League of the South Offers ‘Heritage’ for Sale at Southern Patriot Shop
The 'Confederate' shirt was made in Haiti. One clerk is a long-time neo-Nazi. Welcome to the League of the South's Southern Patriot Shop.
On the bumper sticker, a rebel battle flag flies over the White House. Under it, the slogan reads, "I Have a Dream."
"I get a kick out of that one," said David Sutter, manager of the Southern Patriot Shop. He then pointed to another favorite, "NAACP: National Association of Always Complaining People."
"Those are two of our top sellers," Sutter said. "We do real well with those."
Situated near a busy strip mall in Cayce, S.C., the Southern Patriot Shop is owned by the League of the South, a neo-secessionist hate group of which Sutter is a prominent member. Its inventory includes Confederate Army replica swords; episodes of the 1959-1961 TV show "The Rebel" (about a Confederate army private who roams the Wild West after the Civil War like a knight without a king); rebel flag switchblades and boot knives; pro-slavery, anti-Lincoln revisionist history tomes; copies of Little Black Sambo; and a veritable Stars-and-Bars cornucopia of "Free the South" rebel flag stickers, "Go Home Yankee" rebel flag beer cozies, and "Made in the Confederate States of America" rebel flag t-shirts which, ironically enough, are made in Haiti.
Formerly a Huddle House restaurant and then a pawn shop, the 1,800-square-foot brick building the LOS purchased last year for $158,000 is in a prime retail location, just off a major state highway and two interstates. Nearly 60,000 motorists per day pass by the store and its gargantuan Confederate flag, which at 20 by 30 feet is bigger than the footprint of most studio apartments. It's mounted atop a 90-foot pole.
"We applied for the same permit as those car dealers that fly the huge American flags," Sutter said. "We just didn't tell them exactly what kind of flag we were planning to fly. They made their own assumptions, and now there's nothing they can do. We've had pilots tell us they can see our flag when they're coming in for a landing."
The Southern Patriot Shop doubles as a clubhouse for local LOS members like Eddie, whose cell phone rings "Dixie." Eddie stopped by on a Sunday afternoon in late July to help Sutter mow the grass. Taking a break, he leaned back in a chair inside the shop and held forth on slavery.
"People today misunderstand what slavery was all about," he said. "Slavery is a natural part of man. It explains that in the Bible. And that's what really separated the North from the South, is that the South recognized the Bible as the true word of God when it came to slavery."
Behind the counter, Sutter took all the five-dollar bills out of his cash drawer and methodically stamped over Lincoln's face on each of them with a red Confederate flag.
David Sutter alternates shifts at the Southern Patriot Shop with his 24-year-old son, Joshua Caleb Sutter, who's better known in the neo-Nazi underworld as Wulfran Hall, the High Counsel of Aryan Nations.
Josh Sutter is not the only Aryan Nations enthusiast to live in the Cayce area. In May, the group's "national director" August Kreis moved its "world headquarters" from Sebring, Fla., to a doublewide trailer in semi-rural Lexington, roughly 15 miles from the Southern Patriot Shop. Kreis purchased his trailer and the land it sits on for $24,000.
It's unclear what role — if any — Josh Sutter played in Kreis' relocation. Sutter's current status within Aryan Nations is equally murky.
Shortly after Kreis moved, he removed all of Sutter's writings from the Aryan Nations Web site, along with a photo of Sutter posing as Wulfran Hall in a black turban and face mask. Earlier that month, Aryan Nations Pastor Morris Gulett had accused Sutter of being a government snitch. In a letter, Gulett wrote, "Brother Charles Thornton from Alabama and myself are in federal custody here in Louisiana charged with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Bank Robbery. We were set up by one of the church's oldest members, Joshua Caleb Sutter."
Kreis did not respond to repeated interview requests from Intelligence Report. Reached by phone at the Southern Patriot Store, Josh Sutter declined to comment.
"I have customers," he said.