Stilp burn

Activist Gene Stilp burns a combined Nazi-Confederate flag on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds in Leesburg on June 12. 

The burning of a combined Confederate-Nazi flag in Leesburg Tuesday went off as planned, but not without its share of protesters.

Activist Gene Stilp, who organized the event, talked over protesters and some supporters Tuesday on the grounds of the Loudoun County Courthouse before lighting fire to the joint flag, which he makes himself and features a Nazi flag on one side and the Confederate flag on the other.

“This is a free country,” said Stilp. “People can say what they want just so long as there’s no violence, and the idea here is to make a strong statement about what we feel the Confederate flag stands for and what the Nazi flag stands for by joining them together we’ve done that in burning it—a very strong symbolic statement about these horrible symbols.”

Stilp sought permission to hold the event in May with the intention of educating the public on “misguided value systems” that “stand for racism, hatred, bigotry, white supremacy, racial intimidation, slavery and death.”

In April, an arrest in Leesburg of a self-described white nationalist who was connected to the Charlottesville riots prompted the activist to organize the demonstration. This is one of several events Stilp has held in the face of controversy.

Stilp on a couple occasions competed with protesters shouting as he read off his statements.

“Get that flag off the ground,” one shouted.

“I’ll give you $400 bucks if you light yourself on fire,” said another.

Several protesters that stayed after the event concluded would not comment after the demonstration. One hung a Confederate flag on the fence near the burning.

“To be in the midst, to see his boldness and courageousness in burning the flag and all the heckling behind him, I think it invoked something in me,” said local attorney Marcia Wright, agreeing with Stilp's event. “It’s interesting how people want the courtesy of free speech when it doesn’t apply to something that isn’t offensive to them.”

Stilp, who spoke for about 15 minutes, added, “We’re trying to make people think. There are people on the whole scheme of the bell curve that will never change, other people who don’t fly such flags, and people in the middle who don’t think about what they are flying. By doing this it may help them think more about what they are flying. It’s not just a symbol of rebels and things like that, it has a symbol of hate behind it.”

The Loudoun NAACP and Loudoun Freedom Center are holding a unity rally in Leesburg tonight as a response to Stilp's demonstration. Stilp said he plans to attend.

 

(17) comments

Well Water Person

Well, what do you know, another Carpetbagger in the county telling us we should live.
Thats why Damnyankee is still one word.

CindyLou

hmmmm, I never agree with Loudoun 4 Trump either, he really lights a fire under me most of the time!! HA! I agree with him also!!!

westLOUDOUNer

I bought a whole bag of marshmallows & forgot about the burning. What a waste.

Lawman

Don't always agree with Loudoun 4 Trump, but, I do in this instance

RoundHillGuy

agitators like this guy and antifa do nothing except cause trouble and divide people under the guise of the cause du jour. He's only going to the unity rally to cause further division.

MAGA Morons Are Governing America

And that explains why you feel Trump is so wrong for America, right? You have no use for people who thrive on exploiting divisions. Yeah...thought so.

AFF

Yea- you should have seen the time this guy erected a gigantic not to scale replica of the Statue of Liberty. He placed it in public in the middle of a river for everyone to see. What a jerk.

amerigirl

So people defending our freedom from oppression are divisive? I don't think so. People need to stand up to hate.

Loudoun4Trump

From the picture it looks like this out of state moron drew a crowd of 3 people to watch his court jester act -- 2 of them look like they work for the town and have to be there....zero support with the exception from this paper that has run two articles on it now...

amerigirl

Three people I wouldn't want to met in a dark alley, and I'm white.

amerigirl

Outside the fence, they never show how many were inside, you can only hear some of their voices.

More Cowbell

In real news, the CAPs had a Stanley Cup Champion parade in DC. This should be on the gossip portion, not front page.

amerigirl

Go Caps! More attended that than Trumps inauguration.

Loudoun 4 Trump

Whatever you may think about the confederate flag its time to accept the fact that it has been appropriated by hate. Hate owns the flag now and it means nothing else. The swastika was originally a buddhist symbol but they don't own it anymore. It's time to move on and accept the flag as a symbol of hate and then we can begin to heal as a community.

amerigirl

Amen

Dingo

Now go home Gene and try to stir the pot in PA, not many people jumped at the bait here in Loudoun. Maybe you can get your riot there.

David Dickinson

It looks like this activist and the news coverage he garnered just gave the pro-Confederate flag Corey Stewart a victory.

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