A North Carolina chocolate shop is encouraging members of the public to burn the Confederate flag in response to a feud with a Sons of the Confederacy group.
Matthew Shepard, the owner of Matthew’s Chocolates in Hillsborough, North Carolina, claims to have been engaged in an ongoing dispute with a Sons of Confederate Veterans group. Shepard is unhappy that the group has been holding Confederate heritage events on the street outside of his shop, claiming that they’re there almost every Saturday.
In an attempt to rid the area of Confederate heritage groups, Shepard has offered free chocolate to anyone who burns a Confederate flag outside of his shop. Many liberals and individuals opposed to any and all Confederate memorabilia have expressed their support of his proposition.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans group have said that they reject “acts or ideologies of racial or religious bigotry,” and merely seek to honor the American South’s Confederate heritage. A community member affiliated with the group posted on Facebook about the feud, posing with Confederate flags right next to Shepard’s sign.
Steve Marley claimed that Matthew’s Chocolates is facing other threats to its business model, and claims that Shepard is merely using the Sons of Confederate Veterans group active in the area as an excuse for the lack of business his store is receiving.
The mayor of Hillsborough has expressed his opposition to Confederate flag display and events, while recognizing that it is protected free speech under the First Amendment.
As the display of Confederate memorabilia continues to fuel a contentious political battle across the American south and the entire country, it’s likely that more municipal feuds like that which has surfaced in Hillsborough will occur.
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