A Georgia county’s board of commissioners has voted to keep the Confederate flag flying at the local courthouse, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

While the Dixie battle cross was removed from the state flag in 2003, it has continued to fly at the Dodge County courthouse in Eastman, Ga., as part of a memorial to Confederate war dead.

The NAACP chapter in Eastman, which is 50 miles southeast of Macon, says the flag was to fly only once a year, but it has stayed at the courthouse despite the civil rights group’s complaints. The NAACP is ready to mount a legal challenge to have the flag taken down, according to the paper.

“It’s a symbol of racism and hatred,” John Battle, president of the Dodge County NAACP, told the Journal-Constitution. After trying for years to resolve the matter and getting nowhere, the NAACP retained an attorney who sent a letter last week to the board of commissioners asking them to stand by the original resolution, passed in 2002, allowing the annual display.

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