Ed Hansen had resisted calls to take down the flag, a symbol of racism to many, but took it down after talking with Jim Bauer, the corporate president of Rocco's Pizza, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. Hansen owns a Rocco's franchise and Bauer said he had a heart-to-heart chat with him Monday.
"I was upset," Bauer said. "It doesn't reflect Rocco's Pizza in any way shape or form. I don't condone the flying of the Confederate flag for whatever reason. I think he went about trying to get his point across in the wrong way."
At a council meeting Monday, some of Hansen's constituents also objected to the flag.
"I fully support your right as a private citizen to fly whatever flag you want at your house," Ken Paulman said. "That's your right. The problem is that Councilman Hansen, you are not a private citizen. And when you chose to take this job, you became a public official. And what that means -- whether you think that's fair or not -- is you are held to a higher standard."
Hansen, who earlier had rejected the mayor's request that he take it down, insisted he was flying the flag, which included the word "Redneck," as a token of free speech and not as a gesture of support for the Confederacy. He said he relented because people "wanted to get into debates about Civil War history."
"This is a question of personal liberty. It has nothing to do with racism," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Workers accuse National Zoo of animal mismanagement
Video of Victoria’s Secret models trying to 'twerk' hits Instagram