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Meltdown In Dixie

In rural Orangeburg, South Carolina, in the wake of the Charleston Massacre, a battle erupts between the Sons of Confederate Veterans and an ice cream shop owner forced to fly the Confederate flag in his parking lot. The flag has flown in Orangeburg since 2000, when former shop owner Maurice Bessinger raised the flag in protest over it coming down from the SC State House dome. Bessinger, a self-avowed segregationist, deeded the plot of land where the flagpole stood to the local Sons of Confederate Vets chapter to ensure the flag continued to fly in Orangeburg long after his death.

In 2015, Tommy Daras, a newly retired native of Maryland moved to Orangeburg, and spotted Bessinger's old restaurant. He bought the place and opened the Edisto River Creamery, not worried about the giant Confederate flag flying in the parking lot. Tommy didn't consider the flag to be a problem. But that changed after the racially motivated Charleston Massacre in June 2015. Witnessing how assailant Dylann Roof used the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate, Tommy decided he had to bring the flag down from besides his ice cream shop. But 'Keeper of the Flag' Buzz Braxton took Bessinger's charge of keeping the flag flying in Orangeburg to heart. Buzz, a true ole southern boy if there ever was, wears Confederate Memorabilia with pride and reflects on the 'good old days' of segregation with ease. He believes the Old South is disappearing and will do everything in his power to try to hold on. Tommy joins forces with local civil rights attorney, Justin Bamberg and takes the Sons of Confederate Vets to court. He also launches a far-reaching public relations campaign to separate himself from the flag. But will it be enough to get a deeply entrenched symbol of the South removed?

With Confederate Symbolism coming down around the country, can Tommy get the flag down in Orangeburg? How far are the Sons of Confederate Vets willing to go to keep the flag up? This intimate, verite-driven short documentary film explores the broader role of Confederate symbolism in the 21st century and the lingering racial oppression which these symbols help maintain.

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