An employee of a BJ’s Wholesale Club distribution center in Jacksonville, Florida has filed a lawsuit against his employer due to their banning of the Confederate Battle Flag. In May of 2008, company management informed BJ’s employee Bobby Tillett that he would no longer be allowed to park on company property if he continued to fly the Confederate Battle Flag from his pickup truck. Instead of removing his flag, Mr. Tillett has been parking on publicly owned property and walking a half-mile to his place of employment.
The lawsuit against BJ’s Wholesale Club was confirmed by Mr. Tillett’s attorney. BJ’s corporate management has issued the following statement regarding their decision to ban the Confederate emblem.
"Like all employers, we have guidelines of appropriate personal behavior and expression at work. While the policy does not identify any specific type of expression, it generally prohibits expression that is rude, abusive, hostile or intimidating. Under these guidelines, we asked this team member to not display the Confederate flag in our parking lot. We are confident that we have struck the right balance for all of our team members and their work environment."
Despite a “tense” work environment, Mr. Tillett has continued to work at BJ’s for the past year while continuing to park off-site and walk to work. After nearly a year of BJ’s refusing to overturn their ban of the flag, Tillett decided enough was enough and intended to sue. When asked if he was concerned about being fired because of his refusal to remove his flag Mr. Tillett had this to say about the situation.
"It’s about heritage; it’s about pride," Tillett said in May. "I don’t look at it much different than the American flag. There’s been a lot of blood spilled over that flag, too, and I love that flag, and I’ll fly it ’till the day I die."
"I hope firing comes up. Makes things worse for them."
I applaud Mr. Tillett’s choice to stand by his convictions and his refusal to be bullied into removing an emblem of his Southern pride and heritage by a Northern company that is openly hostile towards the Confederate Flag, a banner that million’s of Southerners cherish as a symbol of their heritage and homeland.
It is obvious that by describing the Battle Flag of the Confederacy as “rude, abusive, hostile or intimidating” BJ’s has no interest in the patronage of those of us that love that flag. I strongly encourage all my readers to boycott BJ’s Wholesale Club and instead patronize a Southern run warehouse club such as Sam’s Club. It is my sincere hope that this lawsuit will uphold Mr. Tillett’s right to fly the Confederate Flag. I also hope that in the near future, BJ’s Wholesale will be forced to move their stores north of the Mason-Dixon Line due to the lack of Southerners willing to give their hard-earned money to such an anti-Southern company.
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