A small Southern heritage group abandoned its plan to hold a rally on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol this morning in support of the Confederate battle flag, a symbol they say is unfairly saddled with a racist connotation.

Still, a group of counter-protesters gathered anyway, ready to thwart the flag demonstration.

The small cadre of Confederate flag supporters, maybe a half-dozen strong and led by B.C. Johnson of southern Minnesota, regrouped in a parking lot of a city park in Savage, in the south metro, for a short demonstration. The protest was moved, Johnson said, because he was afraid his group might be assaulted by counter-protesters.

Johnson, who is black and hails from South Carolina, the epicenter of recent Confederate flag demonstrations nationally, said he was irritated by the counter-protesters’ descriptions of him as a “white supremacist.”