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Confederate flags elicit protest, and dialogue:; Conversations may have led to removal

The Confederate flag appeared last fall, displayed by a homeowner on a busy Boxborough street. It unnerved residents working to foster race relations in the affluent, overwhelmingly white community west of Boston.

After considerable discussion, the neighbors mailed a handwritten note to the homeowner, expressing curiosity about the flag's meaning and requesting a meeting to talk about it.

What followed opened a window onto the meaning of symbols, the nature of neighborliness, and l

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