Owner Robert Hayes, a 75-year-old with crow’s feet and a lingering smile, had a bit of advice for his customers before they headed back out into a world they say is drifting further and further away from the America they believed in.
“Don’t display them in your house but outside of your house,” Hayes said. “We need to be making a statement to the people that know their history and know that [the flag is] not what it’s being accused of.”
That sentiment is growing among many in this rural part of South Carolina and around the South. Many former supporters say they now understand why the flag should come down from its prominent perch in South Carolina’s capitol complex. But others, especially well outside of Columbia, are stunned at the turn on the flag after photos surfaced of alleged Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof posing with the flag.