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For some folks, it's not enough to drive around with a Confederate battle flag flying from the sunroof of their Mazda and see it flying as part of their state flag and be able to buy it just about anywhere. No, some folks need to know that they can walk into any Walmart in Mississippi and see the state flag for sale, emblazoned with the stars and bars of the Confederacy.
Marshall W. Leonard of Tupelo, Mississippi is one such person. So at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Marshall rolled his Confederate flag-covered Mazda up to the night entrance of the local Walmart and tossed a bomb inside.
"Get Yourself Ready"
Marshall is on the record as a big believer in the Mississippi state flag, as much as Facebook comments can be the record. He posted this to the Daily Journal's page on October 28:
"Journal Corporate...You are on final warning...You are part if the problem. As a result of this, yall are going down, along with WALMART, WTVA, REEDS DEPARTMENT STORE, AND ALL THE REST OF THE ANTI-AMERICAN CROOKS. GET YOURSELF READY...THE LORD IS COMMING AFTER YALL....IM NOT KIDDING NO MESSING AROUND ANYMORE! YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED ALL OF YA!"
Ironically, it was Marshall's much beloved state flag that led to his arrest. An officer spotted a small silver car with an enormous Mississippi flag sticking up through the sun roof speed through the red light in front of the Walmart and pulled Marshall over for a traffic violation.
Bombs Over Walmart
Fortunately, while Marshall is a vociferous defender of the state flag, he is a less-than-capable bomb maker. His improvised explosive device made a loud bang but didn't do any damage to the store, though bomb technicians reported it could have if it had been assembled differently. He also had the good Southern manners to warn an employee on break, "You better run."
Still, he is charged with placing a bomb, and faces up to life in prison if convicted. Fortunately, Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre seemed sympathetic. "He's a strong supporter of keeping that flag flying," Aguirre said, "This is his way of bringing attention to that." Under federal law, "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets" is what's known as terrorism.