Bursey calls himself the oldest living Confederate prisoner of war. He says he is still out on bond after he burned the Confederate flag in February 1969, during a protest at USC Columbia in February 1969.
Bursey, as a 19 year-old USC student also sold Vietcong flags on campus and was jailed for nearly two years after he attacked a local selective service office and poured paint over records. His best friend and fellow vandal turned out to be a government informant.
Bursey began his life-long career as a progressive activist in 1968 as the SC State Traveler for the Communist Party USA infiltrated Southern Student Organizing Committee. He later founded the Grass Roots Organizing Workshop in 1975, which begat the South Carolina Progressive Network in 1995.
Bursey ran for the South Carolina State House on the Labor Party ticket in 2011.
The state chair of the Labor Party was Bursey’s long time comrade, Donna DeWitt, a leader of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. DeWitt was also a co-chair of Bursey’s Progressive Network and in recent years the pair have lead the South Carolina affiliate of the socialist/communist-dominated Alliance for Retired Americans.