Un­likely Con­fed­er­ate flag sup­porter killed in crash

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

In a town where Con­fed­er­ate soldier stat­ues stand sen­tinel on the court­house square and a univer­sity cam­pus, An­thony Her­vey re­mained an ano­maly — a black man who draped him­self in the Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag and pub­licly de­clared his loy­alty to the se­ces­sion­ist Lost Cause and his belief that the Civil War was not fought over slav­ery.

Her­vey, 49, died Sun­day when the sport util­ity ve­hi­cle he was driv­ing flipped into a ditch be­side Mis­sis­sippi High­way 6 near Ox­ford. He and another black Con­fed­er­ate sup­porter were re­turn­ing home af­ter speak­ing at an event to sup­port a Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ment in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama.

The pas­sen­ger, Ar­lene Bar­num of Stu­art, Ok­la­homa, sur­vived. She said Her­vey lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle af­ter they were chased by a sil­ver or grey sedan car­ry­ing four or five black men.

The Mis­sis­sippi High­way Pa­trol is in­ter­view­ing wit­nesses and re­con­struct­ing the crash, said pa­trol spokesman Johnny Pou­los. The lo­cal coro­ner, Rocky Kennedy, said Tues­day that he was wait­ing for au­topsy re­sults.

Her­vey was well known in Ox­ford and at the Univer­sity of Mis­sis­sippi, where stu­dents waved Con­fed­er­ate flags for decades to cheer the Rebels.

In Her­vey’s 2006 book, “Why I Wave the Con­fed­er­ate Flag, Writ­ten by a Black Man,” he said the Civil War was not fought over slav­ery and that he was sup­port­ing black sol­diers who fought for the South in the Civil War.

Bar­num said or­ga­niz­ers of Satur­day’s Alabama event had asked her to give Her­vey a ride there. She said she didn’t know him pre­vi­ously.

Bar­num and Her­vey both spoke at the rally, and Bar­num said she burned an NAACP mem­ber­ship card dur­ing her speech. A video shows the crowd cheered when Her­vey said he doesn’t like black peo­ple or white peo­ple, “but I love me some South­ern­ers.”

The public dis­play of Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols has come un­der fresh scru­tiny since the June 17 mas­sacre of nine black wor­ship­pers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The white man charged in the killings had posed with a Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag in photos posted online be­fore the at­tack.

Bar­num said as she and Her­vey were trav­el­ling home Sun­day, she let Her­vey drive. She said he stopped at a con­ve­nience store, and she re­mained in the ve­hi­cle as he went in, wear­ing a Con­fed­er­ate kep. Bar­num said soon af­ter they left the store, a car with four or five young black men pulled up near them.

“They were an­gry with Mr. Her­vey,” Bar­num said. “Mr. Her­vey sped up and said, ‘Hell, no.’ ... He re­ally had to gun it on the gas pedal.”

She said the car ran Her­vey off the high­way, and the SUV rolled over. Bar­num said she un­buck­led her­self . She said he was breath­ing but didn’t re­spond.

Her­vey died at the scene. Fu­neral ar­range­ments had not been made by Tues­day.

AP PHOTO

An­thony Her­vey holds a Con­fed­er­ate flag at the Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ment in Ox­ford, Miss. in 2008. The High­way Pa­trol says 49-year-old Her­vey was killed July 19, 2015 in a car crash on his way home from a pro-Con­fed­er­ate flag rally.

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