As a resident of New Gloucester and an acquaintance of the owner of Will-N-Laineys (Charlie Verrill), I am very disappointed that he has chosen to fly the Confederate battle flag over his business (“Farm stand owner says Confederate flag good for business,” May 26, Page C1).

As the article points out, many Americans view the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of hate used by the Ku Klux Klan, segregationist and white supremacist groups to intimidate African-Americans and people of color. Flying the flag for “free publicity,” in the words of the business owner, seems cynical, ill-informed and extremely misguided.

Although it is his right, I hope that he will reconsider. I also hope, that given the opportunity, New Gloucester’s representatives will make clear that the majority of residents are welcoming to all people and reject racism and bigotry in all its forms.

Mark Bowie

New Gloucester

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