SOUTH CAROLINA: Leader Says S.C. Secessionist Party Disbanding

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — The chairman of the South Carolina Secessionist Party says the group is dissolving.

Members of the South Carolina Secessionist Party in Charleston frequently display the Confederate battle flag at White Point Garden. Matthew Fortner/Staff

The Anderson Independent Mail reported Friday that chairman James Bessenger says “the organization was taking a turn I didn’t want it to take.” More specifically, he says that the people genuinely interested in history were being outnumbered by “blatant and racist homophobes.”

The group is responsible for at least two Confederate flag displays in Clemson since September. But he says the membership fractured before the move of a Confederate flag to the state Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum this month.

A senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, Keegan Hankes, says the group was relatively minor in the larger Confederate movement.