Confederate flag taken down after community backlash in Hamilton

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Published May 1, 2022 at 3:59 pm

A Hamilton home that has been the centre of much recent backlash in the community has decided to take down the controversial Confederate flag that it was once flying.

On April 24th, Amie Archibald-Varley, a registered nurse in the Hamilton-Niagara region, posted a viral video to her Twitter account to call attention to a home in Hamilton’s Binbrook neighbourhood where the Confederate battle flag was displayed on a pole by the front porch.

“For those people who didn’t believe when I said, ‘yeah, there’s a Confederate flag in our neighbourhood,’ there you go,” Archibald-Varley says in a video that has been viewed more than 67,000 times in under 24 hours. “This is Hamilton, Ontario. Welcome to Hamilton, Ontario.”

The flag quickly prompted a large amount of backlash and activism from the community, including a community walk and petition calling for legislation that prevents the promotion of hate symbols such as Confederate flags, Nazi symbols, homophobic signs, etc.

Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger also addressed the topic, saying he would “move another Motion in Council to request that the federal and provincial governments act swiftly to take action to ban symbols like this.”

“We should not have this flag and other racist and hateful flags flying in our communities,” Eisenberger said on Twitter.

Today (May 1), Archibald-Varley posted another video to confirm that the flag has been taken down.

“The work is not done yet! Please sign this petition and reach out to your MPP and ask them to support Bill C229 the removal of hate symbols from public and private dwellings,” Archibald-Varley said.

In related news, a recent report indicates that Hamilton saw a 35% jump in hate/bias incidents and criminal offences in 2021, many of which targeted Black, Jewish, Islamic and 2S&LGBTQIA residents.

“This rising trend in hate crime is disturbing because it creates fear within our community,” HPS Chief Frank Bergen said in a statement on Thursday.

“It impacts a sense of belonging, safety and wellbeing for those within our community who are targeted by these hate incidents and crimes. As a community, we need to do better.”

With files from Nathan Sager, Samantha Lawson

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