July 11, 2016
The South Carolina Secessionist Party held their first annual Confederate flag rally at the South Carolina State House this afternoon:
“COLUMBIA — The Confederate flag flew once again Sunday afternoon at the South Carolina Statehouse, when members of the S.C. Secessionist Party re-raised the banner on the one-year anniversary of its removal.
Bringing their own 30-foot pole with them, flag supporters raised the flag shortly after 11 a.m. in an attempt to show the rest of the state their Southern pride and heritage would not be erased, said party founder James Bessenger.
“Our flag is missing and we’ve come to put it back. So without any more delay, let’s put it back,” Bessenger said to kick off the rally that at its peak drew about 150 people. …”
The goal was to raise the Confederate Battle Flag on the State House grounds one year after Gov. Nikki Haley and the Republican state legislature lowered it.
— Cynthia Roldán (@CynthiaRoldan) July 10, 2016
This was a Southern heritage movement event. Over 1,700 people claimed on Facebook they were coming to Columbia to participate. According to the media, only around 150 people showed up at the rally at its peak. The event kicked off at 11:00 AM and was scheduled to last until 5:00 PM. I’ve seen this happen before in Montgomery and the lower than expected turnout was likely due to three things:
1.) The event was supposed to last for 6 hours. This is way too long and people who said they were coming are probably even now still trickling in long after the event is over. They likely assumed they had all afternoon to show up.
2.) No one is going to stand around in the mid-July sun in South Carolina for more than two hours. That is far too long even for diehard activists. It only takes twenty or thirty minutes to become uncomfortable in the hot summer sun even when you are trying to stay hydrated.
3.) Most of the people who said they were coming on Facebook aren’t experienced activists and clicked “Going” only to signal their moral support of the event. It was the equivalent of driving by and honking to signal “right on.”
Still, 150-200 people is an impressive turnout. Hats off to the South Carolina Secessionist Party for organizing this event. I will try to be there myself next year.
— Maya T. Prabhu (@MayaTPrabhu) July 10, 2016
A dozen or so clowns from the Black Lives Matter movement showed up to counter-protest. As you can see, one of them is carrying the Pan-African Flag, which is the flag Micah X. displayed on his Facebook page. After what happened in Dallas, the Confederate Battle Flag should be restored to its rightful place in Columbia.
The actions of black mass shooters like Micah X., Chris Harper-Mercer and Vester Flanagan II illustrate that White people have nothing to apologize or feel remorseful for and that taking down the Confederate Battle Flag to appease the black community was a mistake.