The Six Flags Over Texas theme park has reversed their decision to fly the Confederate States of America flag on display over the park entrance.
In a statement released Friday, a park rep explained their decison to remove the controversial flag, after first deciding it would remain.
“At Six Flags Over Texas we strive every single day to make people happy and to create a fun, thrilling and safe family friendly experience for our guests. We always choose to focus on celebrating the things that unite us versus those that divide us. As such, we have changed the flag displays in our park to feature American flags,” said Sharon Parker, Manager of Communications for Six Flags Over Texas.
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The Arlington theme park was named for the six flags that have flown over the state of Texas in its history, the Confederate flag being one of them. Park officials previously told TMZ they saw a fundamental difference between the flag they fly and the Confederate Battle Flag.
They claimed that white supremacists and neo-Nazis adopted the Battle flag, not the original Confederate flag they have at the park. However both flags flew during the Civil War.
The first official flag of the Confederacy was used in 1861, but was too similar to the Union Stars and Stripes flag, which caused confusion on the battlefield, according to Britannica. So Confederate commanders petitioned for a new flag, which led to the Confederate Battle Flag most are familiar with today, known as the “Southern Cross” design.
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Despite the fraught history associated with the Confederate flag, Six Flags previously stood behind the decision to keep it on display, saying they believe their patrons “are astute enough to know the difference,” TMZ reports.
The park’s decision comes after a “Unite the Right” neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., turned deadly when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring some 19 other people.