Court dismisses Sons of Confederate Veterans’ lawsuit against City of Natchitoches and HDBA

A ruling was filed on Feb. 28 regarding the lawsuit Louisiana Division Sons of Confederate Veterans versus the City of Natchitoches and the Historic District Business Association filed Motions For Summary Judgment (“MSJ”) which the court took under advisement approximately 7 months ago and rendered its decision yesterday.  A MSJ is only granted in those cases where the Court finds there is no issue relative to either the facts of the case or the law governing the case.  The court dismissed the SCV’s claims with prejudice, and all other pending motions are denied as moot.

The lawsuit arose after the SCV’s application was denied for participation in the 2015 Christmas Festival Parade. The SCV participated in the parade in prior years and anticipated it would continue to do so. However, their application was denied on the basis that, for many, the confederate flag is offensive. The City believed these comments to be reasonable so Mayor Lee Posey wrote a letter to the HDBA Christmas Festival Committee. It stated that the display of the Confederate flag in the parade could be taken as a public endorsement of a symbol that is viewed as racially inflammatory. The City was concerned that the visible display of the flag could cause substantial disruption or interference with the parade.

The Committee honored the mayor’s request. The SCV filed a lawsuit alleging the City and the HDBA infringed upon the organization’s rights under the First and Fourth Amendments to free speech and due process, in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

47 thoughts on “Court dismisses Sons of Confederate Veterans’ lawsuit against City of Natchitoches and HDBA

  1. It is pretty darn sad when the south won’t allow them to march in there stupid
    festival.I say just boycott it and tell friends and family to boycott anything
    with parades or festivals and I would try to get this case in front of another judge .It is so stupid when everyone trys to be PC about silly stuff.

  2. Thank you, Tommy and Cliff, for the concise and accurate history. Folks’ feelings about the War of Northern Aggression (as my folks called it) is a lot like Adam and Eve, we didn’t bite the apple but we’ve paying for it ever since. My family fought and died on both sides. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free Native Americans and there were Native American slaves in Natchitoches. Not much mentioned about that. During the historic home tours the city benefits from the very flag it now decries. I guess one can have it both ways. There isn’t anyone alive today who was a part of The War. Remembering Natchitoches history is more than beautiful homes and calico dresses. There was a warty underbelly creating that beauty. Some would say the warts remain. The warts, the beauty, the land are a part of what made us who we are and what we will remain regardless of who is in political office. Natchitoches is a blessed place with colorful history and even more colorful characters. Eccentricity is welcomed and rewarded. Debate is encouraged and diversity of opinion is appreciated. Perhaps the mayor and citizenry would be well served by holding public forms. If that doesn’t work, we have courts for a reason.

  3. If someone can order the transcript I know it would be expensive but I would compile a judicial complaint against this judge on the basis of discrimination against confederate decendents this is an outrage and he should be removed from the bench for violating a person’s rights. The constitution does exist. Convention of the States get on board….we fixing to fix it…

  4. Just like the Dean of Students at Northwestern…Dad left a 500000.00 scholarship…to only have ot stripped as they pleased..

    He gave specific details in the will and how to distribute the funds, where it would last forever..

    The athlete department received 330000, straight up…and that wasn’t the way it was intended

  5. It is a extremely disappointing judgment…

    Thru out the years the educational system has been tainted with lies and deception, until we set values on truth, and push our elected officials to preserve the truth as a whole..

    We are only going to be in a state of deterioration..

    It is equivalent of the system doing away with spiritual the ten commandements..

    And also we are glamorizing everything that is evil, that the liberal left stands for..

    From lawlessness, to stripping us from our very liberties…

  6. the PC crowd and scared local politicians are getting old around here
    I am sick of people getting offended,we all don’t like everything all the time
    but we all have a right to believe in what we want to .I say the people and friends of the SCV should boycott every event in Natchitoches and stop spending money is a city that doesn’t support them .
    If someone doesn’t support me I surely won’t support them any longer.
    why not start protest next year at festival its not against the law .

  7. I didn’t realize this site belonged to people who favor censorship. That doesn’t align with the values of the flag that flies over the White House.

  8. The SCV can appeal the decision to a higher court however they cannot file suit again for this crime in this court. You have the right, not matter who you are or what your case is, to appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court. Prejudice ruling or not. Clearly a violation of the 1A as well as the Civil rights act of 1964. They should appeal but better do it quickly.

  9. Confederate cavalry saved Natchitoches from being burned by the rear guard of Union forces. Natchitoches survived to become the quaint tourist attraction which it is today; yet, today, a small cadre of political operatives using Marxist tactics, aided and abetted by political cowards in high places among the magistrates of Natchitoches, have managed to destroy much more than the physical city; they have contributed to the annihilation of the very soul of the people. In retrospect, it would have been better had the Yankees burned the city to ashes in 1864!

    • Truth! Confederate cavalry under Brigadier General William Steele were ordered to pursue the retreating Yankees, who crossed the Cane River to gain the road south to Alexandria. Troops of the Union’s 16th Corp set the town on fire and fled. When the Southern Troopers arrived the townspeople were trying to fight the flames. General Steele ordered his men, about 700 soldiers, to form bucket brigades and most of the town was saved. Only three private homes were lost. All of Ducourneu Square, down to Kaffie-Fredericks, the historic house at the corner of Lafayette and Second Street, and all the rest of what makes Natchitoches so different from other towns…its history…would have gone up in flames that night, April 21, 1864. I doubt the mayor of Natchitoches back then would have told Steele’s Troopers their flag was not welcomed in the city.

