Image for representational purposes only.
A South Dakota town announced it would not change its police department’s uniform patch featuring the Confederate battle flag. The flag has been the center of controversy since Dylann Roof was charged with killing nine people at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) in Charleston, S.C.
The flag was lowered from South Carolina Statehouse grounds last week after Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed legislation removing the symbol which had been flying on the grounds for over half a century. Roof was seen in a photo holding the flag prior to the murders.
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Since the mass murder, several companies have announced they will no longer carry the flag in their stores. But the city of Gettysburg, S.D., about 250 miles east of Mt. Rushmore, refused to remove the flag from their police department’s patches, as they announced on their Facebook page Tuesday:
Due to the turmoil of the Confederate Flag, the City of Gettysburg would like to address the City Officer’s Police patch. Gettysburg was founded in 1883 by Civil War Veterans, many of whom are still buried here. In fact the Dakota Sunset Museum has a cannon replica of the cannons that the Confederate army used at the battle, on loan to us from Gettysburg, PA.
The patch was created in 2009 in honor of our founding fathers by Scot Barsdale, who resides in South Carolina, after learning the history of Gettysburg from then Chief of Police, Gayle Kludt. Scot has created many patches for police agencies all over the United States. The City of Gettysburg’s police patch has the American Flag and the Confederate flag overlapping, which was meant to symbolize unification, and a cannon to represent the battle that the City of Gettysburg is named after.
This patch has no racist intentions; it is meant to be another way that we, as a city, represent our heritage. Without the war, and without the Battle of Gettysburg, we would not be the same City that we are. The Chief of Police, Bill Wainman, the Mayor, Bill Wuttke, and the City Council have no intentions of changing the police patch.
The patch has even become the page’s official Facebook photo, which you can see below:
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Image Credit: Facebook/City of Gettysburg
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