KKK to hold pro-Confederate flag rally on SC Statehouse grounds
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The Ku Klux Klan is holding a rally next month on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse in support of the Confederate flag, amid calls to remove the controversial symbol following a mass shooting at a black church.

A local chapter, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from Pelham, N.C., will hold the rally on July 18, according to local media reports.

That date is just one month and a day after nine were killed in a shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

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Dylann Roof, the alleged shooter, reportedly confessed to killing the congregants after a Bible study, telling police he wanted to start a race war. In the wake of the tragedy, pictures have emerged of him posing with the Confederate flag and a gun.

Roof’s association with the flag sparked a movement to remove it from the Statehouse grounds.

Gov. Nikki Haley (R), Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamConservation remains a core conservative principle Graham: McCain 'acted appropriately' by handing Steele dossier to FBI The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight MORE (R) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court Breaking down barriers for American military families Top House Dem dismisses reparations as 2020 candidates endorse idea MORE (R), and other South Carolina politicians have called for the flag’s removal, and the Legislature will take up the issue next week.

If the bill moves through the Legislature quickly, the flag could be gone by the time of the rally. 

The Confederate battle flag used to fly over the Capitol dome but now flies at a Confederate memorial on the grounds as part of a compromise that also created an African-American history monument. 

The Loyal White Knights’ website has a home page devoted to the Confederate flags, where it argues that efforts to remove it are “cultural genocide.”

“If you can't tell they are trying to wipe us out of the history books. ... Tell this cultural Marxist government they better not dare to dishonor our ancestors [sic] graves,” the website says.

Another section describing its activities says Klan rallies are “family events” and that all events are restricted to “whites only.”

The First Amendment’s free assembly provision typically protects the right of groups to protest, and governments can only place simple, content-neutral restrictions on rallies.