Greenville City Council passes first reading to regulate hanging - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville City Council passes first reading to regulate hanging of flags at parking garages

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Confederate flag being flown in downtown Greenville. (March 19, 2017 FOX Carolina) Confederate flag being flown in downtown Greenville. (March 19, 2017 FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The confederate flag has been a hot topic across South Carolina for several years. Now it’s become a topic for Greenville City Council in a place you may not expect.

"Certainly people can have flags on public places,” explained council woman Amy Ryberg Doyle. “Our intention is to protect the public."

Council woman, Amy Ryberg Doyle says the topic was brought up after a group of protestors mounted a Confederate battle flag on a truck on top of one of the city's parking garages, on the final day of the NCAA tournament.

James Bessenger with South Carolina's Secessionist Party brought the conversation to light after flying the confederate battle flag from the bed of a pick-up truck.

"We've totally expected that to happen ever since we've did it,” explained Bessenger. “I'm actually surprised it took them this long to do it. "

Prior to the incident, there was no ordinance stating parking garages managed by the city could not be used for expression.

"Our intention is to not to undermine anybody's first amendment rights,” explained Ryberg Doyle. “The parking garage is a business. We operate them as such. We have to protect the aesthetics of it and how they're perceived by the public."

Bessenger says the group has plans in the future for more protests and demonstrations involving the confederate flag in Greenville.

"Greenville hasn't heard the last from us,” said Bessenger, “This just gives us another reason to come back."

The council unanimously approved the measure, but will be open to public input when it’s brought up for second reading coming up next month.  If the council votes yes again in two weeks, the ordinance would go into effect immediately.

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