(KMOV) – The Ku Klux Klan is making plans to visit more towns in the St. Louis area.
The Traditionalist American Knights, as they are called, say they were quietly recruiting in St. Louis County, and they are looking at several places to appear this weekend including Crystal City, Festus, Arnold and Bonne Terre.
“That's the thing. It's not a demonstration,” one Klansman told News 4. “We have a petition to get the Confederate battle flag restored at Missouri state historic sites."
News 4 spoke to a man who’s an imperial officer with the Klan and is based in Jefferson City. He’s circulating a flier regarding the Confederate flag. He also says the Ku Klux Klan is a largely misunderstood group. He says it is Christian, patriotic and dedicated to preserving what he says is white culture.
"We have no hatred towards any race,” he says. “That's the thing that's been portrayed about us, and there have been people who have used our name in the wrong way in the past."
That explanation is even by his own admission a hard sell in Bonne Terre where News 4 asked residents what they thought about the possibility of the Ku Klux Klan coming to their town.
"I'm on the fence…I don't think they need to be coming into towns and everything where everybody like me has mixed emotions about it," says one Bonne Terre resident. “They have a right to do that, I guess. I think it's kind of ignorant…but everyone's got a point of view."
Bonne Terre city leaders are being tight-lipped about whether the Klan will be allowed to gather there. The mayor had no comment, and the police chief was not available to speak.
News 4 will keep you posted on if the Ku Klux Klan does show up.