LA Activists Burn Confederate Flag Symbols in Protest

Los Angeles-area activists gathered outside of a Walmart at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards Tuesday to burn a paper replica of the Confederate flag, supporting South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call for the divisive symbol to be removed from state grounds.

Walmart is one of several major businesses that have now banned the sale or use of the flag amid the growing controversy surrounding the symbol in the wake of the massacre of nine people were killed in a Charleston church.

A number of people saw the group, heard the reason they were there, and stopped to support them.

"Why burn the flag? Because the flag should be disintegrated like racism should be disintegrated," said Pastor Q, from Skid Row’s Church Without Walls.

Protesters said the flag has had a negative impact on communities throughout the South.

"This flag has its roots manifested in our educational system our job markets and anything that has institutionalized us to the point where we are now," said Reginald Mims.

Others said it’s a slap in the face to African Americans.

"To have that flag continue to fly in the face of African Americans who have sacrificed so much for this country is offensive," said Lita Herron.

That's what drew Charles Brister, Jr. to the protests. He heard about the event at his mechanic’s shop.

"To me it's as hateful as the Nazi flag. We would not consider putting a Nazi flag on a state capitol, either here or in Germany," he said.

He said came in honor of his great-great-grandfather, who he said fought in the Civil War.

"He left his family to fight for freedom and sadly he was killed just about a month before the end of the Civil War," Brister said.

Others saw the protest and decided to join.

"We need to stop all this killing," said Lawana Adams.

Adams got off the bus and made the detour when she saw the crowds, her heart pained she says by the hate killings in Charleston

"We need to get rid of that flag today, tomorrow, everywhere," she said.

Gray Harris is an Army veteran who said he was stationed in South Carolina in 1978.

Harris said the confederate flag needs to be relegated to museums and the history behind it pushed into our education systems.

"Was told on the weekends to avoid places bearing this flag. As a soldier in the Army pledging and standing with my life, it was embarrassing. It was threatening," he said. "It is far more than a symbol and it has gone on too long."

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