FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A petition is asking people who are coming to the Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally to stop displaying the confederate flag.
Joseph Daniels is one of the people who started the petition to discourage the use of the flag and said seeing it displayed by visitors made him feel unwelcome at last year's rally, which followed the mass shooting at a church in Charleston.
“This is an event that happens in our city and we don`t want our city to be one that stands for inclusion and safety and happiness and love, 361 days out of the year but have people who come in from across the country and now tear apart our moral values,” Daniels said.
Angela Courage's name is also on the petition that's on Change.org. She's hoping to collaborate with Bikes, Blues & BBQ and those coming to the rally to see if the two sides can come to an agreement.
“We`re calling you to your highest ethical and moral self to take concern for other people who might have fear or terror even at the sight of the flag pulling up to beside them on Dickson,” Courage said.
Fayetteville City Attorney Kit Williams said keeping the confederate flag from showing up at the rally will be hard to do.
“If they wanted to have ISIS flags or Nazi flags...we maybe don`t personally like them but it`s not something that the city can get involved because freedom of speech is to protect someone`s right to speech, even speech we don`t like,” Williams said.
We also found a new petition started on Change.org asking people to support the display of the confederate flag at the rally.
Executive Director of Bikes, Blues & BBQ Tommy Sisemore released a statement that said:
“We have recently been made aware of petitions asking for us to both condemn and accept the display of the Confederate flag at our annual motorcycle rally. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ is a not for profit motorcycle rally that benefits women, children, and the undeserved members of the Northwest Arkansas community. Since the first Bikes, Blues, and BBQ we have donated $1.3 million to charity. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ has always taken pride in being a family friendly event, inclusive of all members of the community. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ in no way condones or accepts racism, intolerance or hate speech. We also respect individuals' rights to free speech and expression.”