Confederate flag supporters gather in Smyrna to protest its removal from stores

SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Confederate flag supporters gathered Saturday in Smyrna to protest its removal from stores.

The protesters gathered near the Walmart on Enon Springs Road.

News 2 received several calls and emails from viewers who drove by them.

The group waved around Confederate and American flags while holding signs that said “Don’t ban our flag.”

The group initially started protesting on Walmart’s property, but were kicked off the premises by store officials.

Members of the group told News 2 they’re trying to preach “Heritage, not hate.”

“It’s what our ancestors walked through the fields wearing. It has nothing to do with any kind of racism at all. It’s not racist. If you think its racist you probably should have a history lesson,” said supporter Michael Cole.

Some driving by stopped to express their disapproval, with one woman saying it was an embarrassment for the people of Smyrna.

Just across the street, another group began waving a Gay Pride flag along the same road.

Alicia Hernandez told News 2 she was inside her house with her brother and his partner when they saw what was going on.

“We just kept hearing a whole bunch of honking. So, we see the rebel flag, I figured I’d show them we also have a flag of our own,” said Hernandez.

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