Confederate flag flies next to NCAA arena in South Carolina - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Confederate flag flies next to NCAA arena in South Carolina

Confederate flag flying over a parking garage outside the basketball arena in Greenville. (Source: Joe Gorchow Twitter/WIS) Confederate flag flying over a parking garage outside the basketball arena in Greenville. (Source: Joe Gorchow Twitter/WIS)

PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A small group of protesters flew a large Confederate flag from the top of a parking garage next to the arena where two men's NCAA Tournament games are being played.

The group arrived Sunday morning, raising the flag from the back of a pickup truck. They planned to stay throughout the games and be on grounds as fans arrived at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

Protesters say they hope to make their presence known to the NCAA. The governing body lifted its ban against South Carolina holding championships in 2015.

In 2002, the NAACP held a march in downtown Greenville to protest the state flying the flag on Statehouse grounds during the NCAA regionals at the arena.

On Sunday, North Carolina plays Arkansas followed by Duke against South Carolina.

SLIDESHOW: History of the Confederate flag in South Carolina 

The NCAA released a statement, saying in part, "No symbols that compromise that commitment will be permitted to be displayed on venue property that the tournament controls." 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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