Stalemate continues over Confederate flag pole in front of business

Stalemate continues over Confederate flag pole in front of business

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - An Orangeburg business owner who wanted to remove the Confederate flag from a plot of land he claims to own in front of his store is in a stalemate with members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Several members of the group surrounded the flag in front of the Edisto River Creamery on Wednesday morning and claimed the business owner, Tommy Daras, did not have a claim to the piece of land the flag currently stands on.

According to SCV, the former owner of the property, Maurice Bessinger -- of Maurice's BBQ fame -- gave the local chapter that portion of the land where the flagpole sits as a gift in the 1990's. The group said they have a deed and they pay taxes on the property. Daras, on the other hand, said his property title does not include those details.

Online records show the SCVs have a deed of the property. Darras however, showed us his title showing he owns the property as well.

Daras wanted to replace the Confederate battle flag with an American flag instead, with both opposing sides sharing choice words over the meaning of the flag. The Mother Emanuel shootings were used as one example.

"Explain to me why you put the huge flag up after the crisis in Charleston," Daras asked the SCV members.

"We had a five-by-eight and I put a six-by-ten up there because let me tell you a couple of things. Those pictures of Dylann roof, we're not 100 percent sure that they were legit," the SCV members said.

Daras said his business and his employees have been threatened because of the flag's dominant display in front of the business.

Daras was going to remove the flag Wednesday morning but decided instead to meet with his team to discuss the next steps. However, Daras said he will end up removing it.

"Absolutely. Absolutely. There will be no stopping me at this point," Daras said.

Members of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans said the flag should remain on the property. A spokesperson for the local chapter said, "There's so much about this that has been misrepresented. We get along with everybody, we are not a hate group."

Daras and the Sons of The Confederate Veterans said they will now take the matter to court.

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