Man who put Confederate flag on black soldier memorial says he was misunderstood

The man who put a Confederate flag on a Boston memorial honoring an all-black Union Civil War unit said he meant to honor the black soldiers and not create a controversy.

The flag was draped over the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment memorial for more than an hour before it was taken down by a passerby Sunday.

Stephen Allsop, who is African-American, said he and a group of other students burned two Confederate flags at the monument to make a point but they left when police showed up.

"Essentially, burn the Confederate flag as a way of making a very clear statement about how we feel about its legacy and its history in this country,” Allsop said.

Allsop said he was trying to make a point.

“Not only about the specific issue of the flag, but the larger issue of black lives matter and the fight for social justice in this country… to pay tribute and homage to that legacy.”

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Whatever the intent, the message was not universally understood, and many people complained.

"Any ambiguity about what we meant, we apologize for that," he said. “But we are still firm on the stance that we took, glad that we have a chance to clarify it now."

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