Confederate flag supporters spent this past weekend rallying at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park, where everyone agreed that the flag is about “heritage, not hate,” and where undercover police reportedly marched with protesters, intervening when a counter-protester made fun of the event. Also, a couple named Timothy and Autumn Crosswhite were married under the banner you see above.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, local police said the Confederate flag rally was “mostly peaceful,” blaming any disturbance on one counter-protester who was “followed some of the flag enthusiasts on their hike up the mountain, trading insults, which almost led to a fight” police spokesman John Bankhead told the paper. Undercover officers who were on the hike intervened, he added, “although it took a minute for the police to establish their authority,” evidently because the counter-protester didn’t believe they were cops.
Autumn Brunson Crosswhite and her fiancé Timothy Crosswhite of Marietta married at the rally during a small ceremony of fellow Confederate flag supporters. She said her friends frequents rallies like this, so it only made sense to get married at one.
“We’re friends with a lot of people that do the rallies. We decided that we want everybody to be a part of our day, so what better way [than the rally]?” Autumn Crosswhite said. “We’ve been engaged for a while and he asked about four days ago, ‘Do you want to get married on August 1?’”
She was wearing a borrowed blue ribbon in her hair and white flip flops as the couple exchanged rings around 5 p.m. beneath a banner with their photos and a Confederate flag on it.
“To me, [the rebel flag] represents the people who they fought to try and get freedom for everyone,” Autumn Crosswhite said. “I don’t feel any hate with it at all. Never in my life have I ever been taught that that is what it meant.”
Autumn’s new husband Timothy also said that the flag was “part of my tradition and my heritage, and I’m going to stick up for the flag. It’s an honor to be here, really.”
On the official event page for the rally, participants are still trading photos and stories, and are still being reminded by the administrators not to use racial slurs. This photo taken at the event, of a man with his hand on his gun yelling at a police officer, has also been making the rounds. The man was not subsequently shot by police.
The AJC story about the Crosswhites wedding has been corrected to reflect that her family doesn’t attend Confederate flag rallies, just her friends.
Congratulations to the happy couple.
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Photo via Timothy Crosswhite/Facebook