Man who carried a Confederate flag at the Capitol on January 6 is sentenced to 3 years

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WASHINGTON — A Delaware man who carried a Confederate flag through the US Capitol during riots on Jan. 6 was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday.

Kevin Seefried, 53, was convicted of five counts stemming from his role in the riots, including obstruction of an official proceeding: the joint session of Congress that was working to certify the Electoral College vote that day.

The government had sought a 70-month sentence for Seefried, while his lawyers had sought a year in prison.

Seefried addressed the court before sentencing and said he knew entering the Capitol was wrong.

“I never wanted to send a hate message,” he said.

Photographs of Seefried walking through the Capitol with his Confederate flag quickly became some of the best-known images of the January 6 attack. Seefried brought the flag «as a symbol of protest, but failed to consider the logic of those who view the flag as a symbol of American racism,» his lawyers wrote in the sentencing memorandum filed last week.

“Now that the photos of him with the flag have become iconic symbols of the horror of January 6th, Mr. Seefried fully understands the damage he has caused,” they wrote, adding that Seefried is aware that “the community and even history can see him as a racist.»

Seefried was the first rioter in the building to interact with US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who led Seefried and other rioters away from the Senate chamber entrance, prosecutors said. Goodman had ordered Seefried to leave the building. In response, Seefried asked Goodman where the members of Congress were and «hit him with the base of the flag pole,» prosecutors said.

«You can shoot me, man, but we’re going in,» Seefried told Goodman, according to prosecutors.

Seefried attended the riot with his son, Hunter, 24, who was charged with him and was sentenced in October to two years in prison. During Hunter’s sentencing, his attorney blamed the elder Seefried for allegedly pressuring his son to storm the Capitol. Kevin Seefried received permission from a judge to travel to Washington to attend the sentencing of his son, but was not seen in the courtroom during the October hearing.

More than 900 people have been arrested in connection with January 6 so far, resulting in nearly 500 guilty pleas and dozens of significant prison sentences. The investigation is ongoing.

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