OSAGE, Iowa – The actions of a political leader has Mitchell County residents upset after a Facebook Live video surfaced on the internet Tuesday afternoon.
At Tuesday morning’s weekly Board of Supervisors meeting, Stanley Walk, the Supervisor of District 2 could be seen walking out of the room during the Pledge of Allegiance in a video posted online that received more than 10,000 views in less than 10 hours.
Al Winters, a former candidate for county supervisor, was present and sent the following statement to KIMT.
"I am truly saddened by the disrespect shown to our flag, our country, and our veterans and those currently serving in the military. They have sacrificed so much. Many have died in duty and honor so we can live this very day in freedom. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech. That freedom allows a person to honor the flag and all it stands for by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or standing for the National Anthem. It also guarantees the right to protest. I get that. But, those who stood today faced ridicule and attacks because we exercised our right. While the County Attorney may feel that the Pledge and the flag are "controversial" the majority do not. Both supervisor Walk and County Attorney Walk chose to protest the expression of patriotism by the citizens. The statements and actions of two county officers was unprofessional and frankly very troubling.” –Al Winters
Winters refers to Mitchell County Attorney, Mark Walk, who turns to the person filming, asking, “You don’t think the Pledge of Allegiance in controversial? You don’t? Okay, that’s fine. I’m not against – I’m not saying that.”
Stanley Walk says his actions were not out of disrespect to the country, saying it was more so his way of expressing his First Amendment right and that it’s time for a change in the United States.
“I’m not against the country and that (the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem) but I am against the idea that we have justice for all,” said Stanley Walk. “We no longer have justice for all here in this country. The super-rich have taken over and it’s time that people stand up and say enough is enough – the little guy deserves justice.”
A veteran of the United States Army, Stanley Walk attended the Newman Catholic and Osage basketball games Tuesday night where he stood in the gym with his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. But he says the pledge was simply not a part of the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, and that meetings are not open for public comment unless called upon.
“The Pledge of Allegiance was not on our agenda today (Tuesday), and two individuals are deciding that they can basically take over the Board of Supervisors’ agenda and I do not appreciate that,” said Walk.