Pro-Confederate flag rally in Monroe ‘peaceful and calm’

There were no reported problems Saturday at a pro-Confederate flag and monument rally in downtown Monroe Saturday morning, a city spokesman said.

“It was very peaceful and calm,” spokesman Pete Hovanec said, and some people sold T-shirts. He said about 50 people were there; the rally organizer had hoped to attract up to 200 participants.

The rally was held at the Old County Courthouse where a 1910 Confederate monument stands.

Rally organizer Rusty Secret, a Monroe truck driver, said he was proud of his heritage and “tired of the flag and monument catching flak.” He said it was “not a hate rally.”

The Confederate flag remains a divisive symbol around the region and throughout the nation. Controversy over the flag grew after a white man was charged with killing nine black people in a Charleston church in June, and photos surfaced of the man with the Confederate battle flag.

Staff reports