Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Organizer apologizes for Confederate flag appearance at Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade

Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade

Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade

December 4, 2017, 11:07 a.m. Updated December 4, 2017, 3:12 p.m.

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Two days after a Confederate flag slipped into festivities at the Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, the event’s organizer is apologizing over the incident, which he calls an “honest mistake.”

Marty Kennedy, a longtime organizer of the parade, said he became aware of the incident Sunday, when friends showed him photographs posted on social media. The photos in question show a horse blanket with a Confederate-flag design draped over a horse’s saddle with a young woman and older man riding atop.

The Journal-World has attempted to identify and contact the riders but has not made contact so far.

In 25 years of the Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, Kennedy said, such a “mistake” had never occurred. He said he also met with Porter Arneill, the city’s director of arts and culture, Monday morning to ensure “it won’t happen again.”

The Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade is one of approximately 20 events to receive funding through the city’s transient guest tax program, with the city earmarking $10,000 toward the 2017 parade. But, Arneill said, that’s the extent of the city’s involvement.

“As with all transient guest tax recipients, we’re not directly involved with organizing, coordinating or administering the event,” Arneill said. “In this situation, it’s our understanding that the parade participants do have to adhere to the parade rules, as determined by the organizers.”

Organizers addressed the Confederate flag incident early Monday afternoon in a Facebook post. “It’s been brought to our attention that one of the parade entries displayed symbols or sentiments that were not inclusive in nature and that left many people offended,” the statement read. “Rest assured that your voices have been heard and the board of the parade has taken action.”

The post also included a note from Kennedy assuring the public that such an incident would not happen again.

At next year’s parade, Kennedy said, he’ll make sure outriders monitor the displays and remove any “inappropriate imagery or messages” before participants begin their routes. With thousands of people crowding downtown Saturday for the parade, he and many others didn’t notice the Confederate flag, Kennedy said.

“With some 20,000 people probably observing this parade, all we saw was smiles and claps and having a great time on a great day,” he said.

Some on social media have pointed to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as a recent example of the Confederate flag showing up in a Lawrence parade. The flag in question was one of several old state flags displayed on a Knights of Columbus float, and appears to be a Mississippi state flag or an old version of the Georgia flag.

The older Georgia design, which was used from 1956 to 2001, prominently features the Confederate stars and bars. The current Mississippi flag, which has been in use continuously since 1894, features a small, square-shaped Confederate design in the upper left corner, with blue, red and white stripes filling out of the rest of the flag.

That parade, Arneill noted, was a private event held on public streets. The city is not involved with organizing the event.

Comments

Tony Peterson 1 week, 6 days ago

Weren't any "claps and smiles" from me as an immediate neighbor to downtown. The number of events and parades that completely shut down the ability to get anywhere has become excessive. I couldn't do my planned errands because both ends of the block had been barricaded so there wasn't any way to get in or out with my vehicle.

Stacy Napier 1 week, 6 days ago

Yes those rebels blocked your passage and it was paid for by government tax dollars. You should file a civil rights violation.

And to everyone else. You are no longer allowed to fly the current Mississippi State flag because it offends people. Are you kidding me.

Tony Peterson 1 week, 6 days ago

Wasn't a flag or horses. It was the physical wooden barricades set up by the police at both ends of the block preventing residents the ability to even leave their houses in their own vehicle because of a stupid parade. It was horrible planning for traffic.

Ralph Gage 1 week, 6 days ago

Great parade. Super weather. Flag was no big deal. Many other more significant issues confront the city, the state and the nation.

John Sheppard 1 week, 6 days ago

Thank you Mr. Gage. It was a great parade. Too many "Mr. Potters" and "Scrooge" in the world.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 6 days ago

If you don't like parades, you shouldn't live in Lawrence. I just don't get it. Houses are selling quickly in Lawrence, and you can move to other towns that are cheaper. This parade paid for itself. First, it's sponsored by many businesses. Second, it brings in people from lot of places. While they are here, they shopped and ate. Some even stayed overnight at local hotels. The naysayers do not have nice to say about anything, period, unless it's praising something horrible that someone has done to hurt someone. They have very sad lives.

Tony Peterson 1 week, 5 days ago

What the hell are you talking about? All I said was that if there are going to be parades be considerate of the neighbors living in the area. You'd scream bloody murder if your driveway was barricaded for a parade. Since most of us HAVE to park on the street it's our driveway by default and the only way we can get to and from our houses.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 6 days ago

I couldn't attend the parade, because I was signed up for the Rock Chalk Holiday Extravaganza. Lots of people came there too. But if I had been there I would have booed the flag. Anyone who knows anything about Lawrence history knows that the confederate flag is not welcome here. If you don't know about Lawrence history, here's a link. The following link is also about the Civil War on the western front. It probably also talks about one of the major compromises that General Kelley is ignorant of. Apparently he slept through the history classes.

http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/content/founding-lawrence-kansas

Josh Berg 4 days, 21 hours ago

Dorothy the Civil War was a long long time ago. There are a lot of people who live in town who have ancestors who fought and died with the confederate flag around their shoulders. Please be sensitive to other peoples views and their families. This is not your town and you should not boo other people in the parade. Should I walk into your store and boo you? How would that make you feel?

