Confederate flag raised on along highway 54 is legal, says MoDOT

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
A large Confederate flag has recently caught the attention of lake residents driving eastbound on Highway 54.

A large Confederate flag has recently caught the attention of lake residents driving eastbound on Highway 54. The flag is fully visible from both lanes and has a spotlight shining on it at night. It is located between Lake Ozark and Eldon. 

According to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) spokesman Bob Lynch, the placement of the flag does not lie on state property.

MoDOT spoke with the property owner and proceeded to check the right of way. 

On 2/12, MoDOT confirmed to the Lake Sun that it is placed on the private property of the owner. 

While this means the flag's placement is legal, it has drawn the attention of some lake residents concerned with the image it presents to those driving through the area. 

The statement by MoDOT raised a wide array of opinions on social media after being posted to the Lake News Online Facebook page. Based on over 425 comments, residents of the lake and readers of the article see the flag in different ways. 

Some readers found the flag to be offensive, noting the past representations the flag has carried. Some were in favor of the flag, happy to see the owner expressing their viewpoint. And of course, there were opinions everywhere in between right and wrong. 

Regal Exteriors in Camdenton owner Joe Register reached out to submit his perspective on the flag as a local business owner. Register believes that this flag being at the gateway of the lake could give new visitors a bad impression of the businesses and people who live here.

Register says that he believes a majority of people have a negative connotation associated with the flag. By seeing such a large confederate flag along the highway, Register is worried that it may suggest a backwards view of the area. 

However, Register also recognizes and respects the owner's freedom to hoist the flag on his private property. He hopes it will go on to spawn conversations about the subject and possibly create a local dialogue. 

Here are a few more examples of how Lake News Online readers received the flag's hoisting along the highway:

"Just because it's freedom of speech doesn't always make it right. This is an example. There is always going to be consequences to everything. Getting called out as racist is a consequence. Think before you do seriously." - Anna LL

"Way to keep it classy Lake Ozark." -John B

"People need to stop worrying about things that do not concern or affect them, worry about your own business not everybody else's." - Carl H

"Private property. Can do what you want. Don’t like it, look the other way." -Ron M

"It’s so sad and disrespectful to every American. Do better, Lake Ozark." Tracy G.

"It is hard to say to all the other cultures that they can’t fly their flags if this is allowed. If they want to fly it they need to fly the American flag above it." -Carol J

"Oh no! Somethings legal? Can’t be having that in America this is the land of the free." Jared M.

"Freedom of speech. It’s his choice. While everyone may not like it, it’s his right." Melinda HF.