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Flag Causes Outrage



Confederate flag hung by black college student causes outrage

Kevin Fitzgerald
Dec 3, 2011

Beaufort - A 19-year-old college student has received complaints after hanging a Confederate flag from his dorm room window. The student, who is black, says that he views the flag as a symbol of Southern pride, not racism.

Byron Thomas first heard about the complaints when families came to visit students at the University of South Carolina around the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Thomas, who prefers to be referred to as "black" instead of African-American, defended his position by stating:

"When I look at this flag, I don't see racism. I see respect, Southern pride. This flag was seen as a communication symbol."

He also recognizes that it is "kind of weird" that he would choose to display such a flag.

According to WTVM, Thomas says that his parents do not allow him to hang the flag at home.

School officials had initially told Thomas to take down the flag after receiving the complaints, but after going through an appeals process, the school has now once again allowed him to display his flag as a right to freedom of speech and expression.

Thomas says he has no plans of taking down the flag again anytime soon.  Another student at the university had previously received complaints after displaying a swastika in his dorm room window.

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