Russell Fryberger 1 week, 6 days ago

Maybe we need to remove George Washington fro the dollar bill and all other history books because he was a slave owner.

Jon Bierig 1 week, 6 days ago

Really people. No pun intended,but can’t we all just stop beating a dead horse.

Terry Sexton 1 week, 5 days ago

C'mon, Jon. You know you intended that pun. And good on you for it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 6 days ago

A whole lot of people posting here who slept through history class and no nothing about Lawrence history. That flag is an insult to this town. But you guys go right ahead worshipping this traitor flag. At least we know where your loyalties lie.

Bob Smith 1 week, 6 days ago

The Jayhawkers were a band of 19th Century terrorists according to the people whose houses were burned down by Jayhawkers. Should we change the name of the KU mascot to avoid insulting the descendants of those people? BTW, not being offended by something is not the same thing as worshiping something.

P Allen Macfarlane 1 week, 5 days ago

Yes, during the Civil War they were guerrillas fighting primarily in Missouri against southern sympathizers. I don't see any monuments commemorating their participation in the war even though they were identified as being on the Union side.

Steve Hicks 1 week, 3 days ago

For once I agree with BS2: "Good one," Dorothy. (But i mean it sincerely.)

Justin Hoffman 1 week, 5 days ago

On Lawrence: "A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there!" --William C. Quantrill

Brandon Devlin 1 week, 5 days ago

Except that he had lived here. . .I believe he was a teacher in Lawrence until 1860.

Justin Hoffman 1 week, 5 days ago

You are correct. Quantrill did live in Lawrence so he would have firsthand knowledge on the reasons he would not want to live there....again.

Steve Hicks 1 week, 3 days ago

Quantrill seems to have violently hated anybody who didn't share his opinion. Do we see a parallel there with today's "conservatives" ?

Mark Kostner 1 week, 5 days ago

I am sorry folks but there is no excuse for a Confederate flag in Lawrence. Besides the bleeding Kansas territorial sack of Lawrence by pro slavery forces there was the infamous Quantrill raid and massacre that was one of the worst acts of terrorism in our country's history. The guy should spend an afternoon in the cemetery contemplating.

Stacy Napier 1 week, 5 days ago

Get a history lesson. The Kansas side was not any better. After Quantrill raided Lawerence Jayhawkers retaliated into Missouri. Hey an eye for an eye makes it ok. Right?

You can read about them here.

http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/jayhawkers

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week, 5 days ago

The reason Missourians came into Kansas was because they were helping slaves escape. Or in the words of jerk Confederacy supporters "stealing their property." The Jayhawkers were fighting for a noble cause, not fighting to keep their slaves. Big difference, if you have any morals.

Ray Mizumura 1 week, 4 days ago

Nat Turner was right. John Brown was right. Generals Grant and Sherman were right. President Lincoln, right, too.

The Confederates and their flag and their culture and cause, all of that garbage, wrong.

Their damned flag and their memorials belong nowhere but in museums alongside Nazi memorabilia.

Justin Hoffman 1 week, 5 days ago

Murder is ok in Dorothy's eyes, as long as it's for a "noble cause". Wow, that's good to know.

Bob Summers 1 week, 5 days ago

Yes. Murder is ok with the complex critical thinkers. Murder like when Obama assassinated an American with a drone because they said he was a terrorist.

Ken Lassman 1 week, 4 days ago

Oh, you're defending al-Awlaki, the "bin Laden of the internet," and big-time recruiter for terrorists around the world? And didn't Trump kill al-Awlaki's daughter this past January? You're such a patriot, Bob.

Steve Hicks 1 week, 3 days ago

Absolutely true.

The Jayhawkers were (ostensibly) fighting in a good cause. Murder in a GOOD cause is worse, because it's a delusional moral antithesis. The kind of delusion an American officer in Vietnam stated as "destroying this village to save it" from the Communists.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week ago

Slave owners had a "right" to beat and kill their slaves, because they were just property, so the confederates had the moral high ground? Give me a break. Jayhawkers weren't stealing property, they were stealing humans so they could get them to freedom.

