Federal law enforcement officials Thursday say they have taken into custody a man seen in widely distributed pictures carrying a large Confederate flag during last week's siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Justice Department officials confirmed Kevin Seefried, along with his son, Hunter, turned themselves into the U.S. Marshalls Service in Wilmington, Delaware, about 174 kilometers northeast of Washington.
Published reports say both Seefrieds will be charged with misdemeanor accounts of trespassing and disorderly conduct, while Hunter Seefried has also been charged with destruction of property.
The FBI had distributed a bulletin via social media and elsewhere seeking information about Seefried, featuring four pictures in which he can be seen walking the halls of the Capitol carrying a large Confederate flag, which goes back to the American Civil War between the North and the South in the 1860s, but has come, in modern times, to represent white supremacy.
Author and Civil War historian John Reeves says the flag known today as the Confederate flag was known as the Rebel battle flag during the war, and was a call to arms for the South, while a sign of treason for the those in the North.
Reeves said the flag reemerged during the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s as sign of opposition to efforts to abolish segregation and ensure voting rights for African Americans. He said it is common to see white supremacists carry it at rallies.
Reeves said many in the southern United States have argued the flag is simply a symbol of their heritage, but “Black Americans have always known exactly what it stands for.”