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Fresno City Council Ordinance Would Ban City Display, Sale Of Confederate Flag

Flickr- eyeliam
Confederate Flag That until recently Flag in South Carolina

The Fresno City Council could vote Thursday to ban the city from displaying the confederate flag on all city owned property.

The ordinance, proposed by council president Oliver Baines, would prohibit the city from displaying or selling of the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, often known as the confederate flag.

It would also ban the sale of items that bear the flag unless it is in a book or city museum that serves an educational or historical purpose.

The ordinance says the flag now represents a symbol of racism and hatred to many people.

Baines' Chief of Staff Gregory Barfield says the city has not tracked which flags are displayed, and the ordinance will clear up any misunderstanding.

"Just to put on the record that the City of Fresno in future years does not wish to display or sell the confederate flag on its own property," Barfield said.

The reason for banning the flag now, according to the ordinance, is to honor the nine murder victims who were gunned down in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The ordinance would not prohibit individuals from displaying the flag whether on city or private property. Nor would it prevent musical acts or performances from selling the flag at city owned venues.

The city is not currently selling or displaying the flag.

If approved it would take effect thirty days after its passage. 

Jeffrey Hess is a reporter and Morning Edition news host for Valley Public Radio. Jeffrey was born and raised in a small town in rural southeast Ohio. After graduating from Otterbein University in Columbus, Ohio with a communications degree, Jeffrey embarked on a radio career. After brief stops at stations in Ohio and Texas, and not so brief stops in Florida and Mississippi, Jeffrey and his new wife Shivon are happy to be part Valley Public Radio.