Rebel flag on civil rights hero’s grave gets widow’s pardon

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The 93-year-old widow of a slain civil rights activist in Mississippi says she forgives the person who draped a Confederate battle flag over her husband’s gravesite.

Ellie Dahmer (DAY’-mur) tells The Associated Press on Wednesday that her family was told that the black woman who left the flag Tuesday did it to protest “how much hate was in that Confederate flag.”

Vernon Dahmer is buried in south Mississippi’s Jones County. He died in January 1966 when the Ku Klux Klan firebombed his family’s home in nearby Forrest County because he encouraged other black people to register to vote.

The flag was left on his grave the same day Mississippi voters were deciding a U.S. Senate runoff in which the state’s history of racist violence became a central theme.

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