In my travels, I spent a few weeks in Inverness, Florida, a small town approximately an hour and 30 minutes north of Tampa. I have friends and family who live in Inverness, so I'm there a few times a year.
It wasn't until recently, however, that I realized how overwhelmingly white Inverness is. Being in Tampa, especially by the University of South Florida, diversity is the norm. Every restaurant has tables of white, black, Asian, Latino, and many other ethnicities. But establishments in Inverness were very, very white. In three weeks there, I saw only one black family in a local restaurant.
While out for a stroll down Inverness's main road, I perhaps saw a reason why Inverness is so white.
A Confederate Flag rally sprung up out of nowhere on a Sunday afternoon. Granted, it is not a mass movement, but it was enough folks to be seen. They flew Confederate flags, Don't Tread on Me Flags, and Molon Labe flags. They received several honks of approval from passing drivers.
This doesn't happen in Tampa. While there is a giant, obnoxious Confederate flag that flies alongside I-75 in Tampa, personal flags are rarely seen and rallies don't just happen.
I've mentioned several times on this website that I am not a fan of the Confederate flag. I believe it was an enemy battle flag that opposed the national flag I signed up to defend. Fighters carrying that flag killed more Americans than the Nazis, Iraqis, or Al Qaeda ever did. It belongs in a museum or at a historical marker.
No, I did not engage the Confederate flag rally with my views. I was highly outnumbered and wasn't there to argue. I was there to mosey down Main Street on my Sunday afternoon.