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Supporters of Confederate Battle flag rally at the Capitol

Hundreds rallied at the Capitol building in Jefferson City Sunday afternoon to show their support for the Confederate Battle flag and what it means to them.

It was organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Missouri Division. Around 250 people stood on the steps waving the flags from all over the state.

Darren Maples, who helped organize the rally, said they want to set the record straight.

“We’re here for the right reasons,” said Maples. “We’re not here to create any other problems other than we just want to set the record straight about who the Confederate soldier really was, why the war was fought, and take out some of the negativity that’s been happening with regard to the flag.”

Supporters were able to rally on the steps after receiving a permit from the state’s Office of Administration. Maples said they coordinated with Capitol police to make sure everything was safe.

Maples said their group is not about hate or racism. They simply want to support their Confederate ancestors and veterans.

Other who rallied outside of the Capitol felt the same way.

“I’m here to stand up for veterans and veterans rights,” said Larry Yeatman. “Confederate veterans under federal law are considered American veterans. The VA provides them with monuments for their graves and things of that nature. So to me, standing up for these American veterans is standing up for all veterans.”

In July, the Boone County Commission voted unanimously to move the Confederate Rock in front of the Boone County Courthouse to the Centralia Battlefield. The commission also voted to move the Desert Storm Memorial on the Boone County Courthouse plaza to a new location last Monday.

Yaetman fears more veterans and war monuments could be compromised.

“If we think it’s okay to demean these particular veterans’ service to their country, who’s going to be next? I promise they’re going to be coming after something we all love sooner or later. “

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