Last week, we told you about Marshall Mayor Jim Smithson, who decided it would be a good idea to celebrate the birthday of Robert E. Lee by flying the Confederate flag over Marshall city hall through the long MLK Day weekend — including on MLK Day itself. The flag was finally taken down when government came back to work on Tuesday.
Now, KLRT Fox 16 News reports that saner heads on the Marshall City Council have made that change permanent, convening an emergency meeting on Monday night to address the issue and voting that only the Arkansas flag and the American flag can be flown on city property.
Mayor Smithson, for his part, doesn’t regret his actions one bit. He still says he flew the flag “out of what I consider disrespect for Robert E Lee’s birthday and the hero that he was to a lot of people just like Martin Luther King, Jr. is to a lot of people.”
Hands down favorite quote from the story: that of Marshall resident Kim Ragland, who wondered what effect taking down the Confederate flag — which is, you know, the symbol of an attempt to destroy the United States — would have on American troops. “This is a slap in the face to every man or woman fighting for our country because you’re saying, ‘You know what, what you’re doing, it’s not going to matter.’”