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Owner: American flag comes first

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BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) -

You have probably seen the three big flags off of I-16, very prominent in a Bulloch County field. You might also have noticed that those flags are gone, standing bare right now.

It's causing their usual admirerers to ask questions.

Raymond Todd owns the land where the three flag poles are located. To get the bigger picture, he gave us some background on how the flags came to be.

It all started with one, smaller American Flag.

"Then, I wanted to go bigger. So I got parking lot light poles and welded them together to make three 58ft poles," explained Todd.  

Thats when the Ogeechee Rifles, a group that's part of the Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans came into the picture. They approached him saying they wanted to showcase their flags from his perfectly positioned property.

"They wanted to fly the battle flag and the old Georgia flag out on my property, and I agreed to do it if they would also buy the American to also fly with it," said Todd.

That was the agreement, the organization buys all three flags, and he would raise them on his flag poles.

But the 20 foot flags have to be replaced about twice a year from just normal wear and tear, and at about $400 a flag, it's a cost the Sons of the Confederate Veterans now can't afford, according to Todd.

"Now, they say that their organization at this point cannot finance the American Flag, [but] I don't know why. They said they could only finance the confederacy side of it."

Todd says Old Glory is the most important and he's not so sure he'll fly the other two without that centerpiece.

"I wouldn't say I'm protesting, I'm just getting the point across. The American flag is first," said Todd.

He says he hopes to fly the Stars and Stripes again soon.

"A lot of people paid for that flag," said Todd. "A lot of my relatives, and a lot of other people's relatives. It means a lot."

We spoke to a representative from the Ogeechee Rifles. They say they do plan to buy a new American Flag to fly next to the others.

They said right now they're just shopping around for a deal. Of course, we'll let you know when those flags are unfurled again.

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