Confederate Flag Supporters to Rally in Loxahatchee on Saturday
On the same day the South Carolina Senate voted to remove the Confederate flag from its capitol comes news that a pro-Confederate flag rally is being held in Loxahatchee this Saturday.
As first reported by the Palm Beach Post, the rally and march have been planned to run through Loxahatchee, along Seminole Pratt Whitney Road, Okeechobee Boulevard, State Road 7, and Southern Boulevard.
New Times tracked down at least two people who say they intend to participate in the rally. But they could not confirm who exactly is organizing it.
"I was looking at the news and saw that a rally for the rebel flag was being held, and it caught my attention," one prospective participant, who asked for anonymity, tells New Times. "Then the next day I see it all over my Facebook, and I decided I wanted to support the flag and go to the rally. I shared it with my friends, and there's a bunch of us going."
The flier advertises itself as a "peaceful and respectful" event, calling itself the "American & Southern Flag Rally," and asks attendees to decorate their cars and trucks with flags.
Asked about possible blowback from a public that views the flag as a symbol of racism, the anonymous flag supporter said critics "need to do their research."
"That's not what the flag is about," she said. "That's a bunch of bullshit. It doesn't need to be a race thing. This is about our past and history, and it's unfortunate that because of one crazy guy who shot a bunch of people, those of us who see this flag as an important part of our past have to deal with this. If you look around, this flag is everywhere down here.
"I've seen black people with this flag on their car," she added.
The "one crazy guy" was in reference to Dylann Roof, the alleged gunman in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal mass shooting in mid-June. Roof has been identified as a white supremacist and staunch supporter of the Confederate flag.
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Florida removed flags with the Confederate emblem on them from State Capitol grounds in 2001. Still, Florida has grappled with its own battles over Confederate symbols, including in 2013 after a Jacksonville high school petitioned to have the name of a Confederate general and KKK founder, Nathan Bedford Forrest, removed from the school. Despite some pushback from some who wanted the name to remain, the school eventually removed Forrest as the name.
The "American & Southern Flag" rally is advertised to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.
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