Crotalus horridus

The rise and fall of the South, as staged in the backyard of West St. Paul councilman Ed Hansen.

The Confederate States of America lost a key battle in the North this week with the removal of Minnesota politician Ed Hansen's battle flag.

Hansen, a councilmember in West St. Paul, had proudly flown a Confederate flag emblazoned with the word "REDNECK" from his back porch despite the complaints of neighbors and the city's mayor. It was a matter of "free speech," he told the Pioneer Press, adding, "What's the problem?" And because people clearly weren't feeling him yet, "it's cool."

However, since blowing cigar smoke in the face of the public will, Hansen has performed a screaming U-turn and stowed away his cool flag. Is the liberal nanny state to blame for this craven censorship? Well, no: The free market kind of is.

Turns out that Hansen owns a franchise store in the Rocco's Pizza line, and company president Jim Bauer wasn't too enthused with this form of free speech. Here's part of the letter that Bauer, displaying the brutal hammerblows characteristic of all Bauers, wrote to the Minnesota City Pages:

He relayed to me his intention was to raise awareness of the tax and spend attitude of government and he flew the flag as a "rebel" not a racist. What ever his reason, the flag was a misguided attempt to get his point across and in poor taste. I am very sorry his actions offended you. I hope in the future, Mr. Hansen puts more thought into the message he is sending.

Flag image courtesy of Crotalus horridus.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

  2. The downtown St. Louis skyline.
    Perspective

    Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed

    Square co-founder Jack Dorsey is expanding the company’s presence in St. Louis and demolishing vacant buildings on the city’s north side.

  3. A portrait of Jay-Z.
    Equity

    The Roots of Jay-Z’s ‘Black Capitalism’

    Now partnering with the NFL, Jay-Z centers wealth-building in his activism, as many African Americans have before him—but without much success.

  4. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  5. Environment

    What U.S. Cities Facing Climate Disaster Risks Are Least Prepared?

    New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

×