HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It was a big turnout in Hillsborough Saturday for a “Southern Heritage” rally and ride.
The event generated lots of buzz from those on both sides of the Confederate flag debate.
“I don’t support the flag it just represents hate for me,” said Hillsborough resident, Felicia Wright.
“People misconstrue this flag and what it’s all about and I think they think it’s about hate but it’s really not,” said Hillsborough resident Lisa Denton. “It’s not to us anyway. We’re here for the right reasons.”
Denton said one of those reasons is about honoring the past.
“We definitely have ancestors who fought and gave their life,” she said.
That theory doesn’t sit well with others who attended the rally.
Across the street from the Southern Heritage crowd was a group who called themselves the “Red Strings.”
They held signs with the U.S. flag that read “justice for all.”
“We should stand up and say that we don’t agree,” said Jennifer Miller. “I know that officially people don’t want us to cause trouble and we don’t want to but we don’t want them to think that they can just come take this peaceful town that’s come a long way and turn it into their racist stomping ground.”
Hundreds showed up to attend the rally, which caused some commotion on Churton Street.
In order to prepare for the crowd and all the traffic, Hillsborough police brought in reinforcements to help handle the masses.
“The Orange County Sheriff’s department and North Carolina Highway Patrol and officers with both Chapel Hill and Carrboro showed up to help us,” said Lt. Davis Trimmer with Hillsborough police.
In addition to the Southern Heritage rally, at least 850 cyclists were in town for the Carolina Tarwheels’ Bikefest 2015.
Police said traffic generated from the two events was smooth.