Several events scheduled at State House when KKK is in town

Published: Jul. 14, 2015 at 2:29 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2015 at 2:29 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Confederate flag is gone from the State House complex, but the controversy over it will be back in a few days.

The removal of the flag will be an issue as a Ku Klux Klan group heads to Columbia for a protest.

By the time members of a Klan group based in North Carolina get here, the only reminder of the battle flag will be a patch of fresh sod near Gervais and Main.

The group that calls itself the Loyal White Knights claims it will have one to two hundred people in attendance.

But they will likely be outnumbered by several other organizations including a black educators group out of Jacksonville, Florida, a separate event near the African-American monument called "Family Black Heritage Day",members of a Sons of Confederate Veterans group and a prayer vigil that could draw hundreds and put together by leadership of Trenholm United Methodist Church.

"Our aim is to gather and pray," says Senior Rev. Mike Smith. "To gather as many Christians and people of good will who will show up to pray for peace, to pray for hearts to be changed, to pray for transformation, to pray for repentance."

One thing we won't likely see Saturday, is Klan members wearing full hoods and concealing their faces.

State law says very specifically that is against the law on public property.

We will see a heavy law enforcement presence, led by the Department of Public Safety, but also involving SLED, the Columbia Police Department and Department of Natural Resources.

A DPS spokeswoman says the security plan will be similar to what worked so well as thousands gathered here for the removal of the battle flag.

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