HILLSDALE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A Bob Evans employee in Michigan is out of work after he declined to remove a large Confederate flag from his pickup truck in the parking lot.

Wesley Rogers tells the Hillsdale Daily News that he has the right to express himself. But Angela Payne, a spokeswoman at Bob Evans, says the flag is “offensive to many of our customers and employees.”

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Payne tells The Associated Press that Rogers resigned from a sausage plant in Hillsdale, 70 miles south of Lansing, after refusing to remove the flag or park elsewhere.

Rogers told the newspaper that when he refused to hide or dismount the flag, he was terminated on the spot.

“They said they were doing their best to follow up on a complaint,” Rogers said, “to make [the person who lodged the complaint] more comfortable. But I wasn’t comfortable with it.

“I said it wasn’t coming down, no way,” he continued. “Then they showed me my way out.”

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The Confederate flag became the center of media attention after being connected to the actions of a racist mass murderer in South Carolina earlier in the year.

In July, the Confederate flag was removed from the S. Carolina statehouse grounds to a cheering crowd.

Rogers says the Confederate flag is important to him as a native of the South. Critics say the flag is a symbol of racial segregation.

Bob Evans is based in New Albany, Ohio.

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