A Hillsdale, Michigan, man said he was fired for refusing to remove a Confederate flag from his pickup truck in the parking lot of the Bob Evans Farm plant where he worked.
Wesley Rogers told the Hillsdale Daily News that he was asked to remove the flag on Oct. 6 after a complaint was filed with the company on Oct. 2. When Rogers refused to hide or dismount the flag, he was terminated.
“They said they were doing their best to follow up on a complaint,” he said, “to make [the person who lodged the complaint] more comfortable. But I wasn’t comfortable with it. I said it wasn’t coming down, no way. Then they showed me my way out.”
A former co-worker of Rogers said that Rogers had been flying the flag since early 2015 and had never had an issue before. Following his termination, the company held a meeting with employees to inform them of a change in policy relating to flags.
“They made it clear,” the employee said. “Whoever flies [the Confederate flag] will face termination.”
Rogers said he feels that he was being discriminated against by the company because of his termination.
“They were misunderstanding me,” he said. “A lot of people think that it’s racist. It’s not racist; it’s my heritage. I grew up in the south, in Virginia. It’s been made into a symbol of hate. I’m not hanging it because I’m a racist. I’m hanging it because I’m a southerner.”
According to a company source who reportedly spoke to the Hillsdale Daily News, the Bob Evans plant has an "at-will employment" policy which essentially allows them fire someone without notice or without establishing a just cause.