The Alabama Flaggers, a pro-Confederate battle flag group, is planning a rally this weekend at the Alabama Statehouse to protest continued efforts to take down the flag. And members of a neo-Confederate hate group are planning to attend.
The Alabama Flaggers, a “Southern heritage” organization, have invited prominent members of the League of the South (LOS) to join them this Saturday on the steps of the Alabama Capitol to demand secession from the United States, the latest in a tide of pro-Confederate events in the wake of June’s tragic shootings in Charleston.
“We are rallying for the Secession from the United States of America,” reads a statement posted to a Facebook group for the rally. “Brings [sic] your flags bring your secession flags bring your secession signs.”
One prominent image promoting the event on Facebook features Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who removed the Confederate battle flag from a memorial of Jefferson Davis on the Statehouse grounds last June, with the word “TURNCOAT” emblazoned across his face in red. The comments accompanying the picture label him a “Spineless Scallywag” and express outrage that charges haven’t been filed over his removal of the flag.
The Alabama Flaggers have made it clear that everyone is welcome, including members of the LOS, which was extended a special invitation despite being barred from many Confederate flag rallies in the past months for their extreme views.
As of Thursday, more than 300 people have indicated that they will attend Saturday's event.
Lloyd Caperton, an Alabama LOS member, William Flowers, vice chairman of the Georgia chapter of the LOS, and Charles Bodenheimer, a LOS and Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) member who organized an SCV sponsored Confederate flag rally on the Alabama Capitol steps in June, have all confirmed that they will speak on Saturday. The Alabama Flaggers approved LOS President Michael Hill as a speaker, but he has yet to confirm.
The LOS has become increasingly radical in recent years, and even more notably in recent months, as they have eagerly taken on a mantle of victimhood as the Confederate flag has come under fire and begun preparing themselves for an inevitable race war. The group has characterized such actions as part of an ongoing “cultural genocide” against white southerners.
“If negroes think a ‘race war’ in modern America would be to their advantage, they had better prepare themselves for a very rude awakening,” Hill concludes. “White People may be patient, but our patience does have a limit. You do not want to test that limit.”
At least ten other LOS members have indicated their intention to attend the rally, among them Eric Meadows, the training director for the LOS’s paramilitary wing, “the Indomitables,” and a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Navy with 12 years of service.
In a separate essay to the LOS website in July 2014, Hill chillingly explored the idea of “fourth generation warfare.”
“The primary targets will not be enemy soldiers; instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run,” Hill wrote.
Hill decried objections to his post as nothing more than “progressive bedwetting.”
Since the Charleston shooting, and the subsequent removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Alabama and South Carolina, there has been outrage accompanied by a flood of protests, predominately across the Southeast.
Hatewatch has documented more than 200 rallies and estimates more than 24,000 have attended, with close to 70 more rallies scheduled in the coming months.
While hate group members predominately associated with the LOS have attended some protests, they have rarely been sought out, especially to address a crowd.
Given the combustible climate at these rallies, where blind passion has trumped empathy and reason, the LOS’s presence at the forefront of such an event is worrisome. At a time when the deeply racist beliefs of groups like the LOS should be pushed to the margins, they are instead being showcased in the public square.