The Confederate flag controversy has now cost a police officer his job.
The North Charleston, South Carolina, officer was fired for posting a photo of himself in Confederate flag boxer shorts.
Sgt. Shannon Dildine posted the picture earlier this week of himself proudly showing off his Southern pride on Facebook – where it was widely shared.
Dildine’s boss, Police Chief Eddie Driggers, issued a termination letter shortly after the photo was discovered.
“Your posting in this manner led to you being publicly identified as a North Charleston Police officer and associated both you and the department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve,” Driggers wrote.
Driggers seemed to feel the photograph was posted in poor taste, and wanted to distance the department from anything that could be construed as racist.
He said the photo would weaken Dildine’s “ability to improve trust and instill confidence when working with our citizens,” reported ABC 4.
The appropriateness of flying the Confederate flag has come under major scrutiny since photographs of Dylann Roof, who is charged with killing nine churchgoers in a South Carolina church, emerged of him holding the flag.
Many see the rebel flag as a sign of racism and oppression, leading to its removal from public grounds and merchandise nationwide.
Charleston police officers are particularly close to the controversy.
It’s not clear what Dildine’s motives were for posting the photo. Some view the flag as a symbol of Southern pride. If that was Dildine’s perspective, it certainly wasn’t that of his boss.
Dildine has ten days to appeal his dismissal.
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