BRANDON, Fla. (AP) — A huge Confederate battle flag has been lowered from its towering pole near Interstates 4 and 75 outside Tampa after threats appeared on social media to set it on fire during protests of the killings of black people by white authorities, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

David R. McCallister leads the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He wants people to know that removing the 30-foot by 60-foot battle flag wasn’t a decision made in fear, adding that they don’t want the flag to be an “excuse for anyone to do illegal acts.”