Showing off your Confederate flag boxers in the privacy of your own home is probably best if you're a cop in North Charleston, SC, where tensions are high after the church shooting there last week that killed nine. Yet Sgt. Shannon Dildine allegedly suited up in his Southern-themed underwear, took a pic, and posted it to Facebook a few days ago—and now he's been fired for it, ABC News reports. "Your posting in this manner … associated both you and the Department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve," North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers wrote in a letter Wednesday to Dildine, per the Post and Courier. The letter added that Dildine's reported actions impeded his ability to work with minorities "since defense counsel can reasonably be expected to use the photograph to call into question … your motivation in making the arrest."
Backlash against Confederate-themed imagery has increased since Dylann Roof, the alleged gunman in the AME Church shooting, was shown in past images sporting Confederate gear. Flag manufacturers, retailers such as Amazon and Walmart, state governments, and even a DC church have since ditched representations of the flag on their wares and premises or plan to do so; South Carolina lawmakers are also vying to have the flag removed from the grounds of the State Capitol. Driggers reminds Dildine—who hails from the same police force as Michael Slager, the officer indicted in the April shooting of Walter Scott—in the letter of the nation's current temperature, telling the ex-officer, "In light of current events, posting an inflammatory photograph in a way that permitted it to become widely distributed shows a lack of reason or judgment that is unacceptable." Dildine has 10 days to appeal, per ABC. (Even Apple has something to say about the flag.)