A black couple turned away a contractor who arrived with a giant Confederate flag on his car

The legacy of American Civil War is one with a lot of emotional weight for most Americans, one flashpoint has always been what is the Confederate flag. For some a symbol of historical pride, but for others it is a reminder of centuries of oppression and bigotry. And when Allison Brown saw the contractor she'd recently hired pull up to her house in an Atlanta suburb with a giant Confederate flag hanging from his SUV, she took a stand.



Confederate flag capture on ring cam

"Hi, you know what I do apologize. I know you've come from a very long way but we're going to use someone else," Allison said politely when she spotted the Confederate battle flag. Her husband Zeke said that she was upset with the flag, to which Allison replied, "No, I'm beyond upset with the flag."



The contractor offered to take the flag down but the damage was done. "No, you don't need to take it down. You can continue to believe what you need to believe, sir. But no, I cannot pay you for your services. Thank you, have a good day." And with that the man got into his car and left.



The story went viral and people did not shy away from praising Brown for her steadfastness in an emotionally charged situation, and for treating the man like she would like to be treated.

The battle flag, or the flag we know today as the CSA (Confederate States of America) flag, did not start life as the official banner of the Confederacy. It was first the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and was only adopted in the upper third of the official flag in 1863. The version we know today did not come to be known as the CSA flag until the early twentieth century when it was revived by the KKK and the Dixiecrat party.



Despite the historical murkiness of the flag's true history people remain divided about its meaning. In 2015 a pew poll found that, "Fifty-seven percent of the country saw the flag as a symbol of Southern pride, including 66% of all whites and 75% of Southern whites. But 72% of blacks saw a symbol of racism."

With that in mind maybe the contractor should have had some idea that showing up to a black family's home with the giant Confederate battle flag was a maybe a bad idea, but it appears that "pride" took center stage.

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When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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