Beachgoers Blasted for Displaying Confederate Flag Beach Towel in Evanston

A protest is planned for Friday at Lighthouse Beach after LaShandra Smith-Rayfield confronted a group of people displaying a Confederate flag towel

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An Evanston woman's video has gone viral after she confronted a group of beachgoers displaying a controversial symbol.

Earlier this week, LaShandra Smith-Rayfield went to Lighthouse Beach after seeing a photo of a Confederate flag towel on display on social media.

“Disappointed was the first thing that popped into my mind,” the school administrator and mother of four said Thursday during a small rally at the beach.

The viral video, captured by Smith-Rayfield, shows the confrontation as she calls out the group of people sitting next to a large Confederate flag-printed beach towel draped over a nearby fence.

"That flag right there is my swastika," she said to the group in the video that she's since deleted. "If you aren't racist, then why are you holding that flag up?"

Smith-Rayfield said she was most upset by a man nearby who intervened while she was recording.

“I’m not going to argue with a man of color about that flag,” she said to the man. “It’s stupid. I’m talking to them, I’m putting them out on blast.”

On Thursday, the mayor of Evanston condemned the flag’s display and told NBC 5 that the city is looking into ordinances to determine whether or not officials have done all they can to ensure public spaces are welcoming to all visitors while still protecting the right to free speech.

“Let me be clear,” Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty wrote on Facebook. “Any symbols of hate, superiority, or white nationalism are not welcome in Evanston.”

A protest is planned for 2 p.m. at Lighthouse Beach on Friday.

"Saying that you’re not racist is not enough. It’s 2020," Smith-Rayfield said. "Being anti-racist means you're a person that puts your feet to work, you put your mouth, your hands, your feet, your body; you get into the mix."

NBC 5 does not know the identities of beachgoers seen in the video and is not able to reach out to them for comment.

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