BEAUFORT, SC 12/05/2011 -- "To me it is a heritage thing and a pride thing it is not a racist thing whatsoever," said USCB student Byron Thomas.
Thomas is all of a sudden the most popular guy on the Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina. After a YouTube video and feature on CNN.
Byron decided to do something he couldn't do at home. He hung the Confederate flag in his dorm room window.
Byron says he did a research paper on the flag in September. "I'm no idiot. I researched both sides but in the end i formed my own conclusion," said Thomas.
In November the housing staff said the flag must come down.
Doug Oblander is the Vice Chancellor of Student Development. The details of the case took him by surprise.
"If you had asked me who would have the Confederate flag up in their window i would not have thought it would be an African American student," said Oblander.
After an appeal by Byron, national attention and a review by university lawyers Byron was told Thursday morning his flag could go back up.
"That flag means to me Southern heritage. I love the South, I've always lived in the South. Everything about the South to me is great," said Thomas.