Mainer explains why he wants to fly Confederate flag
ORLAND (WGME) -- It's a symbol of war, but for many Americans, it has also become a symbol for hate.
Marc Pelletier has flown both American and Confederate flags for years on his tractor and truck. He says he does it because he's an American, not a racist.
"I'm not a Neo-Nazi,” Pelletier said. “A Nazi flag does not look like an American flag."
Pelletier says the Confederate flag honors Americans in the South who fought in the Civil War.
"Just cause our southern brothers lost, don't give them the shame to shame their fallen heroes,” Pelletier said. "They're American. And they should be treated as such."
Pelletier works for G.M. Allen & Son in Orland. Raking blueberries is one of his responsibilities. He says the company told him to remove the flag after a passerby called and complained.
"It's not like I'm in the street protesting, rioting,” Pelletier said. “We're working."
The Allen family says they've gotten calls from people thanking them, but also from people arguing over their decision to take the flag down.
They did not want to be interviewed, but a member of the family released a statement.
"Our customers were offended by the Confederate Flag. And as a corporation, we have no business endorsing it."
Another statement was put on the company website.
"We are upset to hear that this hateful symbol was displayed ... And we apologize to all those who were offended."
Pelletier now only flies the American flag, but upside down, a sign of distress.
"Not being allowed to have both American flags fly is distressing to me," Pelletier said.
He believes people offended by his Confederate flag trampled on his right to free speech.
"You know; what other flag am I going to be able to allow fly without offending somebody?" Pelletier said.