Elk Grove Gun Store Defiantly Flies Confederate Flag

Wild Bill's (Facebook)
Wild Bill's (Facebook)

On Friday, members of the “Black Lives Matter” movement protested the flying of a Confederate flag at Wild Bill’s Old West Trading Company in Elk Grove. The flag was initially hanging from a rafter inside the store, then moved outside in a statement of defiance against political correctness after the murders of nine black people at a South Carolina church prompted others to remove their Confederate flags. After protests, the flag was moved back inside, but remains on display.

One protester outside told the local ABC News affiliate, ”That flag has been connected to slavery, to the Ku Klux Klan…”. Another held a sign reading, Confederate Flag Swastika White Supremacy.” Another sign read, “Indict the System.”

But counter-protesters also showed up, some holding signs arguing that flying the flag was a free speech issue. One sign read, “We reject slavery and racism. We respect heritage, Southern pride, history + Free Speech!” Another sign had a picture of the Constitution on it, accompanied by the caption, “Does this offend you too?”

One counter-protester, dressed in a white shirt and tie, told ABC 10, “I’m retired military, and so for us, this is not a question of racism or slavery; it’s a question of whether or not you believe in freedom of expression.” Confronting one protester, he asked, “Are there are other symbols in our country that we think could have the same divisiveness?”

Asked by ABC 10 if he knew he would take heat for putting up the flag, Jacob Shockly, the manager of the store, answered, “Absolutely. We’re aware of that, but we figure we are going to put that up since everybody else is taking theirs down.” He asked CBS Sacramento, “Why aren’t we getting tolerance for what we are standing on?”

When CBS Sacramento commented that the timing of flying the flag outside after the South Carolina murders was “awful,” Shockly said of the protests, “Why all of a sudden now? Did it take nine people to get shot now to throw a fit over a flag? It’s been around for how many years.”

Pressed by the reporter, who queried why the store would fly the flag outside after the murders, Shockly answered, “Because everybody started caving in. Started saying, oh … we don’t support … no, no, no, that’s a racist flag. But we don’t believe it’s a racist flag.”

One protester said, “We’re not accepting this in our city, in our county; Sacramento doesn’t do this, California doesn’t do this. It has nothing to do with our state so we’re not tolerating it.”

Support poured in at the store’s Facebook page. One commenter wrote: “Hang in there and this hate will blow over. It’s such a shameful action by the few that harm the many. People should be able to set their hate and racism side and look at our history. Wild Bill’s please don’t surrender!!”