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Susan Kate Kosior and Leah

Susan Kate Kosior and Leah

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Three years after the Virginia Flaggers raised a Confederate battle flag along Interstate 95 in Stafford County, a Stafford woman plans to raise a flag of her own. While not along Interstate 95, Susan Kate Kosior said her Black Lives Matter flag would be seen from Route 3.

“I am doing this because the I-95 Confederate flag sends the wrong message about Stafford County to the thousands of people who pass it every day,” she said. “We are a diverse and welcoming community.”

Kosior said she came up to the plan to raise the Black Lives Matter flag after Stafford Supervisors said they could not do anything about the Confederate flag planted on private property.

“I decided I would take matters into my own hands by working with what I had,” she said. “Our neighbors deserve to know that they are wanted and welcome and valued here.”

Kosior said her adopted daughter Leah, who is black, was her driving inspiration.

“Ultimately [she is] why I am doing this. I want to make Stafford County a better place for her to grow up,” Kosior said.

The process to raise her flag is ongoing.

So far, she said she’s been granted the permit for the flag pole.

“I live in an historic part of Stafford County, near George Washington’s boyhood home, and across the river from downtown Fredericksburg. My flagpole will be easily visible by tourists to our region, as well as residents and commuters,” she said. “We have dubbed the flagpole project The Freedom Pole.”

She has also set-up a GoFundMe in an effort to raise money to help cover costs.