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Sticky: UPDATE: DelDOT will NOT Punish Employee for Confederate Flag

UPDATED STORY 04.04.12:  A DelDOT employee will NOT be reprimanded or suspended  after all for displaying a Confederate flag on a decorative license plate on the front of his truck.

Tom Drummond received a letter from DelDOT on March 12 notifying him if he didn’t remove the inappropriate plate which violates state policy, he would face disciplinary action.

The decorative plate reading “Red Neck” with part of a Confederate battle flag in the background has been displayed on his vehicle for 17 years.

The ACLU intervened on Drummond’s behalf after another employee complained that the flag was offensive; ACLU Legal Director Richard Morse says DelDOT recognized its obligation to respect its employees’ free-speech rights under the U.S. and Delaware constitutions.


ORIGINAL STORY:  The ACLU will today represent a DelDOT employee at a grievance hearing during which he faces a one-day suspension from the agency for displaying a Confederate flag on a decorative license plate on the front of his truck.

Tom Drummond says he received a letter from DelDOT on March 12 notifying him if he didn’t remove the inappropriate plate which violates state policy, he would face disciplinary action.

The decorative plate reading “Red Neck” with part of a Confederate battle flag in the background has been displayed on his vehicle for 17 years; Drummond has been employed as an equipment operator since 2008 and has had the plate on his truck since being hired and has parked it in the DelDOT lot with no previous problems.

DelDOT issued a statement saying, “DelDOT’s actions in this matter were prompted by a complaint from an employee who claimed harassment and our decisions were motivated solely by this concern. As an employer our aim is to maintain a workplace that is productive and as free from acrimony as possible.  We will review the ACLU’s letter with our legal counsel and take whatever additional steps may be necessary.”




Category: Local News


36 Responses

  1. John B. says:

    Where did the idea come from that nobody should ever be offended by anything? Some folks need to grow up and stop whining about things that are not causing any physical pain. People who complain about porn on the TV are told to change the channel or turn the TV off. Likewise, to the person offended by this decorative plate: Don’t look at it!

    To DelDOT: You are offending the owner of the plate by telling him to remove it. You are also violating his 1st Amendment right.

  2. guest says:

    Well said John!

  3. Concerned Citizen says:

    That was well said and I agree with John’s statement also.

  4. GIRL #7 says:

    Political correctness run amok. Welcome to freedom of speech.

  5. Jay says:

    i drove to high school in 2003 my entire senior year with that plate on my truck, and never ever had any issues with students or admin….wth is going on here!?

  6. RT says:

    too many crybabies everywhere.

  7. allan says:

    Instead of violating this mans rite to free speech, get rid of the wave making p.o.s. I bet the person coomplaining is a rgular trouble maker any way. But they are unionized. Now us tax payers will have to foot the bill for the ACLU to defend this man.

  8. gp says:

    I would bet the ACLU will be representing him free of charge.

  9. erik says:

    Was this hie personal truck or company Deldot truck? Also, don’t you know it take three Deldot employees to take a plate off a truck? So just leave it on and those 3 guys wouldn’t have to waste 5 hours replacing it.

  10. Road Warrior says:

    I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I have to agree with the ACLU on this one. I definitely think he’s right to free speech is being violated. As with every story, I don’t believe we have heard the entire situation as of yet. If he has had this plate on his vehicle since his hire, why is it just coming out now? Has something else triggered this response, like maybe the Martin situation in Florida? Not trying to be racist, but is the person complaining “of color”?

  11. leverage says:

    It is too bad that DelDOT has the time to try to take a person’s first amendment right away but does not have the time to make sure Delaware roads are in proper repair. Shame on DelDOT!!!!!!

  12. WALLY says:

    YEEEE-HAAAAAAA PAY THE MAN ! I hope he returns to work in his new 4×4, with full flag custom paint job,and some bling rims !

  13. allan says:

    Hey gp…ACLU lawyers are paid by tax dollars.

  14. bmartin says:

    And for those who want to make it racial, maybe he should wear a sheet!

  15. joe says:

    WOW!!! we can report on this bullcrap of a individual expressing his feelings which is completely legal yet milford school district has an administrator suspended, a teacher suspended, and many other issues which have been going on over 2 months and it has not made the news yet!!!
    Express your feelings as you wish and news teams please cover important issues.

  16. bullitt says:

    Time to get jessee jackson and al sharpton here. and i bet the harrassed individual knows them personally.

  17. exsussex says:

    Hey Allan….. the ACLU is paid for with totally 100% private funds.

  18. mommasboy says:

    The confederate flag itself is no problem. The word Redneck contained on the flag
    is most definately associated with bigots, and racists. A confederate Redneck is a bigot. You can paint it however you like but that tag is racist…………period

  19. Joe says:

    Those that criticize the stars and bars perhaps better look up in history as to what this meant. To compare this to the Nazi flag is so ridiculous it goes without saying. Look up what Abraham Lincoln did. He was the “Great Emancipator” as we were led to believe in history. The northern states did whatever the could to NOT let free slaves come to THEIR states!
    The South wanted state’s rights and a decentralized government. Jefferson Davis,Robert e Lee,Stonewall Jackson all fought for THEIR rights as states to be sovereign away from the federal government tyranny!
    The Stars and Bars represent HERITAGE NOT hate!

