Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey has banned the Confederate battle flag from their annual Christmas Parade. The Sons of Confederate Veterans have had a float in the parade for more than 20 years, but decided not to partake this year because of the ban. Northwestern State University Professor Holly Stave says she understands some people want to honor their families, but agrees with Mayor Posey’s decision.
“That flag has come to represent racism and hatred, it may not originally have meant that but an individual cannot control the meaning of a symbol.”
Posey told The Sons of Confederate Veterans they could fly any other Confederate flag except the battle flag. Stave says she doesn’t believe this will affect attendance to the parade because people go to see the lights and eat the great food. She says there are other ways to honor our Southern heritage.
“I will honor them by fighting for peace, emulating Gandhi and Dr. King, not by clinging to memories of a time where really, really bad decisions were made.”
Dakota Scoggins, owner of a Natchitoches clothing shop called Old River Clothier, says he’s defending his family by selling t-shirts displaying the Confederate battle flag. He says he is worried that the mayor’s decision will lead to less people attending the parade and hurt their economy later down the line.
“People are very, very frustrated with the decision. Some people are getting mad and saying they aren’t going to do business in Natchitoches this year and that just hurts us.”
Scoggins says Mayor Posey did not go through the correct processes to keep something out of the parade. He believes this decision is hypocritical because Melrose Plantation brings in thousands of tourists each year.
“We can have all these plantations that date back to that era and yet people take the Confederate flag and twist it into something that they think is racist or something like that.”