Rebel Flag Rally Draws Hundreds Across The State

by KATV Channel 7 ([email protected]) 154 views 

Stacey Spivey with our content partner, KATV Ch. 7 News, reports:

Large protests and rallies were throughout the state today, centered around the confederate flag. Hundreds showed up to rebel flag rallies in both Conway and Dardanelle Sunday.

Some were supporting what they say is heritage, not hate, and others were embarrassed by fellow Arkansans.

“That’s offensive to me a member of the community of color in Arkansas and Conway,” Manny Sepulveda, a Latino activist said. He told Channel 7 he is confused over the rebel flag rallies across the state.

“If we’re to move on and progress as a society and as the South, then we need to embrace the realities of the demographics of our country,” Sepulveda said. He said the flag is a symbol of hatred and bigotry in his eyes, and it doesn’t have a place in public.

“Yes, we should honor our past and our history; yes, we’re all Southerners and we’re all Arkansans; but there comes a time to move on,” Sepulveda added.

However, hundreds, raising the confederate flag high, gathered in those two cities to represent what they call Southern heritage.

“My ancestors fought and died under this flag,” John Bryan said. Bryant organized the rally on Dave Ward Bridge in Conway with more than fifty people.

“The confederate flag, the battle flag doesn’t just represent the people that do ugly things. This is about.. Our flag predates those people,” Bryan said.

“I’m proud to be a Southerner,” Dylan Mattison said. Mattison was one of 500 people rallying for the same cause just forty miles north.

“The rebel flag isn’t all about racism. It’s about where we’re from, our heritage, and how we’re raised,” Mattison, an African American, said.

“Taking away a flag is not going to take away racism,” Tyler Titsworth said. Titsworth was the organizer of the Pope County Rebel Ride.

He said it began as a status on Facebook and escalated into a massive protest with even a canned food drive. He said he did this to stand up to others.

“That’s a part of history, that doesn’t need to go anywhere, and as much as you try to erase, it’s always going to be there,” Titsworth said.

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