ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand firstname.lastname@example.org) – Gettysburg has closed the book on the use of its police logo featuring a Confederate flag.
In recent weeks the patch on uniforms and logo that have been in use since 2009 have come under fire. They depicted U.S. and Confederate flags side by side with a Civil War era cannon in the middle. Most recently, Selwyn Jones, Gettysburg resident and uncle to George Floyd, asked that the patch no longer be used.
Floyd died May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis police. An officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly eight minutes. That incident and the deaths of other Black Americans have sparked nationwide rallies and protests, including calls for the removal of Confederate symbols and monuments and accountability for police.
Following brief discussion at Monday’s Gettysburg City Council meeting, the council took no action but fielded a formal request from the medical community asking for the removal of the patch and related items depicting the Confederate flag.
Shannon Johnson said she appreciated the unofficial removal of the patch and logos, but wants to see permanent action. Johnson didn’t say where she worked, but said she works with traveling nurses, some of whom are “of color,” and the topic is raised.
“I wish it would all disappear,” she said.
Gettysburg resident Mark Braaten took a different perspective. He’s lived in the community for eight years and said he’s not a fan of the Confederate flag, but the patch depicting the two flags together showed how two groups came together in one community to live in peace and harmony.
No members of the city council spoke. Instead, a statement from the mayor and council indicated the issue is now closed.
The statement was read by city Finance Officer Sheila Schatz on behalf of Mayor Bill Wuttke. Neither the city nor the police department have had an official patch or insignia, according to the statement. The logo that had been in use was selected by the town’s former police chief.
“The current police chief has removed the patch and logos,” the statement read. “No further action is deemed necessary.”
Schatz said the statement was signed not only by Wuttke but the entire city council.