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National flag of the Confederate States of America

Vicksburg military park: Little impact from flag proposal

JACKSON — Congress is arguing over a proposal to ban Confederate flags on rebel graves in cemeteries run by the National Park Service.

But even if the plan survives the Senate and becomes law, it would have little effect in the only Park Service cemetery in Mississippi.

Only two Confederate soldiers are buried at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The cemetery has graves of about 17,000 Union soldiers who died of disease or in battle during the 1863 Vicksburg campaign. Another 3,000 Mississippi soldiers from later wars are buried there, as well.

Park ranger Ray Hamel says each Memorial Day, volunteers place small a small American flag at the gravesite of each U.S. soldier, and the two Confederate graves are decorated with the national flag of the Confederate States of America.

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