PETALUMA (CBS SF) — Amid a growing outcry to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols and online merchandise, a Petaluma homeowner says it’s time to lower his rebel banner.
“I took it down because I made the statement I needed to make,” said Travis Kilbourne, who until Thursday, had the flag raised in his yard. “It got people talking about the First Amendment at their breakfast table.”READ MORE: California Reopens: Newsom Marks End of COVID Restrictions, Awards $1.5M to 10 Vaccine Recipients
But neighbor Janice Cader-Thompson didn’t see it that way. “I think he needs to know that it’s offensive and nine people were murdered,” she said.
Kilbourne made it very clear he does not condone the violence in Charleston.
“I’d just like to stress the point that if we removed everything that everyone took offense to or could take offense to, there would be nothing left in the world,” he said. “There would be no art, no literature, no science.”READ MORE: 2 Homes Burn in Separate South San Jose Neighborhoods
He worries the tragedy will become a knee-jerk reaction to erase history, which includes getting rid of the flag.
Travis does have his supporters.
“I don’t understand how it changes your life today that it needs to be banned,” Tiffany Tieken said. “At some point, it’s going to get where everybody is offended by something. And when do you draw the line that this is enough.”
Travis had previously posted a sign under the flag saying it’s a “battle flag” used to identify armies on battlefield.MORE NEWS: Will The Ford Maverick Be A Game-Changer In The Auto Industry?
“Americans fought and died under this flag, it should be given the same respect as the national flag,” the sign says. “We cannot P.C. away history.”