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Notices of unverified KKK rally at College of Charleston gain steam on social media

Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (copy)

Members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from Pelham, N.C., argue with members of the crowd at the South Carolina statehouse Saturday, July 18, 2015 in Columbia. Paul Zoeller/Staff

An online claim the College of Charleston will see the largest Ku Klux Klan rally ever held, on Sept. 9, has been increasingly circulating on social media sites.

The rumors received broader exposure when the executive director of the S.C. Democratic Party posted an image of the alleged rally flier on Facebook Thursday.

"So this is happening in 2 weeks in Charleston, SC.," said the official, Christale Spain, in her posting.

One person commenting on the post urged her to take it down, saying "there is no Klan rally." Spain responded to the commenter and to a reporter Friday that she would take the flier image down if and when she confirms it's not true.

Meanwhile the image Spain posted was shared to another 18 Facebook pages, and to all the friends and followers of those pages. It features a picture of convicted Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylan Roof and a drawing of a hooded figure.

City of Charleston and College of Charleston officials said they are not aware of any actual plan or permit request for a rally, but they are aware of the flier images circulating online. City and college officials said they have no evidence the alleged rally plan is real.

"We have not been contacted or heard anything," said Mike Robertson, the college's chief spokesman.

"The College of Charleston and the Charleston Police Department, along with their state and federal partners, are working together in reference to a flyer announcing a Klan rally at the college on September 9, 2017," said Charleston's spokesman, Jack O'Toole. "To date, we have heard from no one with regard to our city's process for permitting and planning such events, and we are continuing to monitor the situation.”

The Loyal White Knights Ku Klux Klan does exist, and the organization's phone number and website address — both of which appear on the image — are easily found online. 

The group's website was not functioning this week but an archived version from Aug. 18 does not show the flier or any mention of such a rally.

Calls to the group's phone number are answered with a recorded, racist message, which directs callers to the website. Downloadable fliers from the Pelham, N.C.-based group have been used several times in Lowcountry neighborhoods.

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Reach David Slade at 843-937-5552. Follow him on Twitter @DSladeNews.

David Slade is a senior Post and Courier reporter. His work has been honored nationally by Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Scripps foundation and others. Reach him at 843-937-5552 or

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