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Confederate flag backers rally in Rocky Mount

Posted June 29, 2015

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— A convoy of cars and trucks carrying Confederate battle flags paraded through parts of Nash County over the weekend as people expressed support for the embattled banner.

Twenty to 30 vehicles with flags waving in the breeze paraded up U.S. Highway 64 Business from Rocky Mount to Nashville and back on Saturday in the "Confederate Battle Flag Truck Run," Jay Moss, who participated in the event, said Monday.

"We had people coming up to us honking horns, holding their hands up in support, and then we had those people that gave us a disgusting look. It's their opinion," Moss said.

Rocky Mount police said no incidents were reported in connection with the rally.

"I'm looking at it (as), back when the Confederacy happened and the Revolutionary War occurred, people died under that (Confederate) flag, the same as American soldiers died under our flag," Moss said. "I believe, if you take down that flag, that's a disgrace to the soldiers who passed away under that flag."

The rally followed a week in which governors in South Carolina and Alabama said they wanted the flag removed from the capitol grounds in their states, Mississippi lawmakers suggested removing the battle flag image from their state flag and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory called for an end to state license plates bearing the flag image.

Major retailers from Amazon to Walmart to Sears also said they would no longer sell items with the flag's image.

A June 17 shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine people attending a Bible study class prompted the national outcry over the Confederate battle flag. Online postings by the 21-year-old man charged in the shootings included white supremacist statements and photos of him with the flag and brandishing guns.

Andre Knight, president of the Rocky Mount branch of the NAACP, said the Confederate batle flag is a symbol of hate.

"I was embarrassed about it and really upset," Knight said of the rally. "That reminds us of the ugly history from which we come."

A rally organizer, who asked not to be named, said the event was purely a show of pride in Southern heritage and wasn't meant to incite any violence.

"The Confederate Battle Flag truck run was in support of the flag itself and it heritage. It had absolutely nothing to do with hate. It was completely about our heritage," the organizer said in an email to WRAL News. "We was taunted by folks who lack the knowledge of the true history on the Confederate Battle Flag. We are sorry to the folks that it offended, as it was not our intentions.

"As our heritage is under attack and its history is being throwed in the gutter. I feel that it should be known that it's not a hate flag and it wasn't displayed as such," he continued. "It's time for Southern Americans to stand up for our heritage and not allow the public to turn it into something it's not. Once again, it's not about hate. We are not a hate group, and we do not support any kind of hate group what so ever. We are just good hearted Southern Americans standing up for our heritage. It's completely about our heritage."

Moss said another pro-flag event is being planned.

78 Comments

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  • Gilbert Woods Jun 30, 2015
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    can not deny

  • Gilbert Woods Jun 30, 2015
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    These individual have the right to honor and display this emblem on their private and personal property, that we can deny. As well those who care to display the swastika for it is also their heritage as well. In both case soldiers have died in defense of, as well the advancement of its ideas and causes. That's where this issue should end, both emblem have and will also represent heritage, as well hate. The atrocities committed in behave of both are numerous. While one has been retired to museum by its govering body, the other await it's official interment. When this emblems is display above publicly own property, it forces tax paying citizens to pay homage to an emblem that has represented terrorism in their past and present. Should any government or its representative ask or require that of any of citizens? There is another alternative to it's interment, tax ememption by local governments to those offend by its official endorsement of the emblem.

  • Stephen Believable Jun 30, 2015
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    They did that a while back. Season 4 episode 7. It is hilarious.... and very reminiscent of what is happening now.

  • Mike Hill Jun 30, 2015
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    In a curious bit of irony, slavery was stared in America in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and under the American flag. If we ban the Confederate flag then we should ban the American flag too, and remove the Washington and Jefferson Memorial in DC.

  • Todd Whitmer Jun 30, 2015
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    Hi. The south is part of the United States. There are regional differences and histories, but we are all Americans.

    This whole movement of divisiveness is sickening. How can we ever move forward as a society if people or groups of people keep their minds closed to new things and ideas.

    I come from a southern family that dates back to before the civil war yet, my heritage is that of an American. The social issues of the time of the civil war are not mine to own. I am glad that slavery was abolished and have a strong sense of pride that my heritage is one that stems from being able to heal after such a horrible time.

    My grandfather fought in WWll—was a survivor of the Bataan Death march. He was tortured by the Japanese and bore many emotional and physical wounds from being a prisoner of war. I do not hold the Japanese people of today accountable for the actions of their fore-fathers.

    We have so many current issues around us: focus!

  • Roy Hinkley Jun 30, 2015
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    Where was it reported that Batman inspired the shootings?

  • Clif Bardwell Jun 30, 2015
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    If the confederate flag should be banned because it supposedly inspired the killings in Charleston SC, shouldn't we also ban Batman because it inspired the killings in Aurora CO?

  • Gary Hutson Jun 30, 2015
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    I stay in my country the South, You don't have to worry a bit about me going anywhere up North as I have absolutely no desire to do so., I leave those people alone if they leave me alone. They have their heritage and culture and I have mine. Seems funny though that the first thing they do when they get down here is try to disparage mine and try to change it to match theirs. Oh well we lost and we are paying the consequences I guess.

  • Joseph Shepard Jun 30, 2015
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    Its amazing how infantile this discussion has become. Its beginning to reflect a large and serious lack of knowledge of history--both American and Southern. To attempt to equate the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia with the swastika extends well beyond the limits of rational thinking. The Battle Flag was the flag one single unit within the entire Confederacy. That it was used during a deplorable and sad period however does not mean that the same sentiments attached to it then apply now. To hold otherwise is simply to attempt to hold on to those sad circumstances and use them as an excuse for the present day attitude of " that flag has made me a victim of things that happened over 200 years ago."For Southerners it is a symbol of heritage and pride in that Southern men and women fought and died for what they believed ( correctly or incorrectly). They stood and fought for their homes and families.

  • Joseph Shepard Jun 30, 2015
    user avatar

    Its amazing how infantile this discussion has become. Its beginning to reflect a large and serious lack of knowledge of history--both American and Southern. To attempt to equate the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia with the swastika extends well beyond the limits of rational thinking. The Battle Flag was the flag one single unit within the entire Confederacy. That it was used during a deplorable and sad period however does not mean that the same sentiments attached to it then apply now. To hold otherwise is simply to attempt to hold on to those sad circumstances and use them as an excuse for the present day attitude of " that flag has made me a victim of things that happened over 200 years ago."For Southerners it is a symbol of heritage and pride in that Southern men and women fought and died for what they believed ( correctly or incorrectly). They stood and fought for their homes and families.

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