Orange County landowner at center of fight over Confederate flag size off Highway 70 in Hillsborough

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Orange County leaders are in a showdown with resident Robert Hall.

Hall says his Confederate battle flag off Highway 70 in Hillsborough is a symbol of his Southern heritage, not hate.

"I have a right to free speech just as anyone else does," Hall said.

Now he feels like he's being targeted.

The county planning department approved the controversial flag months before county commissioners condemned it last spring.

Now, under a new county rule, the 400-square-foot flag is too big at the edge of his property.

The new county guidelines applies to all types of flags, not just the battle flag.

Neighbors can hang flags no larger than 24-square-feet.

  • There's a three flag maximum.
  • Only one pole allowed.
  • Flag pole can be no taller than 54 feet.


For businesses, flags and poles can be taller and wider.

  • Flag size no larger than 96 sq. feet
  • Three flags allowed on separate poles.
  • Flag pole height no more than 54 feet.


Twelve properties in Orange County had either too many flags flying or they were over the size limit.

Officials say those property owners removed their flags this week to avoid a $500 per day fine.

Hall and his flag are standing firm. He hired an attorney and filed an appeal to save his flag.

ABC11 asked Hall how he felt about the KKK recently using the battle flag in downtown Hillsborough, which some people saw them use as a symbol of hate.

"Well, I would say they need to check their history books. The KKK also had a United States flag down there but do you hear them complaining about the US flag. Just the battle flag," Hall said. "A group will take any kind of flag but that does not represent what the flag means."

Hall will take his appeal before the Orange County Planning Board on November 11 at 7 p.m.. It's open to the public. If his appeal is denied, Hall says he will take this to court.
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