St. Cloud city manager puts end to banners advertising Civil War reenactment

A banner advertising a decades-old tradition in St. Cloud is causing controversy.
This year marks the 25th Battle at Narcoossee Mill Civil War re-enactment, but the city manager said the banner advertising it won't go up at city intersections because it includes an image of a confederate flag.
Residents said if there was ever a time to show the controversial flag, this would be it.
Other residents said while the banner doesn’t offend them, they understand the concern.
St. Cloud Heritage Museum curator Olive Horning said she's surprised the city manager won't put up the banner, which has an image that’s also used for a Facebook page advertising the enactment.
"It represents the two sides that are going to be in the battle," said Horning.
The image includes a soldier on a horse with the Union and Confederate flags behind him.
Horning said it's a fictitious battle, but the Civil War reenactment is still educational.
City manager Bill Sturgeon sent an email to city leaders Friday stating he wasn't going to hang the banner in part because it uses a Confederate battle flag.
In a statement, he said "I have to consider the perspectives of many people, and did so before making this decision."
He also said the current banners don't fit the frames.
The city did offer to pay for the signs to be redesigned without a Confederate battle flag.
St. Cloud resident Nico Galleon supports that decision.
"It's not my place to be offended by it, but I'm also not going to act like I'm ignorant toward what that flag used to represent either,” said Galleon.
The organizer who brought up the controversy did not want to be interviewed, but said he's still in talks with the city.
The city said supporters can post the original banner on private property, and they're fine with it being used during the reenactment at Chisholm Park in March.
Cierra Putman

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.