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Confederate flag backers confront Obama in Tennessee

Confederate flag backers confront Obama in Tennessee
© Getty Images

President Obama was greeted by supporters of the Confederate flag during his visit to Nashville on Wednesday. 

Several people waved the Confederate battle flag outside Stratton Elementary School in the suburb of Madison, Tenn., where Obama delivered a speech on his healthcare law. Another man was seen holding the flag along Obama’s motorcade route as he returned to the airport.

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The Confederate flag has come under fire since a mass shooting last month at a historic African-American church in South Carolina. The alleged shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, posted photos of himself online with Confederate flag memorabilia and claimed he wanted to start a race war. 

Obama and political leaders in both parties have called the flag a symbol of hate and called for it to be taken off government grounds across the South. 

"For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation,” Obama recently said at the eulogy for one of the victims of the shooting. “We see that now.”

“Our flag doesn’t mean race, it’s a heritage thing,” one demonstrator, Rick Martin, told The Tennessean.