Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) – No matter where you go across the south, almost everybody’s got an opinion on the rebel flag.
If you remember earlier this month, the Maryville School Board banned the flag from any school related function, but an African American man well known to civil rights issues says that’s not right and he’s taking his protest to the roadways.
Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb caught up with him on Thursday.
The Maryville School Board this month banned flying the Confederate flag amid racial tensions but that hasn’t stopped H. K. Edgerton, a former NAACP leader, from marching into Maryville with his and he questions what racial tensions?
"Just because you can go get one or two poverty pimps to strut around and try to change people in another direction and try to make you believe all black folks hate the flag, that’s not true,” says H. K. Edgerton, North Carolina Heritage Preservation President.
The public display grabbed local attention.
"I noticed a black man walking down Alcoa Highway carrying a carrying a Rebel flag…never seen anything like that in my life,” says Bob Culbertson, who supports the rebel flag at MHS.
And local support in the form of honking horns, hoots and hollers.
"The Rebel flag has always been a big part of the south, they ought to keep it there,” adds Culbertson.
"I think they ought to fly it high and fly it proud,” Says Michael Raines, who also supports flying flag at MHS.
Edgerton calls the board a bunch of scalawags and says it’s time for the silent majority to speak out.
"There’s a line that gets drawn in the sand. And let me tell you something. It doesn’t get drawn any better than what’s being done right here in Maryville, Tennessee,” says Edgerton.
The southern heritage activist says blacks and whites in Blount County are family.
Edgerton says by the school board banning the use of the Confederate flag, it not only takes away the students’ First Amendment rights but also takes away their heritage.
"And I would love more than anything else to come back to Maryville and see black folks and white folks at Maryville High School football games and all over Blount County flying their flag…the flag of their ancestors,” says Edgerton.
Edgerton says he plans to resume his march to the courthouse in Maryville in the morning where he plans a news conference.