|This shot is from the 2014 Roanoke Christmas Parade and it helped begin the controversy.|
(If you'll go to the "Search" box on the right and type in "Confederate Battle Flag," you will find my posts about the controversy. There are quite a few of them.)
A story today in Roanoke's local daily (here) outlines the new rules, formulated before the most recent St. Patrick's Day Parade, and how those rules have basically shut out the Confederate battle flag, the one so despised by many of us. Last year's parade brought to head the pending confrontation when people not invited to the parade (second amendment adherents and battle flag supporters) squeezed in behind the Fincastle Confederate group to rub opponents' noses in their beliefs.
Fortunately, an intelligent and community-minded Downtown Roanoke Inc. (which sponsors the parade) and City Attorney's office went looking for answers (I was invited to take part and did) and found them, beginning with the understanding that this parade is a celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, not of the Confederate Battle Flag.
I wrote about the parade a number of times in the interim and met with DRI and even the Sons of Confederate Veterans--who would not budge from their position of demanding the flag and rifles be represented in the parade. My friend Dan Casey of the Roanoke daily wrote several columns about the matter and the Roanoke NAACP finally jumped aboard the steaming train about a year ago, organizing a boycott, that wasn't especially effective, truth be told.
I was disappointed throughout the entire two years that went into this effort that the Roanoke Christian community sat on its collective hands and did not defend Christ's birthday. It a non-Christian (me) to raise the alarm and a business/government group (DRI/Roanoke City) to do anything effective.
I say "congratulations" to those who helped formulate the tough, fair new rules and I will also say, "Merry Christmas" to all of you, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the second amendment guys.