State Rep. Jordan Harris ( D-Philadelphia) said that, contrary to earlier reports, there were not one, but two Confederate flags hung in the state capitol yesterday.
"There were two flags," he said in a phone interview. "The first was the Confederate Battle flag.[State Rep] Vanessa Brown took down the first flag. It was hung up again and she tried to take it down again. But there was another flag next to it that was the actual Confederate Flag."
Harris said the flag Brown took down was a version of the Tennessee Battle Flag, which was the second official flag of the Confederate States of America. But another flag, a tricolor print featuring a circle of stars, known as the Stars and Bars, was the first offical banner to be flown above CSA government buildings during the Civil War.
Harris said he recognized the lesser known flag and also called for its removal after Brown notified fellow legislators of the installation. He said the flags, removed earlier today at Gov. Tom Wolf's behest, had been hung alongside several others as part of a flag exhibition sponsored by the Hanover Historical Society.
"If you are of African descent, you know what that flag looks like – I don't care if there's a thousand flags, you'll see that flag," Harris said. "That stuff has no business in the capitol. If it's a part of our history, we can teach that history but we don't have to put that on display."
Harris added that he was unsure why the flags were rehung earlier today after Brown delivered them to House Speaker Mike Turzai, but lauded Wolf for swiftly removing the offending banners.