. I did not want to get in on the flag debate because there are soooo many other issues. But as a neighbor of Newcomb, this hit very close to home. I too would love to hear from them as they are Adirondackers. I’ve lived in the south and know what this flag means there. I want to know what it means HERE.

  53. Charlie S says:

    Karen Mc says: “This is the flag of treason beside all the hate that it symbolizes and why anyone would want to fly it is beyond me,”

    The same reason why a boy tears the wings off of a butterfly Karen….because he just don’t know any better.Most of our problems are because too many people just don’t know any better.

  54. Charlie S says:

    Adirondack Rebel says: “Watch the news. We are hardly one nation anymore.”

    So true! Divided we stand is more like it! But you don’t have to watch the news to know this.Matter of fact if we got rid of televisions maybe we’d have more people thinking for themselves instead of more people acting and looking like Hollywood stars or sports players.

  55. Charlie S says:

    Bryan King says: “no its not one nation anymore. the race baters and liberals has split this country in two. hopefully it will some day be one nation under god.”

    Your true colors stand out Bryan. Your ignorance too with such comments.

  56. Hawthorn says:

    At the very least hopefully someone will hand out a notice at the Adirondack Diversity Advisory Council meeting advising everyone which business not to patronize while in town. A meeting like that should really be held somewhere easier to get to and with more diversity anyway. Nothing like having a meeting about diversity in one of the least diverse places in the entire country! Sends a bad message.

  57. Charlie S says:

    Argee says: “it’s very bad business to fly an emblem that alienates people from outside your circle (whether they be locals or visitors) and drives them away from your establishment.”

    People don’t think Argee. Mindlessness is rampant in this society as you well know. My initial thoughts when I read John’s piece was why would somebody put the rebel flag up right after the church murders…the very event that got this divisive dialogue going in this country? Not too bright if you ask me.

  58. M.P. Heller says:

    At the Inn at Eagle Bay we fly four different flags out front facing Route 28. We fly one which says OPEN during business hours, one which depicts a woodland scene with deer, the flag of the Great State of New York, and The Stars and Stripes. Over across the street from us at the Eagle Bay Tavern they fly the Stars and Stripes and a Harley Davidson logo flag. No CSA battle flags here. Nor will there be any as neither the owner of The Inn, (me) and the owners of The Tavern would permit a symbol of such an evil institution of hate and violence to fly over our peaceful and patriotic community.

  59. Bob Meyer says:

    Stop quibbling over the details of historical accuracy and just realize what this flag stands for NOW. Xenophobia, intolerance of others who are “different” etc.
    The display of this flag hurts Newcomb and the Adirondacks economically socially morally etc.
    Your choice Newcomb House!

  60. Charlie S says:

    Argee says: “These are symbols, with meanings. Using these symbols says something powerful. If you try to duck that simple fact, you are merely hiding your head in the sand.”

    You are so right on the money on this Argee. The rebel flag symbolizes,to some,hatred. At the very least it is a sign of polarization which we have too much of in the first place.So why all of a sudden put one up,especially after what happened? People who fly them are letting the world know what their components are made of.

    Flying the American is no different.Too much hypocrisy and racial overtones have come out of one or the other,or both,at times. I fly neither. I’m not proud i’m disappointed……… why.

  61. Charlie S says:

    Brian (MOFYC) says: “As the son, grandson, great-nephew and brother of US veterans (one of whom was awarded Purple Hearts), I’ve never been a big fan of symbols of treason.”

    You definitely don’t fly the American flag then. Good for you! We need more people to stand up and say “I’ve had enough!”

  62. Charlie S says:

    Ken Tucker says: “What possible logic or reasoning can there be for choosing now to fly it in the Adirondacks?”

    It has something to do with that ice cold camp the GOP Ken. Not much in the way of rational thinking comes out of them….evidently.

    • Paul says:

      The GOP? That’s funny I thought it was the republican governor in South Carolina that lead the charge to remove the flag from the capitol down there. Charlie, this isn’t about politics its about decency. So if we would like to see the country less divided I suggest that we stop politicizing everything by blaming one political party or the other.

      • dave says:

        Yes, the GOP.

        It was the GOP who fought to fly that flag on the state house grounds to begin with.

        It was the GOP that just recently tried to slide language into an unrelated congressional spending bill that would allow the flying of that flag at national park cemeteries.

