On Wednesday, Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama, ordered the Confederate flag removed from state capitol grounds, sending some Twitter users into a fit of white supremacist rage.
"The is the right thing to do," Bentley told AL.com of taking the rebel flag off state property. "We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down."
Aghast, Confederate flag enthusiasts took to Twitter to express their shock and rage -- and to defend "southern heritage" more generally. The hashtag #KeepTheFlagUp is popular among the white supremacist Twitter set. Some examples of what they had to offer:
Don't understand why people are hating on the Confederate Flag so much. It's a sign of the South, and Southern Pride. It's not all racism.— Brennan Denault (@Brennan Denault)1435162707.0
I am not prejudice. I have friends of all races and life styles. But I value my Southern Heritage. http://t.co/DvAq4ijOG6— K. M. Winthrop (@K. M. Winthrop)1435162072.0
Just spoke with Laurie, who owns a southern heritage store with her husband. Says "they're taking away our heritage." http://t.co/lbClejKArG— Natalie Allison (@Natalie Allison)1435161715.0
Why can’t the liberals embrace the diversity of our Southern brothers and their heritage? #hypocrisy #LiberalLogic #SouthHaters— John Danneskjold (@John Danneskjold)1435161457.0
It wasn't the flag itself that stood for racism, it was the slave owners that did. The flag stands for states' rights. #KeepTheFlagUp— Michael Bowers (@Michael Bowers)1435159336.0
Alabama Governor orders removal of Confederate Flag. Spineless coward! I hate to see cream puffs who crater to PC BS.— Geneva Phoenix (@Geneva Phoenix)1435156756.0