Long before Joe Wilson (R-SC) made a complete ass out of himself and his party on national television, he fought to keep the Confederate battle flag flying over South Carolina.

The flag came down that year [2000] after Republicans in both houses went for a compromise that would put it on Statehouse grounds at the Confederate Soldier’s monument. The “Magnificent Seven” of Senators who voted to keep the flag up included current Congressman Joe Wilson…

That’s right — Wilson was one of only seven members of the South Carolina Senate to vote to stick it to the blacks keep the battle flag. It was finally brought down under intense national pressure and from an NAACP boycott, which cost the state millions in tourism revenue

Wilson was just being a good foot soldier for the Neo-Confederate cause, as he’s a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization teeming with white supremecists and right-wing extremists. 

Notes the Southern Poverty Law Center,

Early editions of the SCV’s Confederate Veteran newsletter defended the Ku Klux Klan, argued that the United States was created "for white people," and complained that "when a Negro has learned to read he ceases to work."

As DougJ wrote,

No one could have predicted that a white southern Congressman would heckle a black president.

Exactly.