Confederate Flag Stirs Emotions at Fayetteville Parade
Posted November 10, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE — Many Americans are flying the Stars and Stripes this weekend, remembering the men and women who protected freedom. But some people in Fayetteville are seeing red after watching a group of veterans wave the Confederate flag.
As marching bands played the patriotic tunes and soldiers saluted the crowd at Fayetteville's Veterans Day parade, a group of men proudly carried the Confederate flag down the street.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans say they are exercising their right to free speech by flying the Confederate flag in the parade.
"We're here to honor Confederate veterans and soldiers who fought to defend our country," says one of the marchers. "I'm sorry if they're offended by it, but we have a right to be in the parade."
Some parade watchers say the group is exercising their rights under the First Amendment.
"I think it's wonderful," says Fayetteville resident Mary Garcia. "Freedom of expression. It's the South, and I love it."
Others say it is a symbol of a divisive time in the nation's history that is better left in private.
"We go by the pledge, and the pledge says, 'one nation indivisible,' and they seem to forget that we all fought under one," says Fayetteville's, Theodore Robbins.
Because the parade is sponsored by the city, no group can be denied the right to march.