A South Carolina restaurant owner has seen his windows smashed and faced harassment because his establishment sits next to a small plot of land where a massive Confederate flag flies.
And the city has turned down his appeal to have it taken down.
According to Fox4KC, Tommy Daras purchased a former Maurice’s Piggie Park restaurant location in Orangeburg to open his Edisto River Creamery and Kitchen. However the family that owned the property carved out a small portion of land — three-thousandths of an acre — and sold it to a local Confederacy group for a “camp” over which the flag flies.
“He put it in the hands of people that he trusted because he loved his confederate ancestors and his confederate history just like we do. So, there was nothing sinister,” explained Buzz Braxton, the commander of the Confederacy group.
Daras notes that the flag has always been a nuisance, flying at the entrance to a community where three-quarters of the population is black, but it was exacerbated after the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, when Dylann Roof killed nine church members.
According to Daras, that was when the Confederacy group — Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 842 — began flying a larger flag.
“From that day forward, all hell broke loose for me,” Daras recalled. “My windows were broken out, by phone was ringing off the hook, my employees were harassed. I was fist-fighting with people in the parking lot. Everyone in town assumed it was my property because it looks like it’s attached to this building.”
According to the businessman, the city has been no help in getting the flag taken down.
An attorney for Daras says that corner is zoned for commercial use and the flagpole and marker are should be moved because they’ve violating the zoning rules — however the city has denied his appeal.
“That flag needs to be moved and if there’s any possible way that I can do it, it’s going to be done,” Daras said. “Right now, we’re gridlocked.”