After a vocal movement to remove Confederate flags succeeded in Alabama and an activist scaled a flagpole at the South Carolina statehouse to remove it Saturday, some rallied and signed petitions to keep the "stars and bars" flying.
In South Carolina, where the flag still flies even as funerals for victims of last week's racist attack on a landmark black church were held nearby, activist Bree Newsome repelled up the flag pole and took it down. She and James Stone, who assisted her, were arrested and within an hour the flag was raised again, according to the New York Daily News.
"This is not a flag of hate. It's a flag of heritage, and we have a right to our heritage," Leland Browder told WIS10 in South Carolina.
This claim is debunked by history professor Bruce Levine, who in Politico wrote today, "The Confederate States of America came into existence to preserve African American slavery and white supremacy." And while protesters deny the flag is a symbol of hate, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports the Alabama rally was planned by hate group League of the South.
WIS10 reporter Chad Mills was at the scene and live-Tweeted from it.
#KeepTheFlagUp supporter: "Gov. Haley is the newest member of the communist party." #sctweets #wis10 #ConfederateFlag http://t.co/W12F1wCOgB— Chad K. Mills (@Chad K. Mills) 1435420872.0
A couple of signs out amongst the #ConfederateFlag supporters. #sctweets #wis10 http://t.co/t9DlSg7Mi8— Chad K. Mills (@Chad K. Mills) 1435420584.0
A young African-American man can be seen on Mill's video's from the rally arguing with white flag supporters. "How do you justify, 'too many Yankees, not enough flags,'" he challenges a man, referring to the sign the man was holding. "You live in a state of mind of hate."
Some of the heated discussion. #sctweets #wis10 #ConfederateFlag http://t.co/JESfbbV2Um— Chad K. Mills (@Chad K. Mills) 1435417444.0
Nearly a week after a gunman killed nine at a Bible study in Charleston's historic Emanuel AME church, calls had been renewed to take the flag off statehouse grounds, and on Tuesday, state lawmakers began the process of doing so, WSI10 reports.
In Alabama, flags were already taken down on order by Governor Robert Bentley, and several hundred came out to protest Saturday, WSFA reports.
Rally held at Alabama Capitol to protest removal of Confederate flags. http://t.co/2l2JteaNU5 http://t.co/VEGKZuZZyu— WSFA 12 News (@WSFA 12 News) 1435421472.0
Protesters carried Confederate flags and sang Dixie.
Pro-Confederate flag protesters rally in South Carolina and Alabama http://t.co/TXZMH0vRjP http://t.co/JtYjX7nnCK— Mashable (@Mashable) 1435433772.0
Watch video of activist Bree Newsome removing South Carolina's Confederate flag here below. Her bail was set at $3,000 but supporters have raised $60,000, and counting, to support her.