Dozens gather for pro-confederate flag rally at SC State House
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The group “Flags Across the South" held a pro-confederate flag rally at the State House Saturday.
This comes days after the 4th anniversary of the Confederate flag being removed from the State House grounds.
In the past, the South Carolina Secessionist Party raised it on the anniversary, July 10th, but the group dissolved earlier this year leaving no event planned.
The group “Showing Up for Racial Justice” also had a permit to rally on the statehouse grounds for July 10th.
About 25 to 30 supporters came out to Saturday’s rally. Only one showed up on opposition.
The permit allowed the flag to be raised from 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
Braxton Spivey, a chairman of the "Flags Across the South" group says Saturday morning’s flag raising was about honoring and remembering the Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the civil war.
“It was a soldiers battle flag, their banner no more. No less,” Braxton Spivey, an organizer for the event said. “My ancestors fought for the Confederacy. I’m originally from Virginia, and like I said that flag was their flag.”
Thomas Webb, a supporter who attended the rally said “I come out to all of the confederate flag events. And I always bring my own flag too. This is who we are. This is the flag of independence.”
While some like Webb view it as independence, others turn their back to the flag completely.
Sarah Keeling, a Co-Leader with “Showing Up for Racial Justice” held a sign behind the barricades of the State House Saturday morning, with hopes to convey a message.
“You see the people that drive by that are just appalled, seeing the flag back so I think it’s important for them to see people that don’t agree with it as well,” Keeling said. “Two easy words, it’s white supremacy. I know they see it as heritage, but I think you can celebrate your heritage at home or maybe at a cemetery or maybe at the Confederate Relic museum where the flag that was here is now. I don’t think we need to make a public spectacle of it and every time we do it embarrasses the state.”
WIS also posed the question to Spivey regarding what his message is for people who view the flag as a form of racism.
“No fault of theirs. But ignorance. Like I said that flag was a soldiers flag. They looked for that banner in a field of battle. Corn fields, they couldn’t see nobody else they looked for that flag and that led them to where they needed to be. It was their banner. It represented a Confederate soldier. It did not represent slavery,” Spivey said.
Spivey said originally, he wanted to hold the rally on the anniversary which is July 10th, but other supporters said they preferred to hold the rally on a weekend when more people would be able to attend.
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