Politics

Councilman Hangs Confederate Flag at House, in Minnesota

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

You often hear of people flying Confederate flags at their houses to show their Southern pride, but that always happens, you know, in the South. Now one man, who also happens to be a local councilman, is hanging the flag at his most Northern home in Minnesota.

West St. Paul Councilman Ed Hansen said he has heard no complaints since he put the flag up last summer. But recently the town mayor learned about it, and he's complaining.

"I don't like it," Mayor John Zanmiller said. "Do I wish the flag wasn't there? Yes."

Zanmiller said he spoke with Hansen last week about taking it down. It doesn't sound like that is going to happen.

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"It's my house," Hansen told the Pioneer Press. "It represents sovereignty, individual rights and individual liberty. It's my free speech, and that's my choice. What's the problem?"

Well, aside from the flag being a symbol of racism to many, the councilman's flag also has the word "redneck" scrawled on it -- another sign that there is some kind of racial intent. Hansen denies this.

"I'm not a racist, and I don't think it's racist," he said. "People like to play the race card, though, when they don't get their way."

When told that a developer who is building a house next to Hansen's claims the flag chased a prospective buyer away, Hansen said, "Good. I don't want him for a neighbor then."