Iowa man displays Confederate flags and Swastika in front of his house, says they are not racist: 'People don't know their history'
William Stark said 'it’s a free country, I’ll put it out there if I want to'.
An Iowa man has defied neighbors' constant protests to remove Confederate flags and Nazi symbols plastered on his house, claiming that it's not racist. Q13 Fox reported that William Stark's home, which is opposite to the Morris Elementary School on the south side of Des Moines is displaying a number of Confederate flags along with Swastika symbols.
Stark said his sign is "pallet art" and told the news outlet that it is not offensive: "They don’t know their history, evidently. That’s the only reason I can think of that they can think anything bad about it — they don’t know their history." Calling the Swastika symbol a "World War II flag" he said he won't take it down. "It’s a free country,” Stark said. “I’ll put it out there if I want to.”
Stark, who has a second-degree theft conviction from September after he tried to use a fake $2,300 cheque at a metro store and has a history of substance abuse had his home vandalized with the words "Nazi scum" last week.
The Des Moines Public Schools released a statement slamming the displays and said: "We should all be sickened that someone would promote the hatred espoused by the Confederates and the Nazis within sight of the front doors of an elementary school." The statement also said 60 percent of the students in the Elementary School near his home are students of color and that "students see these symbols of hate when they arrive and leave school, or are simply on the playground."
The statement mentioned that "the individuals in the home displaying these symbols have had numerous conflicts with Morris Elementary School and the school district." They have also been notified of a criminal trespassing advisory that is to be issued against them by the DMPS in collaboration with the Des Moines Police Department, the statement read. "The police will be notified if they are on school property."