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. Design

    There’s a Tile Theft Epidemic in Lisbon

    With a single azulejo fetching hundreds of euros at the city’s more reputable antique stores, these tiles, sitting there out in the open, are easy pickings.

  2. Design

    The Curious Politics of a Montreal Mega-Mall

    The car-dependent suburb it’ll be built in wants to greenlight Royalmount against the city government’s wishes but it needs them to pay for the public infrastructure.

  3. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  4. Multicolored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.

  5. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.