Hundreds rallied in different states today in support of the Confederate flag
Hundreds gathered at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park today for a Confederate Flag rally, and others followed suit around the country.
Stone Mountain is historic in that it bears a carving of Confederate leaders from the Civil War. It was also where the second Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1915, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. According to WSBTV, flag supporters went head-to-head with counter-protesters.
“Everybody is trying to make it about slavery now and it wasn’t,” flag supporter Mike Mulligan told WSBTV.
Confederate flag supporters have maintained the talking point that the flag is about their Southern heritage and not hate.
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) August 1, 2015
— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) August 1, 2015
“You can say it’s about Southern pride and keeping the South, but it’s also about keeping slavery in it,” counter-protesters Tyler Leah said.
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) August 1, 2015
Confederate flag rallies were held in other states today, including North Carolina, where a third “Confederate Pride Ride” was held today, Fox8 reports. Organizers were expecting about 100 to participate.
A Walmart-to-Walmart pro-Confederate flag ride was held in Missouri, where about 20 people drove from one Walmart to another in support of the flag, KOMU reports. Organizers there chose Walmart because the big box retailer stopped selling Confederate flag merchandise after a white supremacist massacred nine unarmed African-Americans in a Charleston church in June.
Dozens rallied in Deleware, with flags flying from pickup trucks and motorcycles, DelawareOnline reports. Supporters insisted that the flag is about heritage and not hate, but others don’t buy it.
“That flag stands for blood,” Delaware NAACP President Richard Smith told DelawareOnline. “It stands for death. It stands for slavery. It stands for everything it stopped us from.”
Tensions have been high in the South since the Confederate flag was removed from South Carolina statehouse grounds after a white supremacist gunned down nine in Charleston’s landmark Emanuel AME, including State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, on June 17. Dylann Roof, who was charged with the massacre, had posted photos of himself online with the Confederate flag, prompting lawmakers and retailers to remove the image of the stars and bars from merchandise and public property.
One of the first pro-Confederate flag rallies was held in South Carolina, organized by the KKK one month after the Charleston shooting. There, supporters were seen taunting black counter-protesters with “gorilla” gestures and racial insults.
Watch a report from DelawareOnline here: