Groups condemn Confederate flag at museum

Democratic committee urges colleagues to boycott Georgetown Return Day carriage rides
August 26, 2022

Story Location:
S. Bedford Street
Georgetown, DE 19947
United States

Two organizations have gone on record condemning the Confederate memorial, which includes a Confederate flag, at the Georgetown Historical Society's Marvel Carriage Museum.

The society has come under fire for refusing to remove the flag. The flag and memorial were unveiled March 12, 2007, by the Delaware Grays, Sons of the Confederate Veterans Camp 2068 based in Seaford, following an agreement reached with the historical society.

The 14th District Democratic Committee, which includes Rehoboth, Dewey and parts of Lewes, has approved a resolution that calls for “all elected Democratic leaders in the state to refuse to ride in the carriages provided by the Marvel Museum” until the Confederate flag is removed from outside the museum.

”Our resolution is part of a statewide initiative, not just one involving the 14th Representative District,” said Michael Weiss, 14th District Democratic Committee vice chair.

The museum has provided carriages for decades for candidates to ride in during the Return Day parade, which is part of a biannual celebration to announce election results. The event dates back more than 200 years.

On Aug. 24, the Delaware Hispanic Commission issued a press release concerning funding for the Georgetown Historical Society's Marvel Carriage Museum.

“We join concerned Delawareans in calling on the mayor and the Georgetown Town Council to revoke funding from the Marvel Carriage Museum, which has supported a public display of the Confederate flag on its property,” said Carlos de los Ramos, chairman of the commission.

“This flag belongs inside the museum, under glass, as a relic representing a painful time in our history,” he added. “Today, more than 150 years later, our focus should be on unity, healing and tolerance, especially given the diversity of the population in Georgetown, where 41% of residents are Latinos and 15% are African Americans. By supporting the display of this symbol of prejudice, Georgetown’s elected officials send a clear message of intolerance and disrespect to their constituents, as well as to all of us throughout the state and the country who oppose racism and mean-spirited actions that instigate intolerance.”

The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice has also asked the society to remove the flag.

After learning about the memorial and flag, Sussex County Councilman Mark Schaeffer requested that the society return a recent $2,000 councilmanic grant. Council has yet to act on his request.

That action came after a contentious July 25 meeting where Georgetown Town Council voted to grant the society $24,750 for repairs and upkeep for various buildings and exhibits at the museum. Mayor Bill West, who opposed the grant, said it's now time to form a committee to discuss the future of the memorial and flag.


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