Including images of noted Confederate defeats: The Hartford Courant reports:
A coffee mug used by Department of Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III showing the Confederate flag in a Civil War battle has angered black leaders who said it was insensitive to display a symbol of hate, particularly when the state police have been under fire for complaints of racism.
The issue arose Wednesday night after the NAACP met with members of the Commission on African American Affairs to discuss how to address recent allegations of rampant racism within the state police and state Department of Correction. The African American Affairs Commission is a group of citizens appointed by the legislature to improve and promote the well-being of African Americans in the state.
After the meeting, Dawne Westbrook, the attorney for the NAACP, said she was contacted by a state trooper who was offended by the mug, which she saw Danaher drinking from when she met with him in his office over the racism issue and other problems within the department.....
While Danaher has sent the letter of apology to Master Sgt. Theresa Freeman, and said he has taken the mug home, he said it depicts an artist's rendition of the third day of the battle of Gettysburg, with the beaten Confederate soldiers retreating.
Danaher said he has used the mug for seven years since his sons bought it for him as a gift when they visited Gettysburg.
"There are pictures of soldiers on horseback in retreat having lost," Danaher said. The flags were the "size of a postage stamp," he added....
But black leaders said Danaher should have been more sensitive about the symbol, particularly when he was meeting with a black trooper....
Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut state conference of NAACP branches, urged the commission to join forces and hold a public hearing about the racism issue.
"If it's true that needs to be dealt with immediately," Esdaile said. "There is a deep history of pain and suffering under that flag and we need to have a zero tolerance."
A letter that appears to be from the state trooper involved seems to corroborate Danaher's factual report of what's on the mug, and to report that the trooper "was not offended by the picture on the cup, but ... thought the commissioner was being insensitive by drinking from it during our conversation."