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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Confederate Flag Love Still Super Strong in Ohio

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 11:16 AM

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The 12,000-strong city of Bucyrus, Ohio, down near Mansfield, will host a "Confederate Flag Pride Parade" on Saturday.

The Port Clinton News-Herald reports that roughly 50 vehicles are expected to participate, and that city leaders are expecting neither disruption nor significant changes in traffic volume. 

Event organizers didn't exactly echo the "heritage not hate" refrain of Confederate Flag supporters nationwide. One told the News-Herald that the flag is "not racist at all," that it's "just another red, white and blue flag," a "military thing."

He said that organizers in Bucyrus had been trying to assemble a parade before, but couldn't muster up more than five or 10 vehicles to participate. After this summer's terrorist attack by Dylan Roof in South Carolina, though, and the subsequent removal of the Confederate Flag from the S.C. capitol building, those who contend that the flag is most certainly not a racist symbol have emerged in force. 

The parade's announcement comes shortly after a parade on the other side of town which featured confederate symbols. 

In Willoughby, where the high school's mascot, "The Rebel," is a confederate soldier, and where students sill embroider the confederate flag onto their letterman jackets in spite of school rules,  a downtown parade on Aug. 15 included a float celebrating Sons of Confederate Veterans. That float included a Confederate National Flag and, bizarre as it sounds, an Alabama Sate flag. 

In an editorial in the News-Herald, activist and Willoughby resident Maggie Rice said she thought the float reflected poorly on the city of Willoughby and urged city leaders to apologize. 

"This parade said to people visiting Willoughby, particularly people of color, (including the young girls of the predominantly black dance team who performed) that Willoughby is not for them; that we don’t welcome them, and that our city is not a safe environment for them," Rice wrote.

Rice told Scene that a group she organizes with in Lake County will press Mayor David Anderson to ban the flag from city events, and will work to educate the public about the flag's history.   
 

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