Kevin Seefried carries a Confederate flag as he protests in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. | Source: SAUL LOEB / Getty
By Bruce C.T. Wright, NewsOne
A man sentenced to three years in prison time for wielding a Confederate Flag as a “weapon” against a Black U.S. Capitol police officer during the insurrection Jan. 6, 2021, says he is “deeply sorry” for his treasonous ways.
Kevin Seefried was excoriated during his sentencing Thursday as a judge reminded the Capitol rioter of the significance of racist optics behind his actions on that fateful day in American history, according to the Washington Post.
During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden explained to Seefried how “deeply offensive” it is to “use a Confederate flag … as a weapon against an African American officer.”
McFadden seemingly expressed doubt at Seefried’s insistence that he was unaware of the racist history of the Confederate flag.
“Even putting aside the racist connotations, which you said you did not intend,” McFadden told Seefried his actions were nonetheless “appalling” considering the insurrection that was aimed at preventing Joe Biden’s election from being certified in a failed effort to restore Donald Trump’s presidency under false pretenses.
The “African American officer” McFadden referenced is Eugene Goodman, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who famously fought back and lured the domestic terrorists and right-wing extremists storming the Capitol away from U.S. Senators and toward backup help.
From the Washington Post: “Seefried jabbed repeatedly at Goodman with the flag and chased him up a flight of stairs, according to the trial testimony. Goodman said Seefried refused to leave and demanded to know where the lawmakers were. When Goodman was joined by reinforcements, Seefried berated the officers for “protecting … liars and thieves.”
Of course, now that Seefried has been brought to justice, he has changed his tune significantly. He said he only brought the Confederate flag to the Capitol because it had been hanging outside of his home
Seefried said he did not intend to represent white supremacy or insurrection, merely a spirit of protest, by bringing to Washington a Confederate flag that had previously hung outside his home in Delaware.
“I never meant to send a message of hate,” Seefried said in court before claiming he was “deeply sorry for my part in Jan. 6, 2021.”
To be clear, the Confederate flag remains a controversial symbol that was at times strategically used to directly challenge and intimidate Black people demanding equality and justice.
Notably, Trump defended the Confederate flag when he was president as a poll in 2020 found that most democratic voters viewed it as a symbol of anti-Black racism.
It was decidedly in that context that Seefried both illegally entered the U.S. Capitol and threatened Officer Goodman with his Confederate flag.