More than 130 East Texans participated in a mobile rally to convey their message that the Confederate flag represents heritage, not hate. The rally began near U.S. Highway 175 in Gun Barrel City, Texas.
The group of cars traveled 20 miles southbound on U.S. 175, and onlookers in nearby towns joined the caravan as the rally passed through Athens, Texas, and circled back to Gun Barrel City.
According to KLTV, Billy Rountree, the rally’s organizer, said the perception of the Confederate flag shouldn’t be skewed in a negative way because of one man and his actions, referring to Dylann Roof’s killing of nine black people inside a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June.
Rountree said the shooting doesn’t represent the Confederate flag. “He [Roof] was not a man, he went into a church and killed a bunch of innocent people and held this flag,” said Rountree.
Traci Milaiskis, one of the participants of the rally, told KLTV, “We’re here as God’s children; the ones that do have that flag and do have that family and history should be able to fly it on their own prerogative and not being told that they can’t.”
Rountree told KLTV that rally participants and their “message of love, not hate,” hope to continue to make their point with future rallies.
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