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Candian politician faces backlash for tweeting photo of car with Confederate flag on hood

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe faced backlash after sharing images of a Dukes of Hazzard-inspired car, featuring the Confederate flag, that is up for auction for charity. (Photo: Twitter)

A Candian politician is facing backlash after he shared a photo of a car up for auction to benefit the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) on social media. The vehicle in question is Dukes of Hazzard-inspired and features a Confederate flag on the roof.

Despite the controversy and concerns raised by CMHA, the Parkside and District Community Club plan to move forward with the auction this Saturday.

On Monday, Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe shared photos on Twitter of the General Lee-inspired charity car, which will be driven during a demolition derby by the auction winner, in an attempt to highlight the Parkside Community Club's charitable work. Instead, the politician faced instant backlash from social media users who say the Confederate flag is associated with racism and white supremacy.

“I shared these photos to support the Parkside Community Club’s longstanding efforts, as well as to support the work of the Canadian Mental Health Association,” the premier said in a statement, according to CTV News. “It was certainly not my intention to offend anyone, or to endorse the Confederate flag and what it symbolizes.”

In turn, Saskatchewan CMHA has distanced themselves from the controversial vehicle, stating that they were not consulted about the fundraising effort and did not have any input into the car design.

"CMHA_Sk would never condone the use of what is now considered a hate symbol," the organization shared on Twitter, adding that they were only made aware of demolition derby event and car design because of Moe's tweet.

"We are actively trying to contact the organizers to discuss our concerns and the concerns of our supporters. Once again we apologize for any offense this has caused and are working towards a solution," CMHA SK tweeted.

Phyllis O’Connor, executive director of the CMHA in Saskatchewan, told The Star: “We rely very heavily on community support and that’s a wonderful thing. The problem was they didn’t come to us and tell us they were doing this and we certainly had no input into the theme. One of our core values is inclusion. There is no room for racism, discrimination, hatred, none of that.”

O'Connor said that she would be able to "live with it" if the reference to CMHA were removed from the trunk of the vehicle before the derby takes place.

“We don’t want to seem ungrateful for the hard work and energy that that little community put into supporting us,” she said. “It came from a good place.”

Premier Moe and CMHA did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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