While some people and political leaders across the nation are calling for the removal of Confederate symbols, others, the Ku Klux Klan included, are protesting on its behalf.
According to the Post and Courier, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan applied for a permit to hold a rally of 100-200 people on Statehouse grounds to protest the removal of the flag, and the notorious group’s request was approved.
The protest is scheduled for July 18, 3-5 p.m., on the north side of the Statehouse, where the Confederate flag currently flies despite insistence by some in the public that it be brought down—including Bree Newsome’s bold move of climbing the flagpole and removing it herself. The representative for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board told the Post and Courier that rally space is provided at the Statehouse site if it is available and not previously reserved.
According to the report, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, who has been instrumental in starting talks about the flag’s removal form Statehouse grounds, does not approve of the rally.
“This is our state, and they are not welcome,” she said in a statement, according to the news site.
The Post and Courier reports that the White Knight’s grand dragon, Robert Jones, said that the group was a civil rights organization committed to white culture and history that is represented by the controversial battle flag.
The flag that is currently displayed on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse has been the topic of a very heated debate in recent weeks since its use by Dylann Storm Roof, who is charged with murder for allegedly opening fire at a church meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church late last month and killing nine people. An online manifesto attributed to Roof expressed several white supremacist ideologies, and he was seen across social media and in the news in a photo with the battle flag.
“He was heading in the right direction, wrong target,” Jones told the Post and Courier about Roof. “He should have actually aimed at the African-American gangbangers, the ones who are selling the drugs to white youth, the ones who are robbing and raping every chance they get.”
The newspaper noted that on the hate group’s telephone answering machine, a recorded message calls Roof a “warrior.”
Read more at the Post and Courier.