SD police defend use of Confederate flag on patches

A Confederate flag on police patches is at the center of a heated debate

By Police1 Staff

GETTYSBURG, S.D. — After public outrage over the confederate flag at South Carolina’s state capitol, the Confederacy is once again at the center of a heated debate. 

Gettysburg police are defending their use of the Confederate flag on uniform patches, Keloland reported.The design began to draw criticism following the mass killings at a  church in Charleston, S.C. last month..

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"I'm sorry they feel that way. It is in no way, shape or form meant to be offensive," Gettysburg police chief William Wainman told Kekoland. 

Patch designer Scott Barksdale worked with a former police chief to create the graphic in 2009 to represent the town’s history. Although the town is nicknamed “Where the Battle Wasn’t”,  Barksdale decided on the two crossed flags to show unification of the Union and Confederacy because the town does have history with the Civil War.

Union and Confederate soldiers moved there after the war and started a community together, historian Corey Wannamaker told Keloland. 

"It was called the soldiers' colony or the soldiers' home and it was mostly just to attract other veterans to come out,” Wannamaker said to Keloland. “Because it was founded by soldiers, that would make other soldiers comfortable to come out here."

Despite some calls from the community for the removal of the flag from the patches, the police chief said featuring the flag in the design is not racist. 

“This truly goes to the history of Gettysburg, South Dakota," Wainman said.

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