Confederate Flag Rally

Some say it’s a symbol of southern pride and culture.

Some say it’s an antagonizing reminder of slavery, racist at it’s core.

One thing is certain, the killings in Charleston have reignited a decades old battle of the significance behind waving the confederate flag.

"I’m going to fly my flag high until the day I die," said Josh Wallace who organized the confederate flag rally through Facebook on Battlefield Parkway that drew hundreds Saturday afternoon.

National calls to ban the rebel flag after pictures of Charleston killer Dylann Roof proudly displaying it have ignited a national firestorm.

"I don’t think they should take down the flag just because someone decided to shoot somebody," said Wallace.

The group met in the Walmart parking lot on Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe.

Ironically, Walmart joined the ranks of businesses no longer selling the flag.

"If one guy goes and shoots some people, out of hate and uses a confederate flag as a symbol for his hatred, he has mental issues," said Kevin Gann of Fort Oglethorpe.

Police said no arrests were made and the rally was relatively peaceful.

But one parent, who was stuck in the parking lot traffic with his family, feels differently.

"I’m a proud southerner," said Brooks Rawlston of Fort Oglethorpe. "Grew up here. Been here all my life but this kind of ignorance is embarrassing. We talk about wanting to be tolerant. All these people are doing is yelling and making fools of themselves."

Still, some firmly standby the historical significance of the flag…and the significance of the many confederate monuments that dot our nation.

"Think about it," said Michael Patterson who is a commander in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "The confederate flag is in American too. We’re all Americans."

"I think that taking down statues and monuments is just taking an eraser and just erasing our history," said Gann

The discourse will continue with more flag rallies… and flag burnings… planned locally and nationally.

"They’re not gonna take it down," said Wallace. "They’re not stopping us. They’re not going to."

"They want to talk about southern pride?" asked Rawlston. "This just isn’t it. This is just people being idiots."

As laws and business decisions change daily on the status of the flag and other confederate symbols, News 12 will keep you updated.

Categories: Local News

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