Confederate Flag Carrier Sentenced to 3 Years for Actions on January 6

February 9, 2023

A Delaware man who carried the Confederate flag into the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was sentenced to 36 months behind bars for his actions during the insurrection and attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. 

53-year-old Kevin Seefried was convicted back in June after U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Trevor McFadden found he had illegally entered the Capitol and paraded the halls outside the Senate chamber.

Handing down his sentence, McFadden noted that Seefried had confronted U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, a Black man, near the Senate chamber and jabbed his Confederate flagpole at him.

“Sir, I hope you realize how deeply offensive, how troubling it is,” McFadden said to Seefried.

Seefried said he was “deeply sorry” for his actions, adding, “My intention was to use my voice…I never wanted to send a message of hate.”

Officer Goodman, who testified at Seefried’s trial, has since been recognized and honored for leading the mob away from Senate chambers toward an area of the Capitol where a larger police presence was being maintained. Goodman described Seefried as angry, calling him “the complete opposite of pleasant.”

Prosecutors had asked Judge McFadden to hand down a sentence of 70 months, or nearly six years.

Seefried’s 24-year-old son, Hunter, was sentenced to 24 months and fined $2,000 on felony and misdemeanor charges. According to the DOJ, the Seefrieds were among the first people to enter the Capitol building after one of its windows was broken.

The Seefrieds had traveled to Washington DC to attend then-President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally. Following Trump’s speech, the father and son spent some 25 minutes inside the breached Capitol, where Kevin Seefried was photographed with the Confederate flag. According to court documents he brought the flag with him from Delaware, where it usually hung outside his home. 

Seefried’s attorneys argued that he did not understand the complex message he was sending by carrying a Confederate battle flag into the U.S. Capitol—something that had never happened before in the history of the United States.

Seefried “was taught that the flag was a symbol of an idealized view of southern life and southern heritage,” said the defense’s sentencing memo. “Lacking an education beyond the ninth grade and lacking even average intellectual capacity, Mr. Seefried did not appreciate the complex and, for many, painful, history behind the Confederate battle flag.”

His attorneys added that Seefried “unequivocally regrets” the feelings that carrying the flag elicited and is “horrified” that the image of him holding it inside the U.S. Capitol will remain on the internet in perpetuity. 

Ahead of sentencing Thursday, Seefried’s attorneys wrote, “He is ashamed, mindful that the community and even history, may view him as a racist.”

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