  20. Guest says:

    LOL. DelDot, you have just proven how really useless you are. Just look at our roads, it’s a proven track record.. Now this. LOL

  21. mj says:

    last time I checked the part of the conisitition that says freedom of speech does not say unless somebody finds it offensive. I understand if it was on a DELDOT Truck, that is ptoperty of DELDOT. But a personal truck that probably sits in the lot while he takes a company truck into the feild is overkill.

  22. Amy says:

    I wish my employer would ask me to take something off my vehicle that I own and pay for!!!! What a waste of time this is causing deldot and taxpayers. This man has had this on his truck for 17 years and at the start of his employment at that and 1 coworker wakes up on the wrong side of the bed that day a wanted to make a mountain out of a mole hole. What a joke. I don’t even know why the media is even entertaining this but nevertheless I’m not surprised. I wonder if the Rev. Al Sharpton will show up to rally around this hemrroid!! There are important things going on in today’s society to be more worried than a tag on someones vehicle that 1 person feels is inappropriate!!

  23. Mamaof3 says:

    @mommasboy,You have it all wrong. Being a redneck DOES NOT automatically mean you are a racist. A redneck is someone who prides thenselves on their country ways,works hard,says yes ma’m and no sir. WE love our country and are not afraid to show it.I am a true southerner,raised in NC,consider my self a redneck and it is Heritage not Hate. People wear the african colors and I am not offened. Some people find offense in everything,unfortunately

  24. GuEsT says:

    WWTD? What Would Trayvon DO?

  25. Guest says:

    Plain and simple….If that flag offends you….YOU need a history lesson.

  26. The Right Opinion says:

    The ACLU is paid for by private funds. Unfortunately, much of those funds are collected when they win or “settle” lawsuits. The “loser” is required to pay the “attorney fees” of their client. They are usually somewhat selective in who they sue, so as to ensure that the defendant has the $$ to pay.

  27. Sherry says:

    The confederate flag is a battlefield flag, hundreds of thousands men fought and died to defend that flag. Lets not forget they were American soldiers. The only problem here is that the flag had “redneck” slapped across it!

    Anyone who is offened by this flag should do a little civil war history homework and they would quickly realize that flag stood for the right to withdraw from the union, to fight unfair taxation on agriculture exports and states rights!

  28. DONALD T says:

    Well i’m offended by a Obama bumper sticker,Soooo what case do i have? I’m offened by the little gay Rehoboth rainbow stickers on subaru wagons etc.WHO CARES!! go fix some pot holes and get over it!

  29. Alicia says:

    America has become a country of coddled crybabies! It seems that no matter what is said, it’s offending somebody. You can’t even tell people Merry Christmas or Happy Easter anymore because they might not be Christian and become offended. This country is going to Hell in a handbasket! I’m from the south originally and I’ve heard the term Redneck more times than I can say. I’ve never in my life associated the word Redneck with being a racist. That association seems to me like somebody turning a situation into something it’s not in order to have a reason to complain. I know lots of people who have nothing better to do than complain and they are all unhappy sad individuals who attack others to make themselves feel better. Get a life!

  30. LaLaLa says:

    Won’t be punished? I would hope not! It’s a personal vehicle, one he pays for and maintains. There is still freedom of speech. I may or may not like the flag but it’s not illegal for a private citizen to display. I don’t like the swastika Communist sickle but there is nothing illegal in having a sticker of it.

  31. guest reply says:

    When I see a Confederate Flag sign or sticker on vehicle, I have the same thought that I have for ALL signs and stickers – that the person has a need to announce themselves to the world about who they are and what they stand for. That applies to bumper stickers, flags, or anything that pertains to ethnicity, heritage, religion, food, or whatever.

    I feel no such need. I know who I am and what I stand for and that’s sufficient and it’s not really anyone else’s business. I am proud to be an American, support the troops, etc. etc. I just don’t need to tell everyone how proud I am.

    The gentleman with the Confederate flag sticker does have that need. He should be free to fulfill it.

  32. Sam says:

    Get tougher skin people!Weak people get offended so easy.

  33. Lewesguy says:

    As soon as I saw this headline, I KNEW the ACLU would be all over it! Does DELDOT have its head stuck in the sand? Wait-I just looked out the office window at Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach. YES!

  34. Gumboroscalling says:

    If you have to fly a flag telling the world what you are…you’re probably just playing make believe.

  35. bullitt says:

    Oh! I am glad I am in the land of cotton!

  36. sparkyscousin says:

    Our legal system is just that. A system. Outlawing something just because you don’t like it is stupid. Think about it. That’s like wanting what the other kid has because he has it and you don’t.

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