A student has been forced to leave his college after he was pictured holding guns and a Confederate flag while standing next to the Charlottesville, Virginia, statue that was the focus earlier this month of a white supremacist rally.
Allen Armentrout did not attend the white supremacist rally at which a counter-demonstrator was killed after a car ploughed into her, but donned a Confederate uniform and traveled to Charlottesville days after the violence to pose with the controversial statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. He was met with protest from local residents, who chanted "terrorist go home" at him, the Associated Press reported A photograph of a woman swearing at Armentrout went viral at one point.
Friends, she was flipping off that fella because he was in a Confederate uniform. Not because of his weight or nerdiness. pic.twitter.com/i4ZmpfmMifAugust 21, 2017
The student was pictured with a semi-automatic handgun, an AR-15 rifle and a Confederate flag, an image he said led to private Pensacola Christian College in Florida asking him to leave their program.
"I have been released from my school and will be unable to return to college to finish my senior year," Armentrout told WX2 News. "I'm processing this and making adjustments to my life to compensate for this scrutiny,” he added.
He also told the Pensacola News Journal that Confederate history had been misrepresented by the KKK and Nazis, and that he wanted to share his views on the history of the south, adding: “I went up there to represent what I believe is right.”
College students who participated in the white supremacist rally were not kicked out of their colleges if they were state-run, but private colleges do not have the same rules.
Armentrout, who is originally from North Carolina, said he wanted to “honor the greatest American that ever lived” by visiting the statue.
As he posed for a picture next to the divisive monument, one resident told Armentrout the statue—whose removal was being protested by white supremacists at the Unite the Right march on August 12—was coming down, to which Armentrout said he responded: “No, it's not. The state of Virginia has a law that protects monuments like this."
Armentrout said his dismissal from college would have a big impact on his future and he is now looking for a different place to study.
"I'm a born-again Christian and I believe this wrench has hindered my attempt to serve the Lord,” he told the news station. “I believe a Christian institution should support patriotic individuals who want to stand for American tradition and beliefs. It really hurts me a lot when you try to do what's right and you get attacked.”
Pensacola Christian College did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.
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