Teen says man pulled gun because of rebel flag on truck
HICKORY, N.C. —
A teenager with a Confederate flag displayed on his pickup truck told police he was confronted by a man with a gun.
A police investigation is underway in Hickory after an argument broke out over the display.
Police said the 18-year-old was confronted by another driver with a pistol, who told him to take his flag down when they were in a gas station in Hickory.
“That’s just going too far,” the teenager’s aunt Angie Hodge told Channel 9. “It’s crazy.”
Investigators said they found a loaded 9mm pistol and a man hiding in the woods near the business, but he denied being involved in the incident.
“We just hope everyone would take into account the feelings of others and use good judgment, but there’s no justification for someone to pull a firearm,” Hickory Police Capt. Thurman Whisnant said.
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Anthony and Tabitha Bumgarner told Channel 9 that they know how the teenage driver feels. They said they have also been criticized and even threatened over the Confederate flag that they fly from the back of their truck.
“I’m going to fly it until they put me in the ground,” Tabitha Bumgarner said.
“Nothing will ever take my flag down,” Anthony Bumgarner said.
Pastor David Roberts of Morningstar First Baptist Church understands why some people hate the flag, but he believes that threatening someone with a gun goes too far.
“To take a person’s life because he wouldn’t take a flag off the back of his truck is too extreme for me,” Roberts said. “That’s real extreme.”
Anthony Bumgarner said he’ll never remove the flag from his truck and said he recently added a tattoo.
“This is my life,” he said. “I was born and bred Southern, and this is how I’ll die.”
Police said they have surveillance video from the gas station and have identified the possible culprit. However, they are continuing their investigation before deciding on any charges.