'Terrible public display': Mayor, RCMP condemn Confederate Halloween display in Kelowna

Home's display condemned

UPDATE: 3:05 p.m.

The Kelowna RCMP and city bylaw have opened a pair of investigations into a Halloween display featuring a Confederate flag and a figure hanging by a noose at a Kelowna home.

“We are taking this incident extremely seriously and are collectively working with City By-Laws as to the appropriate course of action. These symbols only serve to fuel hatred and division and such behaviour cannot be tolerated in our community and society," said Insp. Adam MacIntosh of the Kelowna RCMP.

When bylaws officers arrived at the home the hanged effigy had been removed. Kelowna RCMP say they are working to speak with the resident of the home in regards to the display and will be requesting the flag also be removed.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran called the incident a "terrible public display."

“There’s no place in Kelowna for this kind of racist imagery, which is hurtful to people of colour and all who cherish an inclusive community," he added.

ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

A Kelowna man out for his morning walk says he was horrified when he came across questionable Halloween decorations with a racist undertone.

The man of colour, who wishes to stay anonymous, tells Castanet looking at the Richter Street home brought him to tears.

"As I got closer I was horrified and heartbroken. In the middle of the houses, the roof was a large confederate flag with a skull in a confederate hat in the middle of it. I looked to the right at the nearest tree, there was a figure hung by a noose. Wearing black rubber gloves and a stuffed black piece of cloth for its head."

"Me and my classmates were absolutely disgusted by this display, and as a black man I couldn't help but shed a tear at this ignorance," the man told Castanet.

The homeowner, who declined to provide a name or speak on camera, told Castanet that he doesn't understand why people would be offended by the decor.

He first said he picked out the flag because of the colours and the skull, but then compared the flag to what he believes is scripture in the Bible.

"It was slavery, it wasn't racist. Doesn't the Bible say something about having a slave work for you?' And no one says anything about that, but one flag stays up and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose," he said, dismissing the concerns.

The homeowner initially said he was open to taking down the figure hanging by the noose, but at the end of the conversation with Castanet, declared he would be leaving it up.

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