Group with N.C. ties to fly Confederate flag over GOP debate in Iowa

RALEIGH – A South Carolina-based nonprofit group called Save Southern Heritage has announced it plans to fly a plane carrying a Confederate battle flag Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa to carry a message to Republican candidates debating there. The message from the plane will read “GOP LOSES W/O DIXIE!,” and is “in response to GOP complicity, apathy and cowardice in the destruction of Southern Heritage and Confederate symbols” across the South, according to a news release from the group.

The group, which is based in Mayesville, South Carolina, made news in Asheville last year following the painting of graffiti on a statue on Confederate veteran and North Carolina governor Zebulon B. Vance. H.K. Edgerton, a black Republican, gave interviews to news media dressed as a Confederate soldier and carrying a Confederate battle flag.

12487167_10153853374373221_8107827091173912907_o

H.K. Edgerton, right, addresses a crowd during an event to promote Southern heritage.

“Black folks earned a place of honor and dignity with this flag; black folks and white folks in southland America are family,” Edgerton told WYFF-TV at the time. “This is our flag. This was my message when I walked to Texas; that was my message when I walked to the White House. And it’s my message still.”

Edgerton was quoted in the news release as saying that the South is the key to victory for Republicans in November and that the Southern vote can no longer be “taken for granted” by Republicans.

“The traditional Southern conservative voter base has loyally supported the GOP since Richard Nixon,” Edgerton said via the release. “Now that our symbols, heritage and culture are under intense attack by cultural Marxists, and in many cases abetted by GOP quislings, the Grand Old Party is nowhere to be seen in helping the Southern people fight off this onslaught!”

The Iowa Republican Party did not immediately return calls for comment on the display. Candidates meet in Des Moines tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern for the final debate prior to the Feb. 1 Iowa party caucuses, the first test of the 2016 run for the White House for both parties.

Rotator image:  The group flew a Confederate flag over Florida’s capitol to protest the Florida legislature’s decision to remove Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith’s statue from the U.S. Capitol.