An estimated 2,000 vehicles, mostly motorcycles and trucks adorned with Rebel flags, took part in a rally and ride Sunday afternoon in support of keeping a Confederate flag flying in front of the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala.
The event was organized by David Stone, of Ocala, and was called the Florida Southern Pride Ride. Police officials estimated participation at a couple thousand vehicles.
The ride started about 1 p.m., and by 1:30 p.m. could be seen winding its way through Ocala.
Participants were wearing shirts that said “heritage not hate” and talked of defending a way of life rooted in Southern traditions.
Danny Hart, of Dunnellon, had two Confederate flags and the American flag in the back of his truck. He pointed out that the U.S. flag was flying higher and said that he had come to participate in the ride to “defend freedom.”
Another ride participant, Rick Hart, said, “It’s a history thing. The flag is also a military flag.