The town of of Stockton, Iowa is divided after some residents started flying the confederate flag outside their homes, including the mayor, Melissa Fowler.
It all started when an anonymous letter was sent to city council in protest of one confederate flag being flown outside someone’s home. The letter led some residents to fly confederate flags outside their homes in a sign of solidarity.
“I think a lot of it is just an act of defiance,” said one town resident, Nick Diffenderfer. “But meanwhile while they’re putting on their little show, they’re putting out an image to a lot of the kids in this town that is not appropriate.”
“I’m trying to raise kids and instill good values in them [and] I find it very contradictory,” Diffenderfer said. “A mayor is somebody that should be looked up to.”
Mayor Fowler has not responded to News 8, but her husband said the flag belongs to him and he flies it in respect to his southern heritage.
“To me it’s no big deal,” said Sandy Phelps, another Stockton resident. “I think whether she’s the mayor or isn’t she has the right to be true to her own beliefs.”
City council member Donnalee Holmes said the flag is a symbol of people’s southern heritage and they have the right to fly the flag if they choose to.
“I don’t see what would be offensive about it, I really don’t,” Holmes said. “This city needs a lot of things and fussing over a flag seems silly.”
But to residents like Diffenderfer, the flag represents something much more serious.
“Racism is alive and well in the United States and all you gotta do is look outside the window and see the flags flying,” Diffenderfer said.