Mud Island River Park removes Confederate flag

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mud Island River Park has removed its Confederate flag.

Memphis is now following suit to many cities all across the country at this tough time, and five flags were taken down from the park Thursday evening.

"The past is the past and I think we need to move forward," said Todd Smith, who lives in Memphis.

For Smith and many Memphis residents, this was long overdue.

"That is a start," said Josh Gaines. "It's a step in the right way."

Only two flags remain now, the Tennessee state flag and the US flag. Before, there were seven flags flying for the once seven nations of government.

The five flags that came down were the Confederate flag, British flag, Spanish flag, French flag, and the flag of North Carolina.

"We didn't think it was appropriate for that site to be used the way that could cause controversy," Memphis Riverfront President Benny Lendermon said.

Lendermon said in light of what's happening in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the racial divide happening all across the country, it was time.

"We didn't want a flag at Mud Island to be something that can divide our community," Lendermon said.

He said the RDC staff made the decision Thursday, and it was something they'd discussed for years.

This all happening as the city fights to remove Confederate monuments from local parks.

"I think we've just got to focus on the future as a country and as people and work together," Smith said.

But in the end, Gaines said it's what inside a person that really matters.

"You can take all the flags down; that won't change their heart at the end of the day," Gaines said.

Lendermon said, in fact, they wanted to take down Tennessee flag too, but they had issues getting it down.

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