To the editor,
I’ve lived in Williamson County for over 15 years, and my husband and I are raising our two boys here.
In their earlier years, we invested in sending them to a community school in Franklin known for its rich racial and economic diversity. Our county has much going for it — high-quality education, a strong economy and a community of people who give tirelessly to those in need. I applaud Mayor Rogers Anderson for recently calling for a task force to consider updating the Williamson County seal, which still displays a Confederate flag in one quadrant. It is a racist symbol that makes many people feel unsafe, unheard and unwelcome.
Removing it is consistent with our history. Tennessee was in the Confederacy for four years. The current seal wasn’t created until 1968, just months after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated amid the civil rights movement.
Today, the seal is duplicated and promoted daily, including on websites, official letterheads, official county documents and buildings. The tragic history of this flag belongs in a museum, not on a county seal. The Franklin Police Department excised the flag from its shield in 1999. So, there’s a precedent for modifying these kinds of images when they no longer serve the community.
This issue won’t go away. I urge the County Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to revise the seal now, so that it represents the inclusive and welcoming place that Williamson County has become today.