The Battle of Pleasant Hill Battle Committee was deeply troubled by the recent ban request from Mayor Posey to the Natchitoches Festival of Lights Committee concerning the flying of Confederate flags by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. As of today, Mr. Posey has decided to exclude and offend a group of people who have participated in the city’s parade for the past 25 years with no incident.
The flags the SCV fly are used in historical context. The main goal of the SCV is to preserve the history and memories of the Confederate soldier. Many do this by going to great lengths to display their uniforms and flags accurately. Flying the flags of the Confederate States of America is a major part of that historical display of respect for the men who chose to fight for the Confederacy, asking them to do otherwise is offensive to the members of the SCV and is not representing the historical context of the Confederate soldier.
As a committee that also goes to great lengths to preserve history, it was very troubling to us that our Battle of Pleasant Hill Battle Queen was told she was unwelcome to ride in the Christmas Lights Parade because on her crown is a flag of the Southern Cross and because of what our event represents. This causes an issue with our Battle Queen because she is required, per her contract, to ride in the Christmas Parade. After consulting with a Natchitoches Festival of Lights committee individual, we were told she could ride in the parade if she did not wear her crown or have any flag.
The Battle Queen’s crown is her calling card. It advertises to the public who she is. A ban on her crown would cause her to be singled out, embarrassed, and diminish her ability to represent her festival to the best of her ability. This is not a condition we feel is acceptable for our Battle Queen.
When the SCV LA Division Commander, Mr. Thomas Taylor, spoke with Mayor Posey on Thursday, November 12, 2015, we asked Mr. Taylor to represent our Battle Queen in his talks with Mayor Posey. During that meeting the SCV were told they are unwelcome at the parade, but our Battle Queen would be allowed to ride in the parade with her crown, barring she did not carry a flag. This is still troubling to our committee because there is still a ban on Confederate flags. We are concerned for the safety of our Battle Queen and that she may be turned away from the parade because of her crown. We have been given no assurance from the Festival of Lights or the City of Natchitoches that if our Battle Queen attends they will be able to keep her from harm because of the flag on her crown and because of the nature of our festival.
As an event that is involved in a local historical battle, we feel it is disrespectful of Mayor Posey to allow our Battle Queens crown, but not the SCV, who attend our event and help us to reenact history for the public.
The Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and The Battle of Pleasant Hill are organizations dedicated to preserving history for future generations to learn and enjoy.
The Battle of Pleasant Hill Battle Committee stands with the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The Battle of Pleasant Hill Battle Committee has agreed to accept another event’s invitation to a Louisiana festival where there are no restrictions on our Queen, where she is free to represent her festival to the best of her ability and is assured of her safety at that festival. As of this date, we will be reconsidering any future Battle Queens inclusion to the Natchitoches Festival of Lights Parade and Festival because of the ban on Confederate flags and the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We hope the City of Natchitoches and the Natchitoches Festival of Lights would reconsider this ban for future events.
Katelyn Nichole Yates
November 17, 2015