Flag protesters pursue alternatives


It’s been more than a month since a Confederate flag waved in the Fourth of July parade in downtown Delaware.

But Mark Butler and his newly formed group, Acts of Alliance, haven’t dropped the matter, and say they are continuing to raise awareness and to seek solutions. The group originally planned a protest march at City Hall but have decided to take a different route by focusing on the classroom, Butler said.

Members from the Acts of Alliance spoke at a Delaware Board of Education meeting on July 18.

“It has been a miseducation concerning the Confederate flag,” Butler told school board members. “There’s no use for the Confederate flag in 21st century America. It’s still represents a symbol of hate.”

The board had no further discussion with Butler, according to Jennifer Ruhe, director of communications for the school district.

“The board appreciated hearing comments from Mr. Butler during public participation at the July 18 board meeting,” she said in an email. “As a school district, we are absolutely committed to building a positive climate and supportive learning environment for all of our students. We welcome the opportunity for continued dialogue.”

Butler spoke again at a Delaware City Council meeting Monday night, his second time speaking to members about the issue. He asked council to consider a resolution concerning the use of displaying the Confederate flag in the city.

“It’s pretty much a divided issue,” he said.

He added that he understood the complications with the First Amendment. Council member Chris Jones said he would follow up with Butler this week, but did not think there was anything council can do.

The July 4 parade in downtown Delaware is organized by the Delaware County Farm Bureau with no direct financial contributions from the city.

“The city contributes in-kind support services for the entire July 4 day of activities – fireworks, concert and parade – to ensure safe and successful events,” said Lee Yoakum, the city’s community affairs coordinator.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/08/web1_Mark_Butler.jpg Butler

By Brandon Klein

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Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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