Jacksonville Public Works Director Will Cole said the league wanted to put rebel flags on Confederate soldiers' graves at the city cemetery on Kickapoo Street.
The city determined that because it is public property and the league did not have city council approval, the proper decision would be to honor the soldiers in another way, possibly by placing wreaths, flowers or something else there, Cole said.
"That's their program, and the city administration supports any activities to honor veterans or soldiers. I'm a veteran myself," he said.
Still, "Our feeling was with a negative perception of the Confederate Flag, it was more proper to honor them in some other way."
Chuck Bones, commandant with the Marine Corps League Detachment No. 1381, said the league respects the city and does not want to push the issue.
However, it won't "disrespect any veteran from any war by only placing select flags and ignoring others," he wrote in a letter posted on the league Facebook page. Therefore, he said the league won't put any flags at the city cemetery but does plan Saturday to place flags at the Corine Cemetery outside of town.He said the league "is not trying to stir up anything" and does not seek out publicity. He said its goal was to honor Confederate soldiers and veterans. In the future, though, he said he would like Jacksonville residents to be able to weigh in on the issue.Cole said he did suggest that if the league wanted to pursue the initiative next year, it should come before the Jacksonville City Council and discuss it. "If the city council approves it or supports it, that's a different issue," he said.He added, "We support veterans. We'd encourage anybody that honors the veterans and soldiers. We support them. We encourage that. It's just that in this particular case the symbol used has a negative connotation."