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Supporters of Confederate flag stage Michigan caravan

Associated Press

Lapeer — A caravan of Confederate flag supporters has staged a moving rally in western Michigan in support of a symbol they say is about Southern heritage.

The Flint Journal reports more than 50 vehicles flew the Confederate flag in a caravan from Oxford to Lapeer on Sunday. Rally participant 26-year-old Amber LaFrance of Port Huron said the Confederate flag symbolizes “Southern pride and states’ rights.”

Twenty-six-year-old Jay Casas says the rally dispersed from a Wal-Mart parking lot in Lapeer after police showed up. He says the gathering was “peaceful” and the group had no intention of disrespect.

The Confederate flag has drawn scrutiny after nine black worshippers were killed last month at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The suspected shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, has appeared in photos with the flag.