According to some Confederate flag-wavers who live outside of the South, — and, in fact, have never lived in the south — they claim that they see the rebel flag of secession as a symbol of patriotism and a way to push back at the perceived slights from the country’s only black president, Barack Obama.
In an interview with the Washington Post, one northern voter got right to the point why he — a native of the non-Confederate States of America (CSA) Illinois — is proud to wave the rebel ‘Stars & Bars.’
“Part of it is an act of rebellion,” explained former Tolono former mayor Greg Cler. “I proudly fly it like I do the American flag.”
The white man went on to state that he was displeased with the presidency of Obama, whom he felt put the needs of minorities over his.
“It seemed like I wasn’t represented,” he rationalized, adding that unspecified others “took advantage of the system.”
According to the owner of Country Boys, a variety store in Clinton, Illinois, “Sales of flags, as well as Confederate comforters and sheets with a Confederate theme, have been strong in recent years, particularly around patriotic holidays such as July 4.”
Dewey Barber, who owns Georgia-based Dixie Outfitters, said he has seen a major uptick in sales of Confederate flags and other items reflecting the southern rebellion into the northern and western parts of U.S. increasing from 5 to 20 percent of the business.
“I think the patriotic mood of the country has kind of taken over,” said Barber, who is white, lumping sales of Confederacy related items in with American flag connected items. “We sell a lot more American things than we used to.”
Ray Cook, a Tolono resident, said he has received pushback about flying his flag, but claimed it was a matter of freedom of speech.
“Guess what? This is a free country,” Cook explained. “You ought to be able to fly whatever flag you believe in.”
Another local said that some in his town are fans of the Confederacy but aren’t as brazen as those who flaunt their sympathy for the CSA by flying the flag in their yards.
“There are those that have them in garages,” Doug Dillavou said. “They put ’em away. They don’t want to be marked as racists, whether they are or not.”
You can read the whole report here.