Opinion » Note

Flags, Fireworks and Local Food

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Odds are, at some point this week, everybody in the Treasure Valley will have experience with flags, fireworks and food. This week's edition of Boise Weekly features all three as well, but not necessarily in the context of Independence Day revelry.

This week, BW News Editor George Prentice delves into the controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag, which is being run down flagpoles around the country in the wake of last month's racially motivated mass killing at a historic black church in South Carolina.

The so-called "Stars and Bars" has come under criticism in Idaho, too, where Boise Mayor Dave Bieter took the step of lowering the Mississippi state flag from the City Hall plaza. Mississippi is the last state in the union to include the Confederate battle flag on its state flag, but it's not the last state with sympathetic ties to the failed Confederate States of America. Though it was far from the battles of the Civil War, Idaho also has a long history with the Southern cause—beginning with a wave of migrants who came to the Gem State from the South after the war.

In his piece, Prentice gets the historical details from Boise State University professor Todd Shallat, and gets the perspective of a member of the Nampa Sons of Confederate Veterans.

One of our current interns, Micah Drew, takes a look at the rules governing fireworks in the Boise area—including how customers are allowed to purchase illegal fireworks by signing a waiver—and checks in with the organizers of the notorious Fourth of July celebration in Crouch.

Finally, BW roving food writer Tara Morgan profiles a new effort to build a food hub in Gem County that could give locavores the infrastructure they need to make local food a long-term, sustainable and widespread industry. The facility, which will most likely be located in Emmett, would include kitchen space and a processing component to serve local food producers within a 400-mile radius.

Don't forget to check the First Thursday listings and find some Fourth of July picks.