Rochester Park Board president says American flag can be a ‘hateful thing’

Some residents urged the Rochester City Council to remove Archer from her position.

Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial in Rochester, Minnesota, where the local park board plans to put a new law enforcement memorial. (Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial/Facebook)

The president of the Rochester Park Board said the American flag could be seen by some residents as a “sign of injustices” and a “hateful thing.” 

“I’m not suggesting we not have it there because it’s appropriate, but the American flag for many is patriotic but for others it is a sign of injustices,” Park Board President Linnea Archer said at the conclusion of an April 6 meeting, where the board discussed plans for a new law enforcement memorial at Rochester’s Soldiers Field Park.

Apparently, the memorial will prominently display an American flag, which is “used as a hate, as a hateful thing” in some parts of the country, Archer said. 

She said she used to live in a “different area of the country” where the flag was “a sign that you could get in trouble.” 

“I just wanted to make sure that when we’re thinking about some of those symbols that we put into our parks, [they are] well-intentioned and support some of our community, [but] they could also be misconstrued or feel like other people are not represented in our community,” added Archer, who appears to be a teacher at Rochester Public Schools. 

Some residents urged the Rochester City Council to remove Archer from her position, but that idea was rejected by the council at a Monday night meeting.

“Ms. Archer should immediately resign her position,” one resident told the council, according to the Post Bulletin. “Her comments are outlandish.”

Mayor Kim Norton spoke at the meeting and said the new memorial was approved by the entire Park Board.

“There was no call for removal of the flag, or discussion or debate about this,” she said. “It seems this has been broadly misunderstood based on calls and emails I’ve received, and I think other members of the City Council have, as well.”

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