Outside the South Carolina statehouse, William Bader stood tall and defiant as he brandished a large Confederate battle flag. It was not unlike the one embroidered on his black shirt, or the one a local honor guard recently removed from a flagpole outside the legislative building where he protested.
Bader, an imperial wizard in the Trinity White Knights, drove hundreds of miles from Kentucky – or, rather, “Klantucky”, as he quipped – to Columbia, all in hopes of defending the flag on a sweltering Saturday afternoon.
“They took our flag, so be it,” said Bader, a member of the Ku Klux Klan for the past two decades. “They’re taking our heritage from us. They’re taking the freedom out of America.”