The man who displayed a Confederate flag along an anti-racism parade route in Summerland on July 16 has made an apology.
Late in the evening of July 17, Summerland mayor Toni Boot was contacted by the police after the man had been caught. Police told her the man wanted to meet with her to apologize for the incident.
The flag, which features a blue X with 13 white stars on a red background, was adopted by the Confederate States of America during the Civil War in the 1860s. Today, many associate the flag with slavery and racism.
The parade was in support of a family whose home had been vandalized earlier in the week. Racist graffiti had been spray-painted on the home.
Boot met the man in downtown Summerland on the evening of July 17, with police nearby. She said the conversation lasted around 20 minutes.
“He has apologized personally for the harm he’s caused to the community,” she said.
The man told her he was from Alberta and was in the community visiting family members. He added that he was not aware he was displaying the flag during an anti-racism parade.
Boot told the man she appreciated him having the courage to make the apology.
She also told him he is welcome to come back to visit the community, but added that displays of the Confederate flag are inappropriate in Summerland.
Boot asked if he had brought the flag with him. He told her he had purchased it from a store in Summerland while he was in the community.
Boot, Summerland’s first Black mayor, said she will speak with the owner of the store about carrying Confederate flags.
In the past two weeks, Confederate flags have been seen displayed in Summerland three times.
The man who had displayed the flag on his vehicle is now on his way back to Alberta, Boot said.
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