And the rest of us have taken it further and tried to get them equal rights and opportunity that was denied them for years, yes, even by abolitionists. And to bring equal rights and opportunity to all. Why this is bad, I don't know. Why people feel threatened by this I don't know.

Andrew Applegarth 1 week ago

When you say "Jayhawkers weren't stealing property, they were stealing humans so they could get them to freedom" you simply confirm that you don't know what you are talking about.

Regarding the first part, read the real history and you'll find that they were thieves and murderers just like all of the other guerilla groups on both sides of the conflict. Their primary activities were killing, looting, and burning. It wasn't the cause that brought many of these people to join these groups, it was the handy 'justification' for the actions they got to commit.

As to the second part, they weren't riding into towns and freeing slaves. They were riding into towns, killing as many townsfolk as they could, stealing as much as they could, and often burning as much that was left behind as possible. To be brutally honest (and history reflects this if you really look), the only difference between Jayhawkers and Quantrill's Raiders was which side they claimed allegiance to in order to justify their criminal acts. That's the only difference, despite delusional folks like you trying to whitewash history to make yourselves feel better about raising a bunch of murderous thieves as heroes.

Josh Berg 4 days, 21 hours ago

"Equal rights and opportunity for all" unless Dorothy does not approve of your parade float.

Franz Bruyere 1 week, 1 day ago

The biggest problem right now with everyone (not just in Lawrence) is that people are constantly trying to BURY and/or ERASE HISTORY.

History is what it was, you can't change it. And to try to bury it is just to doom ourselves to making the same mistakes because we won't know that something like that already happened and what the consequences were.

Grow up people... good or bad, history is what it was and you shouldn't be trying to bury/erase it.

Steve Hicks 6 days, 22 hours ago

Very true, Franz.

As you say, there's the problem of simple ignorance: not being aware of what has happened before, and so missing the lessons of history ("...making the same mistakes because we won't know that something like that already happened and what the consequences were").

But dishonest interpretation of history seems the bigger problem in America today: not ignorance of history, but manipulation of our understanding of past events to make history MEAN what the manipulators want it to mean. That's been a "mind-control" tactic of evil men and regimes (of all political, social, and "religious" varieties) for years: the medieval papacy, Nazis, and Soviet Communists all twisted history as a means of legitimating their power.

It's a common manipulative ploy. In America today, we hear it a lot from "conservatives,' who like to pose themselves as beleaguered "culture-war" heroes battling the "politically-correct" interpretations of history our society has tyrannically forced on them: or as honest people put it, the truths we've collectively learned from our past.

So it's natural the right's "culture-warriors" see their ancestral ideology in the Confederate mindset, and especially center their attack against Civil War history. They can't deny the historical fact that the Confederacy was defeated: but they hope to reverse our understanding of the lessons learned from the war.

Manipulators' purposes are invariably evil, and always against truth, so the "culture-warriors" primary goal has always been to falsify the MORAL lessons of history. Their goal is to persuade us to reject the moral lessons the Civil War truly taught,and instead believe as they do; that rebellion and treason are GOOD, and that social equality in America is BAD.

Scripture says God's pronouncement is "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). Rightist "culture-warriors" should take note: and re-consider too the consequences of insisting that government by liars and crooks is GOOD for America.

Gary Stussie 6 days, 17 hours ago

"But dishonest interpretation of history seems the bigger problem in America today: not ignorance of history, but manipulation of our understanding of past events to make history MEAN what the manipulators want it to mean." (let's tear down a statue or two and burn a confederate flag).

Steve you started out speaking such truth that I had to check the name ... then you had to revert to your go-to position of slamming Conservatives.

"Believe as they do... that rebellion and treason are GOOD (doesn't that pretty much describe the far Left?) ... and that social equality in America is BAD." .(this California boy has lived in the deep south for many years and I believe you are misinterpreting a deep regard for independence, culture and history.)

"... consequences of insisting that government by liars and crooks is GOOD for America." ... amazing that a even a disgruntled Hillary voter could throw that in to an argument! America clearly does not want a government by liars and crooks ... hence the outcome!

Steve Hicks 5 days, 11 hours ago

Gary, I'm sorry that bowel-obstruction that makes your eyes brown is still causing you problems.

Remember we said...Reality is not really either/or "conservative" or "liberal" ?

Don't take my word for it. You can see it yourself, by a couple simple steps.

Open your eyes.

Think.

And if you believe that "liar" and "crook" is not a truthful characterization of the current president, this may help you figure it out:

think of as many examples as you can of the current president telling the truth (the real thing: not a questionable partisan "truth"); and as many of his totally unselfish acts as you can. You might want to write them down for your own reference: you may need a small sticky-note.

Please document your hero's many virtues without any negative reference to Obama or Hilary, if you can.

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