Confederate Flag Protest

Confederate flags were flying in front of the governor’s mansion Saturday and protesters want to see it fly again over two historical sites.

In January, the confederate flag was removed from two state historical sites — one in Pilot Knob and the other a confederate soldier cemetery in Higginsville.

The governor’s office ordered the Department of Natural Resources to take the flags down after presidential candidate Dick Gephardt said they had no business being displayed.

About 75 people marched in front of the governor’s mansion Monday demanding the confederate flag be flown again at these historical sites.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans said they’ve asked to talk with the governor and Department of Natural Resources about replacing the flag and have been ignored.

They’re willing to meet in the middle, submitting proposals for the Confederate Flag to still be flown but in a less prominent area.

"We’ve waited two months for an answer. They’re sitting down in the DNR bunker refusing to talk to anyone. Holden’s doing the same thing. They need to get the flags back up," said Sons of Confederate Veterans commander Gene Dressel.

The group gathered more than 3,000 signatures of Missourians who want the flag back up and expect to have almost 10,000 more by the summer.

They said even after DNR received the results of a Zogby Poll indicating two-thirds of Missourians want the flags returned to the historical sites no action was taken.

"We’re demanding an apology from DNR and Holden for what they’ve done to our heritage," said Dressel.

Protesters said it’s about preserving history. They call the act of taking down the flags an act of discrimination and censorship, saying anyone who appreciates history wants to see both sides of every story told.

"It’s a battle flag. It doesn’t represent racism any more than the U.S. flag which flew over slaver for 88 years," said one protester.

Neither the governor’s office nor the director of DNR could be reached for comment on Saturday.

Currently the confederate flag is on display inside the visitor’s center at each historical site.

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