Protesters Attack Confederate Flag Supporters During Rally In Florida
This story in reverse would read much differently.
On one side of a South Florida park: people celebrating their right to display the Confederate flag. On the other: angry protesters intent on confronting them over what they believe the symbol represents.
A reported 400 people were in attendance at a rally that started at Heritage Park in Plantation, Sunday afternoon, and ended in Markham Park in Sunrise. It was at the latter location that, organizers said, they were met by demonstrators. “We’re just here to have a barbecue. They’re out there screaming, wearing masks and ripping flags off of our trucks as we drive by,” said organizer Chris Nicolaus.
Attendees captured the heated verbal exchange on camera. It was later posted on the event’s Facebook page.
Protesters who learned of the planned event said those taking part in the rally are an unwelcome presence. “It’s not OK to come into our town with a symbol of hate,” said a protester calling himself St. James. “We delayed them at their starting point. We slowed them down.”
St. James argued that Confederate flag supporters do not fully grasp the symbol’s legacy. “They don’t realize this is a rebellious flag,” he said. “The reason all those states seceded was to keep slavery, and the more they hold up these flags, the more they’re showing that’s what they want: They want slavery, they want racism to be in this town.”
Rally organizers, however, said they are simply exercising their right, and they don’t feel that flying their flags with pride should be offensive. “We feel like it’s got a bad stigma,” said Nicolaus. “We’re not racists. We all grew up in South Florida, multiple nationalities.”
The scheduled event included a nine-mile ride and a barbecue. “We want to promote the image of heritage, not hatred,” said Nicolaus. “None of us hate. We don’t hate anyone.” More