DURANT, Okla. – A group of Confederate flag supporters were out in force near Durant on Wednesday before the president arrived in town.
The group was visible from the interstate as they flew several Confederate flags from their trucks and vehicles.
“We’re not gonna stand down from our heritage. You know, this flag’s not racist. And I know a lot of people think it is, but it’s really not,” said Trey Johnson, who drove three hours from Texas to join the protest. “It’s just a southern thing, that’s it.”
“I believe that it is a flag that should not come down. It is about history. It’s not about racism at all because both black men, as well as white men stood side by side. They fought together for the beliefs that they believed in. And this is our heritage,” said Stephanie.
Alyssa, a supporter of the group, said the group’s protest has nothing to do with the president, but rather a culmination of the events that have occurred in recent weeks.
They told NewsChannel 4 that the protest began at the Choctaw Travel Plaza Event Center, before moving to Durant High School.
When they were asked to leave, they moved to a more prominent location along the interstate.
After stopping along the interstate, they said 90 percent of drivers were supportive of their protest.
“I think that it’s kinda obvious since the media has been pushing the racism of the Confederate flag, the racism of the battle flag, the racism of the South. The fact of the matter is history is so much, it proves to be so much more knowledgeable. And history, just as we have spoken, you know, you had blacks, whites, Indians, all races that were fighting in the Civil War for this flag. And this has nothing to do with racism. I can understand why people would think that because it’s definitely been promoted that way, the fact of the matter is that’s not what it is. It is about heritage,” said Angel Pride, from Texas. “Those men that died for the Confederate flag that flew while they were fighting, they’re just as much veterans as our veterans are today who are flying this flag.”
Folks near Durant weren’t the only ones flying the Confederate flag when the President came in. President Obama was greeted with the flags when he pulled into downtown Oklahoma City, as well.
However, there were plenty of Oklahomans who disagreed with the protest and wanted their voices to be heard, as well.