Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fort Worth Weekly Static Over Confederate Battle Flag Ku Klux Klan Parade Infiltration

This week's Fort Worth Weekly Static column reflected on last Saturday's Fort Worth Stock Show Parade in downtown Fort Worth, opining the parade resembled a backwoods Ku Klux Klan rally.

Fort Worth Weekly made a good case as to what made the Stock Show Parade resemble a Ku Klux Klan rally, and before any Yankees reading this prejudge Fort Worth and its signature parade, you need to read in its entirety what Fort Worth Weekly's Static had to say.....

Stock Show Parade or Klan Rally?

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo officials are barring people from displaying the Confederate battle flag at official events from now on. The ban included participants at last Saturday’s downtown parade that drew thousands of spectators. One participating group has long displayed the flag during previous parades. A local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans protested by carrying flagless poles with black streamers. The group, founded in 1896 in Richmond, Va., by descendants of Confederate soldiers, sent out volunteers to distribute Confederate flags to 1,400 spectators, ensuring that the parade resembled an inbred, redneck, backwoods, Ku Klux Klan rally.

Afterward, on the Facebook page for “R.E. Lee Camp 239 Sons of Confederate Veterans,” administrators bragged about polluting the parade: “Most of the crowd loved us, and all went pretty well with only the occasional sarcastic comment,” read a post from Sunday, Jan. 17, the day after the event. “Of course, the media went to great pains to edit and crop their shots to try and not show the flags in the crowd. A couple of the flaggers were hassled by police and parade marshals for getting too close to what they determined to be private property; but conversations with Fort Worth’s finest let [sic] us to believe that they were with us but couldn’t speak out for fear of job reprisal.”

You know who wasn’t with you? People who equate the flag with pro-slavery sentiments. Waving it in public, putting a decal on your truck, or wearing it on a t-shirt are ways of saying, “I support people who fought to own slaves.”

Supporters say the familiar red flag with the blue X and white stars stands for states’ rights, independence, freedom, and preservation of history. Others see it as a fashion statement or a harmless homage to the Dukes of Hazzard. Whatever. If a huge group of people sees the flag as a grand insult, why would you want to flaunt it? The swastika was considered sacred for thousands of years. In the early 20th century, the symbol was thought to be lucky and was often engraved on flammable items such as space heaters as an added safety precaution. And then Hitler came along.

Who among you wants to walk around town waving a swastika flag today? You could explain to each person you meet that it’s really a religious symbol or that it means luck. But why would you want to? If you wear a swastika or a Confederate flag in this day and age, you look like someone who supports racism. If you flew the flag in battle 150 years ago, power to you. If you’re flying it now, you’re just an ass hat.

Sure, Americans enjoy personal freedoms and can display that flag if we wish. Freedom of expression is a wonderful thing. And, wonderfully, Texas Rep. Ramon Romero of Fort Worth didn’t curb his expressions. (Romero rode in the Stock Show parade, took photos of people waving Confederate flags, and posted them on his Facebook page. One photo showed baby carriages adorned with the controversial flags.)

“Hate was front and center today!!” Romero posted shortly after the parade. “What a shame that our city is so full of hate and ignorance that Confederate flags were distributed to Stock Show parade watchers all along the route…! Who gives Confederate flags to kids????! Racists! Our city deserves so much better!! Teachers teach, parents teach, elected officials speak out against this small minority of people that shamed our city today.”

I thought I read somewhere that the yahoos who infiltrated Fort Worth's Stock Show Parade with Confederate Battle Flags were based in Weatherford. Weatherford is the county seat of Parker County, located on the far west end of the D/FW Metroplex.

This morning I was looking for a photo of being snowed in at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon when I came upon the photo you see at the top of a group of what appear to be Rebel troops assembled under the Confederate Battle Flag.

This photo was taken at a Civil War Battle Re-Enactment taking place at a location a few miles west of Weatherford.

This took place way back at the start of this century. In recent years I have not noticed announcements of Civil War Battle Re-Enactments. I was extremely impressed by what a HUGE deal the Weatherford re-enactment was. There was a Union Camp and a Confederate Camp. You could visit both. In the camps you could get yourself period appropriate vittles, like giant smoked turkey legs.

Watching the battle take place were women and other spectators in period garb. Even the "hospital" was very realistic, with limbs being sawed off and left in a pile where rats and dogs added to the realism.

As you can see the now notorious Confederate Battle Flag was part of this re-enactment. I thought nothing of it at the time. I am sure those hoisting that flag were doing so for authenticity, with doing so having nothing to do with making any sort of ugly racist statement.

Which I don't think was maybe the case with those yahoos who distributed Confederate Battle Flags at last Saturday's Fort Worth parade....

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