Confederate flag issue resurfaces at Summerville Town Council meeting

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The issue of flying the Confederate Flag resurfaced in the Lowcountry on Thursday.

Both sides took to the Summerville Town Council meeting with their frustrations.

During the meeting, there were flags on one side and signs on the other. There were some people who had to be escorted out by police.

Some asked for change when it comes to people flying the Confederate flag in public.

"This is about racism and bigotry, and terrorism and our community said we are not going to be terrorized anymore," Louis Smith with the Community Resource Center.

Their frustration comes from Confederate groups handing out flags at the Flowertown festival back in April without a permit, and hanging up flags across downtown Charleston over the last few months.

James Bessinger is one of the men who flies the Confederate flag and says it represents history.

"Two Hundred and sixty thousand Confederate soldiers fought and died under that flag, eighty thousand plus from South Carolina," Bessinger said."You don't vilify and demonize soldier 150 years after the conflict."

People protesting the flag say it needs to be taken down permanently.

"We're done with this. We want one flag and they just demonstrated that they want the Confederate flag," Smith said.

And those who support the flags say they're only out today in response.

"They need to be reminded that the flag only flew for four years," Bessinger said, "You can't fly an American flag and scream hatred at an American flag. The American flag has far more blood on its hands and dead souls behind it than the Confederate flag."

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