July 24, 2020
GETTYSBURG, S.D.–Two rallies will be held Sunday in Gettysburg.
One, with a Facebook event titled “the Stand,” will protest the town’s decision to remove the confederate flag from its police patches.
Event information invites people to arrive Saturday, camp in the park overnight, then hold a peaceful gathering to ask town officials to bring back the version of the police badge with the Confederate flag. Speakers are planned for 10am in the town park, with a ride through town with Confederate flags at noon.
A counter-rally will be held at 10am in the northeast corner of Gettysburg’s city park. The Facebook event titled, “Gettysburg SD Counterprotest” invites people to bring signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, oppose Confederate flag usage or thank the town for removing the Confederate flag from its police badge.
Any Black, Indigenous or People of Color who attend are welcome to speak. Event information says participants of the peaceful counter-rally are expected to wear masks and to bring hand sanitizer and water.
The Gettysburg police patch, with the Confederate flag added in 2009, was pushed into the national spotlight after the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
Floyd has family in Gettysburg and after his death, family members asked the Police Chief to remove the Confederate patch.
On July 7, 2020, the city confirmed the patch would no longer be used.