by Greg Campbell | July 14, 2015 4:41 pm
A whopping 4,500 patriotic citizens took to the streets on Sunday to support freedom of expression and Southern heritage represented by the Confederate flag. While many see the flag as divisive, the true division has been spurred by liberals crusading against the flag and any who dare to mention its history and value to Southern culture. As a push-back against this smear campaign, thousands trailed for miles proudly waving the flag.
Thousands of supporters of the Confederate flag have risen up – creating an eight-mile convoy of cars, motorbikes and pick-ups all displaying the controversial symbol.
Horns blared and flags fluttered from the 1,500 vehicles taking part in the Florida Southern Pride Ride on Sunday.
Protesters against the parade fired at least six gunshots towards the convoy but no one was injured, reported wftv.
Organizer David Stone, 38, said: ‘That flag has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people. It doesn’t symbolize hate unless you think it’s hate – and that’s your problem, not mine.’
Around 4,500 people – some from as far away as California – took part in the protest against the removal of Confederate flags on public buildings throughout the South. Many wore T-shirts or flew flags with slogans including ‘Heritage not hate’, ‘Team Redneck’ and ‘I’m not coming down’.
The convoy was led by a reproduction of the ‘General Lee’ car used in TV show The Dukes of Hazzard.
The terminus of the 17-mile parade was changed at the last minute to avoid a largely black neighborhood where residents opposed the event, according to Ocala Sergeant Robie Bonner.
Police said several shots were fired from an apartment complex near the Livestock Pavilion where the ride started. However residents there insisted the shots came from people taking part in the parade.
‘They come, they watch them run through on their motorcycles, running red lights and throwing beer bottles. The police didn’t stop them or nothing,’ said resident Jason Carter.
Despite the gunfire, the police said the event was overall peaceful.
In Ocala, the seat of Marion County, an administrator had ordered the Confederate flag be removed from a government complex in Ocala. But his decision was overturned by county leaders last week.
Ocala resident and flag supporter Jessica McRee, 29, accused those who wanted to remove it of trying to re-write history. ‘It’s just about heritage,’ she said. ‘I’m upset they want to remove a piece of history.’
Meanwhile Pride Ride attendee Bryan Williams told wftv: ‘This is my flag. It just mean(s) this is the South flag. Nothing against anybody. That’s just what I was raised under. I carry it with me all the time.’
And Ocala resident Pat Stone said: ‘You can’t take this away. Next thing will be our gun right(s) – we are not going to let that happen.’
Officials in southern states have been removing symbols of the Confederacy from public parks, buildings and shops after the massacre of nine black people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month.
The suspected gunman, Dylann Roof, was a white supremacist who’d been pictured with the Confederate flag – which was originally flown by seven states in the South whose economies relied on slavery of African Americans.
Ocala resident Galina Abdelaziz, 18, who protested against the Pride Ride yesterday, said: ‘It’s really discouraging to me to see this in my hometown.’
But supporters of the flag claim it is an honorable symbol of regional pride – a mark of respect for Southern soldiers who died in the American Civil War.
‘A backlash is beginning,’ said Ben Jones, a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which represents 30,000 descendants of Confederate soldiers. ‘We are putting flags out. Everyone time one is taken down, we put five or six of them up.’
This is truly refreshing; after weeks of obnoxious crusading and an atmosphere of outright hysteria, proud Southerners (and Northerners) are pushing-back.
As a side note, if we’re discussing hatred and intolerance, shouldn’t we be discussing those who took shots at the protest? Nothing says, “I maintain the moral highground” like unloading a Ruger at a crowd of peaceful protesters.
Source URL: https://rightwingnews.com/top-news/4500-confederate-flag-supporters-create-an-eight-mile-convoy-to-protest-lefts-smear-campaign/
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