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Plane With Confederate Flag Reading ‘No Votes for Turncoats’ Paid to Fly Over GOP Debate

According to MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, someone has shelled out some cash to make a statement before tonight’s set of GOP debates in South Carolina:

She tweeted a photo today of a plane dragging a Confederate flag through the sky. On the banner are the words “No votes for turncoats,” which yield interesting results when Googled. These results provide a few clues about who might be behind the stunt.

The Virginia Flaggers are a group of activists who describe themselves as “Citizens of the Commonwealth who stand AGAINST those who would desecrate our Confederate Monuments and memorials, and FOR our Confederate Veterans.” They used the “no votes for turncoats” slogan when they linked to this article about South Carolina incumbents who could face voter backlash against their “selling out” on the Confederate flag. While their Facebook header photo is of another plane and banner, they have yet to claim that today’s display is theirs.

The slogan was also the tagline for a protest against many of those same incumbents last September.

Many of the GOP candidates who will be debating tonight have spoken out or taken action against the Confederate flag in recent months, including Jeb Bush and Donald Trump.

[UPDATE 12:02 p.m., 1/15/16] The banner has been claimed by Kirk Lyons‘s Southern Legal Resource Center. SLRC named P. Charles Lunsford, the man who coined the “Heritage, Not Hate” slogan in the 1990s, as the contact person for the stunt.

Mediaite reached out to Lunsford. His statement is included below. Enjoy.

Governor Haley was confronted by two opposing constituencies in the flag issue, one who was bigoted against another and demanding the censorship and oppression of the other’s symbols. She came down solidly on the side of those who were demanding the oppression of the other. It was a dark, sad day in South Carolina. She breached a long standing compromise and led a humiliating attack on a cultural icon of which she has no cultural connection. I now see pictures of her in her cultural garb, surrounded by her own icons and remember her assault on mine. Her action has led to widespread hatred and violence against the oppressed group and shows a dark vestige of the 1950s south when another group demanded the oppression of others against whom they were bigoted…and, like Bull Connor, she cannot even recognize her own bigotry.

Special thanks to Robert at Restoring the Honor for the tip!

[image via screengrab]

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