facebook
twitter
search
search

Minn. councilman removes Confederate flag

Feb. 14, 2012 at 6:07 PM

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A member of the city council in West St. Paul, Minn., has removed a Confederate flag he flew outside his home, saying it had become a distraction.

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.

Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Hyon Yong Chol disparaged Kim Jong Un prior to execution, analyst says
Officials debate 'when to suspend' search for missing Florida boys
In Khamenei Tweet, man resembling Obama holds gun to head
U.S. officials, Boeing believe wreckage likely from missing Malaysian jet
Gangs in El Salvador kill at least six bus drivers to intimidate government