Read on VICE News: Calls to Remove Confederate Flag Follow South Carolina Murders
A lot has been said about Confederate flags in the months since noted Confederate-flag-enthusiast Dylann Roof killed nine African-Americans in a shooting at Charleston, South Carolina's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The debate largely centers around two primary arguments: One side maintains that the Confederate flag is inherently racist (since it was originally employed by slave-holding Southerners during the Civil war), while the other side insists that the flag is merely a symbol of states' individual rights (which is believed to be a fundamentally American ideal). In short, many Confederate flag supporters view their support as a representation of and a testament to their pride in their country.
This may not be the case anymore with the recent decision by a Georgia jury, which indicted 15 members of a pro-Confederate flag group on the grounds of "terrorism."
The indictment is in response to an investigation into an incident that occurred on July 25, when members of a group called "Respect the Flag" drove a convoy of vehicles displaying Confederate flags through a neighborhood in Douglasville, Georgia. When the group stopped in front of a house on Campbellton Street, which was hosting a child's birthday party (with a group of African American partygoers), the scene quickly devolved into violence: Threats were made, guns were drawn, and the police were called. Both parties insisted that the other side instigated the altercation.
On Friday, a Douglas County jury found 15 members of "Respect the Flag" in violation of Georgia's Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. Each of the 15 members was indicted with making terrorist threats and participating in criminal gang activity. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, two members of the group were also charged with battery for another incident that occurred that same day at a gas station.
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