GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been nearly a year since Greenfield residents raised concerns about a local police sergeant hanging a confederate flag in his garage.
It all started last November when a Greenfield parent noticed a confederate flag inside the garage of Greenfield Police Detective Sergeant Daniel McCarthy. The flag was hanging in the back of the garage and could be seen when the door was opened. The city’s now decided it shouldn’t fly there anymore.
“The issue did kind of blow up and the Human Rights Commission was asked to take it on and so we held forums and discussions and tried to get as much progress as we could,” said Greenfield Human Rights Commission Chairman Philippe Simon.
In a statement released Tuesday, Greenfield Human Rights Commission stated that the confederate flag represents the generally accepted symbol of racial and class oppression in american culture and history. The Commission stated that a Public Official or employee should refrain from displaying the flag in both their public and private lives. It’s not a requirement, rather a recommendation.
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“If you are a public official you don’t have the same rights to speak as you do if you were a private citizen,” said Greenfield resident David Roulston.
However, not everyone agrees with this.
“As long as it’s in your own house or on your own property it should be perfectly fine, it’s a free country,” said Charles Beauchamp of Greenfield.
“I think the bottom line is that the symbolism of a confederate flag is so offensive to such a large number of people that it really isn’t appropriate,”said Roulston.
According to the Greenfield Recorder, Sgt. McCarthy did remove the flag. The commission says they’re open to having further discussions with the police department in the future.