Confederate flag seen flying high above old Concord railroad building

Last modified: 11/7/2015 12:26:00 AM
A Confederate flag has been whipping in the wind high above an abandoned railroad building near downtown Concord, small but visible against the hazy autumn sky to anyone passing by on Interstate 93.

The rebel banner was fastened Friday morning to the top of a telecommunications pole outside the building, which is owned by Pan Am Railways and sandwiched between the Granite Group and the New Hampshire Liquor Commission headquarters off Storrs Street. It has been deserted for years and occupied occasionally by squatters.

Cynthia Scarano, executive vice president at Pan Am, said on Friday that officials there had hired someone to climb up and take it down. The Massachusetts-based company had neither placed the flag there nor sanctioned anyone else to, Scarano said.

The city manager’s office said it was notified about the flag by a passer-by late Wednesday and had contacted Pan Am. Police had received no complaints as of Friday morning. Employees at downtown businesses began contacting the Monitor late Thursday, sending photos of the bright red and blue banner snapped from a downtown office building.

The pole’s exact height is unclear, but it towers over surrounding buildings and utility poles and is visible from a distance on all sides. It’s so tall, in fact, that a liquor commission employee smoking a few yards from the base only realized the flag was flapping above when a reporter pointed it out.

The flag has been the center of renewed debate this year after the mass shooting of nine churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., which is believed to have been racially motivated. Lawmakers there have since removed the flag from the grounds of the state capitol, where it had been flown for decades.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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