Red Deer mayor, Wildrose denounce 'racist imagery' at protest
Politicians condemn Confederate-style flag displayed by group
The mayor of Red Deer has issued a statement that a Confederate-like flag that apparently was displayed during a weekend protest had nothing to do with the city.
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Tara Veer says some citizens have contacted the city to express concerns about the flag, and she says she shares those concerns, but that people should contact the event's organizers. Images of the flag were posted on Twitter -- it appeared to have maple leaves instead of the usual stars that appear on the Confederate flags associated with the American Civil War.
The Twitter images appeared to show a small group of people holding the flag up as they attended an anti-carbon tax rally in Red Deer on Saturday.
Nothing says, 'keep Alberta strong like a Canadaian Confederate flag during a anti-carbon rally.' <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thiswhyIvote?src=hash">#thiswhyIvote</a> <a href="https://t.co/LlJlmFe1li">pic.twitter.com/LlJlmFe1li</a>—@IamBunbury
Some North American stores stopped selling Confederate flags last year after the man accused of killing nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, was photographed with one.
Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon spoke during the anti-carbon tax rally, and says he also spoke briefly with the people carrying the flag, who he says were apart from the main crowd.
Nixon says he let them know he wasn't impressed and says he condemns the "racist imagery."
"I am sure that they would not have been welcome had they attempted to join the rally," Nixon said in a statement.
He said the exchange lasted only a few seconds. A number of members of the Wildrose opposition party, including leader Brian Jean, spoke at several concurrent rallies throughout Alberta on Saturday, but the events weren't organized by the party.
Red Deer radio station CHUB reported that event organizers did not immediately respond for comment on Sunday.
Veer said in her statement that Red Deer prides itself on being a "welcoming and inclusive community."