Best Of 2008

BEST WAY TO RAISE A RUCKUS WITH A RACIST EMBLEM: Sons of Confederate Veterans’ giant flag

Two years ago, Tampa resident Marion Lambert had an idea for a veterans’ memorial at the junction of I-75 and I-4. He filed the necessary paperwork and set to work gathering donations to raise a huge flag at the site. This year, he unveiled the project and caught Tampa Bay by surprise: A nearly half-acre memorial to Confederate soldiers featuring a semi-truck-sized Confederate battle flag on top of a 139-foot poll. Civil rights organizations like the NAACP have decried the symbol and vowed to protest. City leaders, worried about their image during the Super Bowl, have pleaded with Lambert not to raise the flag. Tourist bureaus are bracing for a blowback. But Lambert has yet to back down.