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Thousands Rally To Support Confederate Flag In Florida City

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Jul 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 16:50:02-04

OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- Thousands of people rallied in central Florida in support of flying the Confederate flag.

Police estimated 2,000 vehicles, mostly motorcycles and trucks adorned with the Civil War-era flag, took part in Sunday's gathering in Ocala. The event was being held to back a decision by Marion County to return the Confederate flag to a display outside its government complex.

The Ocala Star-Banner reported participants wore shirts with phrases including "heritage not hate" and talked of defending Southern traditions as the flag's symbolism has been widely debated.

South Carolina removed a Confederate battle flag Friday that flew near its Statehouse, weeks after nine shooting deaths at a historically black church there. Police have charged a man shown in pictures with a Confederate flag, who they say was motivated by hate. 

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)