Anthony Hervey — a 49-year-old black activist known for being a vocal proponent of the Confederate flag — died Sunday in a car crash caused by a car-full of black hecklers who chased and verbally attacked Hervey, driving his vehicle off the Mississippi highway.
Hervey was driving home from a rally to preserve the Linn Park Confederate Monument in Birmingham, Alabama, the Daily Mail reports. The memorial is soon to be removed from the park pursuant to a recent vote by Birmingham political leaders.
Hervey was a well-known black activist for preserving the Confederate flag who’s advocacy dates back to more than two decades ago.
In his efforts to oppose movements to change or remove the flag, Hervey often protested by sporting Rebel soldier attire and waving the Confederate flag in Oxford Square, Mississippi.
His reasoning? To honor and raise awareness about the black soldiers who served in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
“[Defending the Confederate flag] is not racism,” Hervey said in 2001 interview reported by Daily Mail. “This is my heritage. [It’s] standing up for home.”
In the car with Hervey was another black Confederate flag supporter, Arlene Barnum, who survived the crash.
Barnum said that the 2005 Ford Explorer crashed when Hervey swerved to avoid another vehicle that pulled up beside them containing about four or five young black men who were shouting angrily at the Confederate flag activists.
“It spun like crazy and we flipped, flipped, flipped,” Barnum recounted to a Mississippi state trooper. “It was awful.”