From The Augusta Chronicle:

Byron Thomas has decided not to hang a Confederate flag in his dorm room window at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

The 2011 North Augusta High School graduate displayed the flag after Labor Day and took it down just before Thanksgiving, after he was asked to by campus officials because they received complaints. University officials later decided he could hang the flag because they did not want to inhibit his freedom of speech.

This brought Thomas, who is black, national attention. He does not see the rebel flag as a racist symbol, but as “a symbol of Southern pride/heritage.”

“Only an ignorant/racist person can make that flag a racist symbol,” he said in an e-mail.

Even so, Thomas decided not to display the familiar battle flag again because the focus had shifted to free speech and away from holding to traditional views.

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