July 6, 2015 8:29 AM EDT

A Minnesota volunteer firefighter has been suspended after flying a Confederate battle flag from the back of a fire truck during a parade last week.

Brian Nielsen, a southern Minnesota volunteer firefighter, told the local CBS affiliate he would resign from the Hartland Fire Department if asked to do so.

“I will out of respect for them, yes I will,” Nielsen said, apologizing for the negative attention the town is getting. “I’m sorry I hurt my city and hurt the fire department.”

Nielsen chose to wave the Confederate flag from the back of a Hartland Fire Department truck during the local Albert Lea’s Third of July Parade. He told reporters he is not racist, but that he’s standing against political correctness.

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