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Rep. Tom Cole: Confederate flag wavers disrespectful, embarrassing

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, released this statement on Thursday in regard to the people who waved Confederate flags at President Barack Obama in Durant and Oklahoma City during the president's visit to those cities.

“I was shocked and disappointed by those who showed up to wave Confederate flags soon after President Obama arrived in Oklahoma.

“Their actions were not only disappointing but incredibly disrespectful, insensitive and embarrassing to the entire state. The unacceptable behavior displayed by these individuals certainly does not reflect the values and views of the vast majority of Oklahomans. No president should ever be confronted by such behavior, especially when the purpose of the visit was meant to celebrate and recognize some of our state’s greatest achievements.

“The office of President of the United States is deserving of the respect of all Americans, regardless of how deeply we may disagree on issues or policies. Political differences are never a justification to insult the president, and I believe that such action shows disrespect for the office itself.

"In this circumstance, I consider it to be particularly insensitive given the president’s personal graciousness when Oklahomans in Moore were devastated by tornadoes in May 2013.

“Like me, I’m certain that the vast majority of people across our state are embarrassed and disappointed to see other Oklahomans engage in this sort of activity. Given the president’s purpose for visiting, all Oklahomans should have been proud to have him in the state and shown him the same hospitality that we routinely extend to those who visit our state.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›