POLITICS
07/28/2015 05:24 pm ET Updated Jul 28, 2015

There Have Been 132 Pro-Confederate Flag Rallies Since The Charleston Shooting

And there are more to come.
<span>Attendees of a pro-Confederate flag rally hold flags and listen to speakers at the Alabama state capitol building on Sa
Credit: Associated Press
Attendees of a pro-Confederate flag rally hold flags and listen to speakers at the Alabama state capitol building on Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Montgomery, Alabama. The rally was held by locals and members of several Southern heritage organizations who oppose the recent removal of Confederate flags from a monument at the capitol honoring Confederate Civil War soldiers. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

WASHINGTON -- There has been an outbreak of rallies in support of the Confederate flag since the June 17 mass shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Southern Poverty Law Center works to fight bigotry and monitors hate groups around the country. It has been keeping track of the pro-Confederate flag events in the past month and found that 132 have occurred since the Charleston shooting, with another 29 in the works.

Dylann Roof, a racist who admired symbols of the Confederacy, is facing federal hate crime charges for allegedly targeting the nine worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic black church in downtown Charleston, because of their race. 

The shooting reignited a debate over the Confederate battle flag, leading South Carolina government officials to finally remove it from the state capitol grounds this month. The Alabama governor also took down the Confederate-era flags on the grounds of the capitol in Montgomery.

But there has been a backlash as well. On July 18, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally at the South Carolina statehouse, protesting the removal of the Confederate flag.

A few days earlier, a group of protesters with Confederate flags gathered near an Oklahoma high school to greet President Barack Obama, who was visiting to give a speech about expanding economic opportunity.

And on Saturday, a group of white individuals in pickup trucks with Confederate flags clashed with partygoers at a celebration for a black child's birthday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has also called on Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi to stop honoring Confederate leaders with official holidays.


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