2006-08-02 / News

Flag ban suggestion dies from lack of support

Councilman Kevin McKagueCouncilman Kevin McKagueBY MONICA DUFOUR
Staff Writer, The Davison Index

A motion to remove the Mississippi flag from the courtyard of Davison City Hall failed for lack of support Monday, July 24.

Councilman Kevin McKague told the Davison City Council he thought city staff should remove the flag and send it to the governor of Mississippi as a statement the flag was not fit to fly in Davison.

The Mississippi flag (which contains the Confederate battle flag), McKague said, was a symbolic flag associated with racism used by the Ku Klux Klan.

"Even if you set race aside, it’s flown by traitors. The Civil War was responsible for more deaths than any other war."

He didn’t want to be remiss, by not bringing up his dislike for the flag, and has had three or four people mention their being unhappy with the flag waving in the city courtyard as well.

"More people than those asking about the new municipal center."

Mayor Fred Rappuhn has had several discussions with McKague regarding his wanting to remove the flag.

"If we take one flag down, then we should take them all down," the mayor said.

"They voted on it and decided to keep it; that’s their prerogative," McKague said. "However, we are the city of flags and to keep on that, we should take the flag down and send it to the governor."

"We are who we are by diversity. Symbolism is powerful," Rappuhn said.

Councilman Ron Emery suggested researching the council’s position on flags.

"As long as the flag is Mississippi’s, then we should fly them all," Rappuhn said.

The idea to fly flas in the courtyard was originated about 20 years ago from Carl Stephens, who owned Carl’s Meat Market in Davison.

"Carl thought it would be a great idea to promote the city of flags," Rappuhn said. "He wanted to see the streets lined with flags."

"If you take that flag down, you’re showing discrimination," said Emery.

Councilman Don Csutoras agreed with Emery.

"I don’t see a problem with it. It’s a part of history 100 years ago," Csutoras said. "If that’s the case, then you better start scrutinizing flags of every state."

Davison Township resident Lee Anderson said she didn’t know the flag was flying in the courtyard, and if she knew about it sooner, she would have brought it to council’s attention.

Anderson was accompanied by a couple other Davison Township residents requesting the council put the issue of taking down the flag on the ballot.

To make that request, Rappuhn said they needed to be city residents."I think the solution is for these people (township residents) is to encourage Mississippi to change their flag, not necessarily take the flag down here."

"A way to nudge Mississippi is to take the flag down," McKague said.

Not wishing to see the issue drag on from week to week, McKague made a motion for the council to remove the flag, despite two council members (Keith Flewelling and Jim Hansen) absent.

With no support for the motion, the motion died.

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