Confederate flag in Virginia parade draws complaints



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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The organizers of a Christmas parade in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, are having second thoughts about allowing a Southern heritage group to march in the parade with a Confederate battle flag.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans carried the flag in the parade one week ago despite complaints from the local chapter of the NAACP. The civil rights group wanted the flag banished from the parade.

But city officials and the parade organizers defended the group's First Amendment rights to fly the flag.

Since then, however, some residents complained that the group "hijacked" the parade.

The Roanoke Times (http://bit.ly/1ObEn5j) reports that as many as 50 Confederate flag bearers marched in the parade.

Downtown Roanoke Inc. organizes the parade. It says it's considering whether the group should be allowed to enter in the future.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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