Springfield, Missouri's Jeffrey Tindle has a problem. His neighbors are not fans of the Confederate flag and noose hanging from his garage, even though he promises that the two symbols aren't racist.
Tindle says that the Confederate flag is there to celebrate his Southern heritage. And what about the noose, a traditional threat to African-Americans in the South?
He was teaching his brother to tie knots, according to Tindle.
That excuse isn't holding much water with Tindle's neighbors. According to KSPR, one of those neighbors, Justin Clopton, says the noose and flag are "despicable" symbols of the "bad" parts of the country's history. And extremely racist. "There's no other reason for it," Clopton said.
Tindle was quick to play the "we have African Americans in our family…we don’t hate them" card by telling the reporter "We have African Americans in our family…we don't hate them."
However, Tindle told the station that the flag and noose weren't racist at all—or even connected. After being confronted by a reporter, the flag and noose were removed for a few hours. Then hung back up.
Tindle explained what the flag meant, via Raw Story:
“Representing my southern heritage and my southern pride,” Tindle insisted as he hung the flag. “The Confederate flag, the rebel flag, whatever you choose to call it, it does not stand for racism at all. It stands for pride and heritage.”
That excuse isn't rare, but Tindle's excuse for the noose hanging with the flag sure is. He told KSPR that he was teaching his brother to tie knots. With a noose. Hung above a Confederate flag.
Tindle vowed to keep the flag up, saying it would not be taken down "without some kind of a law."
No word on whether the knot-tying lessons have been completed or there are more in the future.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org