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‘We condemn this act outright’: Audience member’s display of Confederate flag at Natick Memorial Day ceremony draws ire

"While this individual acted on his own, we apologize to everyone hurt or harmed by this act," local officials said in a statement.

A large Confederate flag on private property stands in clear view to the city of Danville, Virginia, which banned all but a few types of flags in 2020. John McDonnell / Bloomberg, File

Two local officials are speaking out against an audience member at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Natick, who displayed a Confederate flag to the crowd during the town’s holiday observance.

State Sen. Becca Rausch, D-Needham, and Natick Select Board Chair Karen Adelman-Foster detailed the action in a joint statement Monday afternoon.

An audience member, who was not identified, moved to the front of the crowd and displayed the flag, the one-time symbol of the Confederate States of America.

Rausch and Adelman-Foster said they were “shocked, dismayed, and horrified” by the display put on by the audience member.

“In doing so, this individual desecrated the Grand Army Civil War Memorial in Natick Center, the memories of all people who have fallen in defense of equality and freedom, and each and every person now fighting for meaningful anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion in our communities,” the joint statement reads. “While this individual acted on his own, we apologize to everyone hurt or harmed by this act. We condemn this act outright, and remain steadfast in our commitment of advancing our shared values of justice, equity, and freedom.”

Confederate flags, symbols, and monuments have received scrutiny across the nation in recent years as communities consider the legacies such markers perpetuate.

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On Monday, cities and towns across Massachusetts took moments to mark an unseasonably cool Memorial Day, honoring the sacrifices made by servicemen and women.

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