COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – The debate about the removal of the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina State House continues during a protest Monday.
It was the removal of the Rebel Flag that prompted an annual event at the South Carolina State House.
Members of the South Carolina Secessionist Party are arguing that the state should have voted to have it removed, while members of Simple Justice Black Lives Matter say it wasn’t a good representation of South Carolina anyways.
“We are not going to have a unified state or country, for that matter, if we are allowing symbols of hate.” Marcurius Byrd, of Simple Justice Black Lives Matter, said.
The Rebel Flag once again graced the grounds of the state capital exactly 2 years after lawmakers voted to take it down, following the Charleston shooting.
James Bessenger, Chairman of the South Carolina Secessionist Party, says state legislatures didn’t consider their own history when they made the rash decision.
Prompting the Secessionist Party to honor the Confederate Flag every year on the day it was removed.
“If they had taken the time to go home, let emotions settle, confer in the next session after talking to our people and the general consensus was to take the flag down you would have never heard a word from us,” Bessenger told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “If that’s what the people of our state wanted, we would have backed that decision.”
Byrd says he doesn’t want to discredit the soldiers of the Confederate Army, but in this case it’s about looking at the bigger picture.
“What do we think represents the state of South Carolina? This is supposed to be a grounds for everybody. Not just the people’s who families who fought in the Confederacy,” Byrd said. “We need to make a space and grounds to represent other people whose families were owned by some of these people.”
As part of the compromise to remove this flag, lawmakers agreed to display it at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room, which has yet to happen.
“I’m disappointed, but it’s not something that I thought would never happen,” said Thomas Webberburger, a member of the the South Carolina Secessionist Party, said. “But it’s kind of expected.”
The South Carolina Secessionist Party says they already have their permit in to hold the event again next year.