Therapist, former employer battle over 'symbol of hate' on bumper
By Lawrence Buser (Contact), Memphis Commercial Appeal
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
A marriage and family therapist from Olive Branch who considers the Confederate battle flag "a venerated object" says he was illegally fired for refusing to remove his special Mississippi license tag bearing the flag logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
His former employer, Compass Intervention Center on Lowrance near Hacks Cross Road, says it only asked Adrian Paul McLaren, not to park in a way that would make another Confederate flag on his front bumper visible to guests.
McLaren said in the suit that officials at the residential adolescent treatment center began making the parking request in 2006 and that he spent 20 minutes explaining the history, his personal beliefs and Christian aspects about Confederate symbolism.
He said that after an ongoing series of corrective action notices from his employer, McLaren began parking head-in to comply with the request to hide the front tag from view in the parking lot.
The company, however, then began to complain about his Mississippi-issued license plate on the rear of the car that also displayed the Confederate battle flag logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, McLaren said in the suit.