        The only people I have heard voice support for the flag, and for keeping the flag, have been members of the GOP.

        Have you watched fox news lately to get their take on all of this?

        And it goes on and on.

        This is a one party issue. And just because some people in that party, in response to overwhelming public outcry and political pressure, finally did the right thing – in this one particular situation – does not mean we should all forget which side of the political spectrum is behind these confederate flag controversies to begin with.

        Calls for “decency” and to “stop politicizing” things and to not lay blame are noble, but is it not funny how they always seem to come from people when the side they tend to agree with is clearly the side that is to blame?

  63. Charlie S says:

    Heavy D says: “They have the freedom of expression, but they do not have the freedom from reaction to their expression. They obviously wanted to make a statement by flying this flag. They made it, and now they have to deal with the reaction to that statement.”


  64. Gay in the Woods says:

    Dear Newcomb House, I think you should now hang a Gay Pride flag and see if the same people have a problem with that.

  65. Charlie S says:

    John Lacy says:”There have been genocidal numbers of America Indians slaughter under the flag of the United States. We barbarically ripped them from their land and put them into camps or forced them into other parts of the country. We built on their sacred land and stole their freedoms. So before rushing or judging someone that waves that flag, remember what your ancestors did to the people of this land first!”

    More recent John what we did in Iraq. They were no threat to us and they had notta to do with 9-11 and we,America,illegally invaded their country and killed with USA bombs up to a million innocent iraqi’s,three quarters of them women and children. We don’t know the exact numbers but even if it was just one thousand innocent iraqi women and children…we had no right to do that,they were no threat to us! And look at the mess still,look at all of the misery over there! I cannot help but bring this up.

    And who supported that war wholly. The same people who come on here and support the rebel flag for whatever their short-sighted reasons are.The same people who come on here and say “the race baters and liberals has split this country in two. hopefully it will some day be one nation under god.” –

    It boggles the mind how stupid people really are. .

  66. Charlie S says:

    I wont hold this against the owner of the restaurant. Matter of fact next time i’m in the area I’ll stop in his restaurant just because. I truly believe that there’s good in most people and that sometimes we do things because we have brain farts and just don’t think rationally. Unfortunately there’s too much of that going around. We should judge people by their whole nature not just by mere parcels of it,or by one or two isolated thoughtless incidents…..unless of course those thoughtless incidents did harm to others or other living things. There’s no excuse for harm to any living thing in my book.

  67. Mechelle Roy says:

    Why would they? Last time I checked “the Gays” weren’t responsible for enslaving, raping, and torturing an entire race of people.

  68. JT says:

    Speaking as a black man from New York City who spends a little time in the Adirondacks, it’s sort of good that they’re flying that flag, since it makes it easier to spot the biggest bigots that way.

    If those were common, like they are in some other parts of the country, I would find it very oppressive. But seeing it rarely, in a community that denounces it, is a good warning: racists here, please avoid.

    • Wally Elton Wally says:

      Interesting point. Those of us who spend a little money in the area also know where NOT to spend it!

  69. I am appalled at you calling this factual journalism. The first being because he has flown that flag for years. Two years ago it didn’t seem to be an issue to you that he flew it. And number two you are making a blanket statement about a whole town based on 1 business. One business chose to fly an offensive flag and all of a sudden every business own and resident of the town choses to feel the same way. Shame on you for attacking the mans right to freedom of speech. It’s his right to fly that flag. Whether or not people agree with it. Newcomb is a very welcoming town whether or not someone flys that flag. I went to school while he fley that flag and with exchange students. None of whom felt they where unwelcome in the town. Maybe you should stop jumping on what is popular in the media, do some fact checking, and not make blanket statements about a community you obviously no nothing about.

  70. Bob says:

    WOW!!! Hopefully this is over now and we can all get back to enjoying the newly opened Essex Chain. What could be a way to forget about all this nonsense than to get back into the ponds and lakes now available to all? Try Mountain Top Pond.

  71. Charlie S says:

    Paul says: The GOP? That’s funny I thought it was the republican governor in South Carolina that lead the charge to remove the flag from the capitol down there. Charlie, this isn’t about politics its about decency. So if we would like to see the country less divided I suggest that we stop politicizing everything by blaming one political party or the other.

