Kentucky Department of Parks adopts policy to no longer sell Confederate flag items
Civil War museums at several Kentucky State parks, including at the Columbus-Belmont State Park, remind us all of the history of the battle between the states.
However, the gifts shops are no longer stocked with Confederate flag merchandise and Jeff Hutson believes it is a slap in the face to those who fought for the flag.
"People died for this. There were two sides to that. It's like you're taking one side out of the equation," Hutson told Local 6.
Hutson is a Confederate flag supporter – he even flies one in the back of his truck. He said it is not an image of hate, but history. "It's a symbol of a battle. It's not a symbol of race or who you are – male, female, black, white. It doesn't matter about that part," Hutson said.
Items with both the US and Confederate flags, as well as educational material like books and DVDs, are exempt. Gil Lawson, spokesperson for Kentucky State Parks, told Local 6's Robert Bradfield the decision was not made to erase history.
"We aren't changing anything as far as the history is concerned. We're strictly talking about what we're seeing at the gift shops," Lawson said.
The state's policy follows the National Park Service's decision to pull similar items last month after the deadly church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina.
"We want our Kentucky State Parks to be welcoming to all people. We recognize that the Confederate flag is offensive to some people," he said.
Hutson fears other Confederate symbols like monuments and memorials might be next. "For me, they are tying to eliminate the confederacy side," he said.
To learn more about Kentucky's policy on Confederate merchandise, click here.
To read about the National Park Service's decision to remove Confederate items, click here.