Pelham leaders phasing out police patches with Confederate flag after complaints

Pelham leaders phasing out police patches with Confederate flag after complaints

PELHAM, Ga. (WALB) - Two Pelham residents are speaking out Monday, calling for the city’s police officers to remove the Confederate flag from their uniform.

The city said they’ve officially changed the logo in 2018.

Teresa Robinson said it’s offensive for officers to wear these patches, and she wants them removed immediately.

“How can you serve and protect when you’re representing hate?” said Robinson.

A sign she said is disrespectful to African-Americans.

A Pelham resident, Robinson approached the city council showing them the patch with the Confederate flag.

Robinson wants them removed not tomorrow, but right now.

The previous patch design for the Pelham Police Department.
The previous patch design for the Pelham Police Department. (Source: WALB)
The patch design was changed in 2018
The patch design was changed in 2018 (Source: WALB)

“We live in a very, very small town. We have over 2,000 African-Americans. We have 1,000 whites. I’m here fighting, and I’m going to continue to fight for what’s right. That’s all we’ve been asking for,” said Robinson.

“I’ve been here 43 years, and when I heard about it, I was shocked. With that symbol on their patch, that’s bad for African-Americans. Everyone should be treated equally,” said Felisha Davenport, another Pelham resident.

Pelham City Manger Craig Bennett said the patch was changed in September 2018 after “recognizing the potential perception of insensitivity.”

Now, the flag above the cannon has been removed from the patch.

Teresa Robinson and Felisha Davenport, who both live in Pelham, are speaking out about the patches.
Teresa Robinson and Felisha Davenport, who both live in Pelham, are speaking out about the patches. (Source: WALB)

Police Chief Nealie McCormick said the patch symbols also represent the history of Pelham.

“Pelham is named after Major Pelham, an artillery officer. That whole center was like a history book. It wasn’t a display,” said McCormick.

According to a statement from the city, the patch shows Summerhill Baptist Church and Rosenwald School representing the Afro-American commitment, Pelham’s military background, and J.L. Hand’s arrival to the city by train and Pelham’s establishment.

McCormick said the old patches are being phased out as new uniforms replace them, and they’re working to change them out as soon as possible.

Read the city’s full statement below:

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