Newsome is scheduled to speak at the Sottile Theatre on Feb. 22 in an event sponsored by the College of Charleston’s Office of Student Life and Multicultural Student Programs and Services. Newsome’s scheduled lecture, titled “Tearing Hatred from the Sky,” drew online backlash from the Secessionist Party, who described the event as “a direct affront to Southern martyrs” and called on followers to contact the College of Charleston to express their displeasure. But the Secessionist Party is not planning to stop there.
“As you may suspect, the South Carolina Secessionist Party is prepared to respond in a big way. This Sunday, February 19th, we are planning a Grand Flagging of the city of Charleston,” the group wrote on Facebook. “The Charleston skyline will host Battle Flags and the symbol of our ancestors will be on display for all of Charleston to see.”
The group also states that their flagging campaign will “move beyond the Battery and into the heart of Charleston. New locations have been scouted and new tactics developed that will allow us to flag the very heart of Charleston and its beloved tourist destinations.”
Following comments posted by individuals on the Secessionist Party’s Facebook page, organizers of Newsome’s lecture have announced new instructions for those wishing to attend.
In regard to these comments, a quick look online finds that one person replied to a post about Newsome’s visit to Charleston, writing, “Bitch should have gotten the rope.” Another individual harkened back to the days of lynchings, writing, “Time was that would have been strange fruit before the next sunrise.”
Those wishing to attend Newsome’s lecture will now need to reserve a free ticket online. Organizers say the link will be shared Monday. There will also be no purses, bags, or oversized jackets permitted in the theater. Organizers at the college say the event remains open to the public.
The South Carolina Secessionist Party has planned a “Grand Flagging of Charleston” in response to an upcoming visit from civil rights activist Bree Newsome, who many will remember as the woman who scaled the flagpole outside of the Statehouse and removed the Confederate battle flag in the days following the shooting at Emanuel AME Church.