Politics

Alabama Congressman Wants Confederate Flag Removed From State Trooper Uniforms

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Alabama State Rep. Alvin Holmes.Alabama State Rep. Alvin Holmes.

Democratic State Rep. Alvin Holmes of Alabama is joining the NAACP in its fight to have the Confederate flag removed from the uniforms of Alabama State Troopers.

Holmes wrote to Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley requesting he issue an executive order to have the flag removed from the uniforms, Yellowhammer News reports.

“As you know, the confederate flag represents slavery and oppression toward black people,” Holmes wrote to Bentley. He added that he hoped the state had moved passed that “ugly part of Alabama history.”

The Confederate flag is featured in the Alabama coat of arms alongside the four countries that have controlled the state throughout history: Great Britain, France, Spain and the United States. The coat of arms is displayed on squad cars, uniform patches and badges.

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The NAACP is fighting to have it removed entirely from state police use.

"To be on law enforcements' arm on their sleeve and their car, that to me is more offensive," Rev. Robert Shanklin of the Huntsville NAACP told AL.com in July. "We're hoping we can get something done about it. It just puzzles me as to why they'll put something like that on a state troopers' car and on their sleeve. It's so offensive."

Shanklin thinks the Alabama state flag should replace the Confederate flag, regardless of the cost involved.

"Look at how expensive it was for African-Americans -- the lives that were lost and the hatred and everything that it has caused us over the years and which is still flowing through this land, and especially the South. And a few dollars for [Alabama] to change that is the price they'll have to pay," Shanklin said.

The call for a removal of the Confederate flag from government property occurred after the Charleston, South Carolina, mass shooting in a black church that claimed the lives of nine people on June 17. Pictures of the shooter, Dylan Roof, who is white, showed him with a Confederate flag, and police believe he may have committed the shooting in an attempt to start a race war.

According to a Bentley administration representative, the governor does not plan to have the patch removed from troopers' uniforms, Yellowhammer News reports.

Following the Charleston shooting, Bentley did have the Confederate flag removed from the state capitol.

“This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward,” Bentley said at the time. “I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”

Sources: Yellow Hammer News, AL.com / Photo credit: Yellow Hammer News