Columbia, SC – Protestors sang…they danced… and they even rapped to let everyone know how much they want the Confederate flag off the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse.
“If you truly want to believe what that stands for, and feel like you’re supreme and be a hater, then just own up to it and say ‘this is what I’m about’,” said KAren Smoak, who lives in Columbia.
But, not everyone sees it that way.
“You see the hate? You see that hate?” said Robert Hayes, who drove to the Statehouse Monday morning from Abbeville, South Carolina. If you could not tell by looking at this shirt… he loves the Confederate flag.
“It’s embarrassing. Really, I’m embarrassed for them,” said Smoak.
Hayes says those taking aim at the flag are the hateful ones because he says this is all about heritage. “My ancestors fought under that flag to expel a foreign enemy that invaded us. “How could any Southerner not honor that flag? I don’t understand. They don’t know their history.”
If lawmakers do vote to take the flag down, don’t expect Hayes to give up. “We will continue to fight; the fight will not be over,” he said.
Many of these protestors say they’re going to stay at the Statehouse at least as long as lawmakers debate the issue…and maybe even longer.
Monday evening, the NAACP will be hosting a rally here at the Statehouse, calling for the Confederate flag to be removed.
Tuesday, a public interest advisory group plans to deliver a petition with more thant 620,000 signatures to Governor Nikki Haley, who is also calling for the flag to be removed from the Statehouse grounds.
Monday evening, U.S. Senator indsey Graham (R-South Carolina) issued a statement on the South Carolina Senates 37-3 vote to removed the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds:
“The overwhelming bipartisan vote by the South Carolina State Senate was the right and necessary thing to do for the future of our state. The Senate’s decision will allow us to go forward as a state more united and with the realization that all of us must come together after the horrific tragedy in Charleston. The next step is for the South Carolina House of Representatives to act, and I believe they will act in a similarly responsible manner.”