Here is Mayor Posey’s statement from today’s press conference concerning the decision made regarding the display of the Confederate Flag in this year’s Christmas Festival Parade. The statement reads:
“On November 2nd, a letter was sent to the Christmas Festival Committee requesting they prohibit a public display of the Confederate Battle Flag in this year’s Christmas Festival Parade. If you are one of the citizens who is upset over this decision, here are the reasons for this outcome.
First and foremost, this request was not made due to any threats made by any individual or group of people. Personally, and after serious discussion with various interested parties, the decision was made because it was the right thing to do. The sincerity of those to whom this flag represents history, culture, and heritage was never questioned or doubted.
As Mayor, I am accountable to all citizens who live in our city, and for many the Confederate Flag is a symbol of hate, bigotry, violence, and division. This may be due in large part to the fact that the flag has, over the years, been sabotaged by hate groups and other individuals in our society whose horrific crimes have had as their backdrop this symbol of the Southern Confederacy.
To be clear, the City of Natchitoches has not banned the Confederate Flag from public display. In fact, in a meeting with representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, we asked if they would be willing to march in uniform and carry the original Confederate Flag as opposed to the Battle Flag. They rejected this suggestion.
The Christmas Festival Parade should be a symbol of the Christmas Season and should be associated with peace, love, and unity. This occasion should be a time when we leave our differences on the doorstep and gather to observe and embrace ‘good will toward men.’
I am proud to be the Mayor of our city. I consider one of my greatest responsibilities to be the promotion of unity and togetherness among those I serve. I truly believe that our Christmas Festival should seek to bind us, not divide us. I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.
Lee Posey, Mayor”