BURKE COUNTY, N.C. -- Smitty Smith of Burke County has been getting some attention lately after having installed a 75-foot-tall confederate flag on his property on the side of I-40.

Smith says it's part of a project the Sons of Confederate Veterans are planning in response to the removal of Confederate statues. The plan is to have one flag in every county that I-40 goes through. 

"We said before, when they take down our monuments, we put up flags," says Smith.

Though many are taking to the internet to voice concern, Smith remains adamant that his intentions in putting up the flag is not related to race or slavery. 

“Its our heritage, our ancestors," says Smith. "There's not anything racist about it.”

For those who question Smith and his group's intentions, Smith says they are happy to talk to them about their stance on the flag at their meetings.

“We are willing to talk to anybody, we have meetings, anybody is invited, we are happy to explain our side.”

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