Local Sons of Confederate Veterans Leader Speaks Out About Flag Controversy

Local Sons of Confederate Veterans Leader Speaks Out About Flag Controversy
Wichita Falls, TX - Controversy over the Confederate flag has become a subject of intense debate following a shooting that left nine people dead at a historically black church.       

People that find the flag "racially offensive" are rallying for lawmakers to remove the flag from South Carolina's capitol grounds. 

"The incident that happened there in Charleston about the shooting that was a terrible incident, but I'm not sure exactly how that shooting is related to this flag," said Robert "Rusty" Haynes, acting adjutant of General W.R. Scurry No. 606 in Wichita Falls. 

Robert, a member of The Sons of Confederate Veterans, sees this flag as a way to honor those who fought in the civil war.

"I understand there are people who are offended by this flag, but it's because they don't know the true history of the flag," said Haynes.

However, opponents associate the flag with the nation's oppressive past and now tie it to accused gunman Dylann Roof.

"They call this flag the rebel flag. we don't call this flag, this is the soldier's flag. These people have stolen our flag," said Robert. "The various hate groups. the Aryan brotherhood. Whatever they call themselves. "

Roberts said he will forever see the flag as a form history and tradition, but he cannot  rid the ideals of hate instilled in others.  

"The attitudes of the people in that church, if we had more attitudes like that. that's the way to end racism," said Roberts.

Many lawmakers have come out in support of taking the flag down including former Texas Governor Rick Perry. initially he said the removal would be something for the people of South Carolina to consider, but most recently said '"removing the flag is an act of healing and unity, that allows us to find a shared purpose based on the values that unify us."

In order for the flag to be removed in South Carolina, a two-thirds vote must take place in both houses of the legislature. 

Republican state Rep. Doug Brannon said he will introduce a bill to remove the confederate flag. Brannon was a good friend of Sen. Clementa Pinckney who was killed inside of Emanuel AME Church where he pastor.

Jimmie Johnson, News Channel 6