A large Confederate flag that was hanging up at the old Horry County Courthouse on Sunday is causing a stir on social media.
The South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans held a Confederate Memorial Day service on the courthouse lawn that afternoon.
A photo of the group gathering for the service was shared on Facebook by April Garner Sunday afternoon.
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“So, I'm riding through beautiful downtown Conway, SC on this blessed Sunday after church and rolled up on this sight,” she wrote in a post. “In ten words or less, describe how this makes you feel as a resident of Horry County?”
Over 100 people commented on her post expressing their thoughts regarding the photo.
Conway City Councilman Ashley Smith told The Sun News he found it “offensive.”
“It’s not right,” Smith said. “I’m all for First Amendment rights, but there comes a time when the best interest of the city comes first. This is offensive to me and many of my friends.”
Horry County Spokeswoman Kelly Brosky said the group did have permission to gather and that the City of Conway issued the special events permit.
“It’s protected under the amendment, it’s free speech,” Brosky said.
According to Brosky, the event is held every year.
“In general, all we require is liability insurance, they’re not allowed to have alcoholic beverages, or any commercial activities,” she explained. “Events on the courthouse lawn are normal and happen all the time.”
The Sons of Confederate Soldiers is an organization “dedicated to ensuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved,” its website states.
The organization has over 60 “camps” located all across the state.
Joe L. Hughes II contributed to this report.