The Morehead News

Local News

May 22, 2009

Local Confederate veterans' group can’t march in Ohio parade

The Morehead chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have been denied a request to march in the Ironton Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade.

The 5th Kentucky Infantry Camp #2122 received a letter from Arthur J. Pierson, parade grand marshal, rejecting the group’s request to participate in the parade, without giving any reasons why.

“Your parade request for SCV, 5th Kentucky Infantry camp #2122 Morehead, KY, has been considered and NOT APPROVED,” the letter stated.

The 5th Kentucky wanted to march with a color guard that would feature two Confederate flags – the Kentucky Confederate flag and the Confederate battle flag – and two motorcycles.

The group wanted to march to memorialize the service of Confederate veterans, many of whose descendants live in the tri-state.

It seems the flags were the reason for the camp’s exclusion.

Pierson said later that it would not be right to fly the Confederate flag when there is only one flag – the United States flag. He also said he was concerned about the group wearing the Confederate uniform and other memorabilia.

Memorial Day traces its roots back to the post-Civil War era, in 1868, when General John A. Logan, Commander of this nation’s army, declared that “a day be set aside to honor those men killed in the Civil War.” Originally it was called “Decoration Day,” and as the years passed, its scope was expanded to include all military veterans.

Darrell Crawford of Morehead, Adjutant of the 5th Kentucky Infantry Camp 2122, said his group will be marching in Morehead’s Memorial Day parade where they are appreciated by local veterans and citizens of the city and county.

The group marched in last year’s parade.

"It was an honor to get to march in front of the veterans that were at the old courthouse as we fired a volley in their honor and for veterans past,” Crawford said. “When the veterans saluted, tears rolled down my face. That means something of these fine men who served our country. They knew that the Confederate flag was an American flag as well, as some of their ancestors were Confederate-Americans.”

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