Protesters gather at zoo for carousel horse bearing Confederate - WNEM TV 5

Protesters gather at zoo for carousel horse bearing Confederate flag

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

A handful of protesters making a statement today, standing outside in the rain, in front of the Saginaw Children's Zoo.

And it’s all for a carousel horse.

A hand-carved horse, made by Gerald Willis, was removed after complaints prompted zoo officials to remove the horse bearing the Confederate flag.

"We've assembled peaceably to ask Nancy Parker to restore the animal to the carousel," Willis said. 

Parker, the executive director for the zoo, previously said, “We look at ourselves as a community zoo. And we don’t want to serve just one group. We want to serve everyone.”

Zoo officials put the horse in storage, but Willis said he carved that and other objects on the carousel to tell the story of America's history.

"We had a civil war, 13 states succeeded from the union. Lincoln said no you mustn’t do that. A house divided cannot stand," Willis said.

Shortly after the small group gathered outside the zoo, a zoo employee came out and asked them to leave. When they refused the police showed up. But since they're not disturbing anyone or blocking anyone from going inside, they've been allowed to stay on the property.

"We're proud of that carousel and all of the horses," said Marlynn Gubbins, one of the protesters.

Without the confederate military pony, they said the carousel is incomplete and want zoo officials to put it back.

"It's a carousel horse leave it alone. If they want to see racism and bigotry that's up to them i don't. I see a beautiful horse," Willis said.

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