WTIP Staff

MnDOT answers questions about Confederate flag on construction vehicle

In the midst of a week that has seen vandalism to Black Lives Matter signs and hostility over the wearing of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, another issue was raised in recent days. One of the semi trucks hauling gravel for the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Grand Marais construction project was seen sporting a large Confederate flag.

Many Grand Marais residents expressed dismay and anger that the flag, which they feel is divisive, should be flying on a vehicle working on a Minnesota Department of Transportation project.

Some members of the public argued that the trucker is using his First Amendment rights of Free Speech by attaching the flag to his vehicle.
And a handful of others asked if anyone would feel this way about a political statement if it was one they supported, such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence reached out to Edward Welch, the project manager for the Highway 61 construction project in Grand Marais to ask those questions. Here’s their conversation.

Rhonda Silence also spoke to Highway 61 Project Manager Edward Welch about what’s ahead in the coming week of construction work.