“It’s more than heritage. It’s our freedom,” Oklahomans gather to support Confederate flag

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- It has been a season of controversy over the Confederate flag. Supporters rallied from an Oklahoma City Walmart to the Oklahoma State Capitol on Saturday.

Supporters say they are upset about the removal of Confederate flags and monuments across the country.

"This is our heritage and it's more than heritage. It's our freedom," Allen Branch said.

What is also known as the rebel flag, has been at the center of debate for years.

At a rally held in July, a woman told supporters why she is against it.

“I'm letting you know that this flag right here represents hate,” Kiana Smith said. “Please do not be fooled and brainwashed by the misconceptions, that flag in the south was about slavery.”

However, others say the flag does not symbolize racism or hate.

"It's really about the southern heritage. It's about the south. It's about the pride," Andrew Duncomb said.

"This flag stands for my ancestors who gave it all and lived through a terrifically horrible time after the war, and I just don't think I need to let anybody forget that," Jim Orebaugh, with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said.

Supporters who spoke with NewsChannel 4 say they are misunderstood.

"It's just over time, it's like people are trying to tell me I'm full of hate and I’m not full of any hate," JR Hooper said.

"There's always going to be racist people, but when you look at the majority of people that do fly that flag, and they get scrutinized and they get put in the same as the ones who are racist, it's wrong," Duncomb said. "People need to realize that everyone comes from different cultures. Everyone's different, but they got to learn to live together. They got to learn to basically respect one another.”

Some of the people who took part in the rally also flew Confederate flags when President Obama came to Oklahoma.

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