An eight-mile convoy of pickups, motorcycles and cars wound through a central Florida town on Sunday in a show of support for the Confederate flag, as a backlash against its banishment from public landmarks across the South picks up steam.
Horns blared and hundreds of the rebel flags fluttered as more than 1,500 vehicles and some 4,500 people turned out for the “Florida Southern Pride Ride” in Ocala, according to police estimates. Vehicles from states across the South and as far away as California participated.
“That flag has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people,” said David Stone, 38, who organized the event. “It doesn’t symbolize hate unless you think it’s hate - and that’s your problem, not mine.”
My Dad, who is a Yankee moved to Florida for good a few years back. He spent most of his career as Air Force Civil Service (Electronics Engineer), very liberal, and makes me look like a centrist by comparison. Last time I was down there, we were driving someplace, pickup truck with confederate flag stuff stuck all over passes us. He just looks at me and says “Sometimes the racial prejudge down here is subtle in it’s expression”.