Veterans’ Day parades in Tallahassee will still be allowed to feature Confederate Flags, despite a ban on handing them out to guests. According to Tallahassee.com, Confederate Flags will no longer be allowed to be handed out at the Tallahassee Veterans’ Day parade.
Vet Events Tallahassee made a final decision on the Confederate Flag issue last week. Although the group is a private organization, it receives in-kind donations from the community via city and county donations.
Joe West, founder and president of Vet Events, says, “Anybody that has been in the armed forces has sworn to die for the United States Constitution. When we make the decision that we’re going to take one of those rights away from a small group of people… we’re very uncomfortable with that…”
He continued, “Sadly, we as an organization charged with hosting events that honor those who were willing to give their lives to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States now find ourselves having to revoke one of those rights to a Veteran Service Organization in order to appease a small segment of the Community.”
The Veterans’ Day parade decision comes after people made complaints about the Confederate Flags following last year’s parade. It was at the request of the NAACP that the group decided to ban Confederate Flags from being handed out. The NAACP has not yet officially responded to media inquiries about the issue.
However, Dale Landry, president of Tallahassee’s NAACP Chapter did voice his take on the subject. He says that veterans of the Confederacy are Confederate Veterans and not veterans of the United States.
“Sons of Confederate Veterans did not defend the Constitution, they fought against the constitution,” says Landry.
According to WCTV, Landry believes that if the Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans are permitted to march in the parade, that other groups with historical relevance, such as the Black Panthers, should also be allowed in the parade.
Meanwhile, West expanded upon the Vets Events stance by saying, “[There are] three or four different entries in the Veteran’s Day Parade that involve Civil War Era organization. They will be allowed to continue to fly those flags. They will not leave. They will not be removed from the parade at anyone’s request. Vet Events Tally as an organization is not going to re-write history to please a few people. The flags of the confederacy will be in the parade the Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans will participate in the parade.”
Although the NAACP has not yet officially responded, Landry is not happy that Confederate Flags will still be on display at Veterans’ Day parades in Tallahassee, despite the ban on handing them out. He says that he has plans to contact both Leon County and the city of Tallahassee regarding the issue. A bill banning confederate flags from public property is also being heard via the Florida State legislature.
The Confederate Flag continues to be a topic of debate across America. Yesterday a student at Free State High School in Kansas was told to remove a Confederate Flag from his truck. He was told that he can no longer display the flag while on school property.
The Tallahassee Veterans’ Day parade ruling, and the Free State High School ban are just the two most recent Confederate Flag controversies sweeping the nation. It will be interesting to see if other parades and schools, especially in the South, follow suit or if the Confederate Flag will continue to be an issue in the future.
[Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images]