Bud Kennedy

Confederate flag activists want the South to rise again

Confederate battle flags were not hard to find among people watching the Fort Worth Stock Show’s All Western Parade on Jan. 16, 2016. Stock Show officials did not allow parade riders to fly the flag.
Confederate battle flags were not hard to find among people watching the Fort Worth Stock Show’s All Western Parade on Jan. 16, 2016. Stock Show officials did not allow parade riders to fly the flag. Star-Telegram archives

Having invaded downtown Fort Worth, Southern secessionists now want to retake Texas.

Behind all the Confederate flag-waving at the Stock Show parade Saturday was a dispute between history groups and extremist political activists, some apparently determined to see the South rise again.

Exploiting the Stock Show parade for a selfish protest, a faction of new Confederate rebels handed out battle flags to oppose their exclusion from the parade.

Let’s just say they don’t think secession or rebellion is a thing of the past.

On its Facebook page and website, the Richardson-based activist group that organized the protest praises secession, and also opposes saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag.

Many of the participants are also members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans lineage society. However, a spokesman for the Tennessee-based SCV called the Texas activists a “splinter group” that has no official connection with the Texas Sons and should not be identified as affiliated in any way.

On the group’s website, a “Vindicator Platform” claims that a Pledge of Allegiance was “forced upon the Southerners” and “violates … the core principles represented by the United States of America.”

The activists refuse to fly the American flag, or salute it.

“As we are not a U.S. veterans group, one would not expect to encounter the U.S. flag at any of our events,” the platform says.

The group’s Facebook page includes pro-secession links and articles, and calls for pressuring Republicans to allow a referendum on secession.

Some of the group’s members were also involved in a Confederate Heroes Day event Tuesday at the Parker County Courthouse in Weatherford.

The Weatherford Democrat newspaper identified that as an SCV ceremony, but Hudson Oaks saddle shop owner Calvin Allen did not stop at nostalgia.

“We believe the South was right,” Allen told the Democrat: “That’s basically it. … Secession was legal.”

The Democrat also quoted Allen criticizing President Abraham Lincoln: “He created centralized government, which is what the Nazis were trying to do with National Socialism.”

On the Facebook page of one local SCV camp, members worry that Allen and extremist political activism will damage other Sons groups’ community standing.

At SCV headquarters, spokesman Ben Jones said, “Secession is not a part of the SCV agenda, nor have I ever heard it talked about seriously since 1865.”

Then be careful who else waves your flag.

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