A group of protesters in Tennessee waved Confederate flags at President Barack Obama on Wednesday while praising his health care reform law.
Rick Martin told The Tennessean that he drove two hours to the president's health care rally in Madison to stand up for his heritage.
"It would be my pleasure to meet the president of the United States," Martin explained. "I served under him in the Marine Corps."
"This is not a hate demonstration, understand?" he added. "This is southern pride. This isn't hate."
Scott Hudson said that he wanted people to understand that he was not part of a "hate group."
"Every bit of this is about respect an honor for our ancestors and the nation that they built, the grounds that they bled red for us," Hudson insisted. "All of our heritage relies on us being united and staying strong, always and forever. Being with each other, whether you are white, black, Korean, Asian, Chinese."
"It don't matter, we are all brothers under God's eyes," he continued. "This is God's country. This is not yours or mine. It's his, and we have to keep God alive in our country."
But Hudson told WPLN that he agreed with the president on at least one point: Obamacare works.
"Personally, I would love to meet the man, I would love to shake his hand, say hi," Hudson explained. "Tell him thank you for the Obamacare because it allowed me to get back surgery, and it helped me out a lot. And it helped my family out a lot."
"Actually, if the man would shake my hand on national TV with me wearing this [Confederate flag] shirt, he just does not know how many southerners would start to smile at him again."