Florida's "Rednecks for Obama" Flag Combines "Hope" Poster with Confederate Flag
The sight of the image of America's first black president juxtaposed next to a Confederate flag may be jarring to some, but 16-year-old Lee County resident Ryan Turner, the founder of the grassroots "Rednecks for Obama" movement (or something), says the use of the images together is meant to show that the president has broad support.
Turner's father died ten years ago from prostate cancer. The disease could have been easily treatable, but the elder Turner was without health insurance and passed away. Ryan Turner believes Obamacare would prevent such needless deaths in the future.
Turner started a "Rednecks for Obama" Facebook page and on the opening of the new Lee County Democrats headquarters he brought a flag which combined Shepard Fairey's famous "Hope" poster with the Confederate flag.
"If somebody is offended by it, I can understand it because they're only seeing one half of the flag," Ryan's uncle Tony Turner told NBC2.
"We're rednecks, but we're not racists," added Ryan, who sees the flag as a symbol of heritage, not hate.
Indeed, leaders of the local Democratic party asked Ryan to take the flag down, but the county's local NAACP chapter didn't seem to mind.
"Not if the intention is positive," James Muwakkil, president of Lee County's NAACP, told the station. "For us to be here in the Deep South, and to see whites embracing an African-American man -- we love it."
The Obama campaign refused to comment on the mixture of the images, but does say it welcomes the self-proclaimed rednecks support.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.