    Paul,you are right but sometimes I cannot help myself. There is no excuse for going political even though other posters do the same,even though much of what effects every aspect of our lives is tied to politics. There is some truth to what I say and I just cannot help but be the progressive antagonist that is so innate in me. I suppose I just need to get things out Paul. I am a civil person and a lot bothers me and I suppose getting things out in the written word is a form of healing for me…versus holding them in. I’m not the kind of person to aggravate others just because i’m hid behind a computer screen but sometimes I like to rub salt in the wound where it is justified in doing so.

  72. alex mckay says:

    a sad event for the north country – thanks for the strong words – we have so far to go in this nation to live up to the ideals celebrated a few weeks ago on July 4 – freedom of expression is one thing, but freedom to hate is another

  73. alex mckay says:

    should have rEad all the comments before commenting – flag has apparently been there for years and has a personal meaning for the owners – recent history, however, gives it a different significance and maybe should make displaying the flag be reconsidered

  74. Jeff Farbaniec Jeff says:

    Thanks go out to the owners of the Newcomb House for listening to their neighbors, hearing their community, and doing the right thing by taking the flag down. Now let’s get on with Summer!

  75. Barry says:

    John. What you failed to also mention is the very proud abolitionist history of New York in the 1850s and 1860s. Many slaves were rescued by brave New Yorkers from the South. The same South represented by that backward symbol of the confederacy. John Brown was a historic abolitionist from Lake Placid. He is probably turning over in his grave today at the idiotic symbol of treason and backward thinking hanging in Newcomb. South Carolina was smart enough to take the flag down. Newcomb should not tolerate this intolerant symbol.


  76. Dave Bedell says:

    To the woman who said she’s reconsidering moving to Newcomb because of this flag issue: Though I reject bigotry in any form, there is a small (relatively) number of folks who can’t – and this to me is understandable – shake the way they were raised. I grew up in Chestertown, no blacks. I taught in Horicon, no blacks. I taught in North Warren, no blacks. And I taught in Newcomb for 7 years, no blacks. Those teaching years were in the 60s and 70s. We all grew up with no experience with Black Americans. I met my first black friend and fraternity brother in college, and that changed everything. I guess when we were kids, there was the fear element. We just didn’t know and so feared the black race.

    I’m telling you that Newcomb is a beautiful town with many, many nice people. I’m hoping the few who can’t let go of their prejudices will come to their senses or just fade away and be forgotten, along with the Confederate slave flag.

  77. UNHOLY says:

    I can say with complete honesty – that i hate this “paper” …the views of the writers on this site and the paper are completely clueless. I have to accept Bruce Jenner, Gay Marriage, this group – that group …but people are throwing a fit over a flag ?? Potential Racism is now the new McCarthyism… you say the N-word and you lose your empire … cheat stockholders ….you’re back in business after serving time.

    I’m pissed i paid for a 3 year subscription —as soon as it’s up – i am gone.

  78. We r free as American n if u all going to bitch n cry about this flag is the only one I own n it won’t come down the every other flag can be fly so don’t back down n don’t let anyone Chang ur mind. Just because a picture was taken with someone who took it wrong. Many good men shed blood because of the flag so fly that flag with pride n be prode to be free!!!!!

  79. mary says:


    Earlier this week I drove on Route 28 after an absence of more than 20 years. Passing by this flag at 6am, I thought somebody lost there mind – me. If I was in my right mind I should have stopped the car and done what you describe – have a discussion with the owners. I am not from Newcomb and probably would have little influence. It sure was a sorry sorry site to see in the Adirondacks.

    Thank you for calling this out and calling it like it is.

  80. Charlie S says:

    Former Newcomb resident says: “Newcomb is a very welcoming town whether or not someone flys that flag.”

    Agreed! One of my favorite places to visit while passing through (which takes all of one minute) is the graveyard on Rt 28N where John Cheney is buried,the guide who forgot to unload the gun when he handed it to David Henderson who then accidently shot himself 170 years ago.If it wasn’t for John Cheney Calamity Pond would not be existent…at least not in that part of the woods where this incident took place. The Cheney plot is easy to find…just look for the only zinc monument in this cemetery and there will be found the Cheney plot. Off story but is what came to mind while reading above. The Adirondack Park visitor center is another nice place to stop,the thrift store in the old church……

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