      But, even given that those troopers’ legacy has been so dissed by today’s political leaders, I am glad they did the right thing. I love Natchitoches, love its history. I bet even if they had been told, hey! some day your flag and your memory will not be welcomed in Natchitoches, they still would have done the right thing and extinguished the fires. That’s what men of character do.

      Perhaps a simple “Thanks guys!” to the men of Steele’s Brigade is appropriate.

      • Maybe if the group did not carry the battle flag, but the flag that was used as the Confederate flag, the one that flew over the capital of the Confederate states, it would not cause so much angst. The men up front carry that flag, no battle flag to be seen, then each man and woman carry buckets to commemorate what Steele’s Brigade did for the city of Natchitoches, then people might accept that all things Confederate are not evil. I understand the pain when people think of what their ancestors went through, but there should not be so much hate to all things Confederate. Most of the men who fought were fighting to keep their homes safe from invading Union troops. They had no slaves, so the entire war in the South was not what people make of it these days. They forget that the Democratic party was the party of the KKK. My family fought in this war, just as they have in all wars since that time. They fought to save their homes, since not one of them were rich enough to be slave owners.

        People need to remember that Union troops swept through the South, burning as they went. All Confederates were not evil, they were good, though very poor people. They didn’t hide the silver under the privy out back. They took their hog, their cow, their plow horse if one was left at home when the men left, and any food item they needed as they hid from the invaders. So please people, study the history that you are not getting in school these days. Know your history. Yes, wonderful black slaves were hurt, and it is wrong for men to own other men, any way I see it, it’s wrong. But it’s also wrong for men from the North to come down South and burn these small log homes, sometimes only 2 rooms, kill the stock of the poor people who were not slaves, but still had so little to live on. Please learn all you can about the Civil War, and in knowing, some of the hate may disappear. But know the entire truth. All of it. Every bit that is true. Know how the slaves got here. How they were first abused. I’m not excusing any part of slavery, but don’t blame all of the South for the few. Don’t forget the atrocities that took place when Union troops were here. All was not good then either. Please know it all. I’ve studied because I wanted to know my family and their part in what happened in those times.

        I wish peace and happiness for all. I do believe that the Confederate army, especially Steele’s Brigade should be honored for what they did for Natchitoches. If they had not done what they did for the city, where would any of us be. Probably scattered by the winds and we would not be who we are, for there would have been no Natchitoches to be proud of. It’s a beautiful town, rich in history. There should be a way to fix this, just by both sides giving a little. Ask the group who normally march with the battle flag if they would be willing to honor the men of Steele’s Brigade. I can just see them, with no battle flag, but the more representative Confederate flag, and each or most of them carrying buckets, wooden buckets, sloshing water as they go, all in peace, working to save a town. What is the harm in that? It’s a way to honor those men, to ease tensions if people are willing, and for every person to cheer as these folks walk by, carrying their buckets. It’s not war, it’s a time they worked to save our town. I thank them for it, for I love the little town I live in.

    • Actually, it takes a lot of spine to do something that you know is the right thing to do, but is going to cause an uproar. I’m proud of this town for rejecting that racist symbol. As the great granddaughter of a Confederate officer, I respect and honor the past but I am sure not going to glorify such a hateful symbol.

      • You have been drinking too much NAACP-SPLC Cool-aid. In 1929, when 30,000 Klansmen marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, the flags they bore were not the Confederate Battle Flag, but the Stars and Stripes – Old Glory. That Klan set up its offices in Washington DC. That Klan got its start in the North, not the South. Anyone can co-opt a symbol and malign and slander it for wrong causes. Your comments are a disgrace to your ancestors and what they fought for: their home, their State, their Country. If you can’t understand that you are no longer a son of Dixie. You have become swallowed up in the revisionist history and myth of those who use false narratives to feather their nests and promote their Black racism for political purposes. You should be ashamed of yourself. You show yourself to be just as ignorant and blind as this misguided judge.

    • What’s wrong with the mayor respecting the values of the country all of us currently reside in?

      • Not a thing is wrong with it. Times change and symbols take on new meanings. Elected officials have to react to such things it’s called leadership.

    • What do people who oppress another people’s religion, language and culture…even their right to have an intact family end up as?

      I see revisionist history rushing forward to cover up what was done. Now if a descendant is proud if their people, they can’t slink along denying the wrongs. They must be faced, not denied. They can’t cherrypick what to be proud of.

    • Interesting that you would say that, JonL. For 2 or 3 decades, the swastika flag has flown alongside the confederate flag. Almost everywhere the Klan is, skinheads and Neo Nazis show up, too. So a lot of us have grown up associating the two with each other. And why not? Both groups are all about keeping alive a legacy of hate and violence.

  10. I am very pleased to see Natchitoches making such important progress. History isn’t always something that needs to be honored, especially if that history has caused many very deep wounds. Having compassion and recognizing things for what they truly were and are, is the only way to prevent the repeat of a time when brothers were killing brothers and 620,000 lives were lost. Let us open our minds and hearts to a future filled with love and respect, not hate and destruction. Anumpa ilbusha kil anumpuli imponna i hullo.

    • 620,000 lives is why it must not ever be forgotten. The flag was a battle flag and was high jacked by a bunch of racist morons. This is akin to hating something you don’t understand, much like” Anumpa ilbusha kil anumpuli imponna i hullo”. I have no clue what that means, so it must be bad, I’m offended by it so please, never say it again.

      • Don’t be offended, it’s Choctaw. So look it look before you get offended. Roughly means ” let us pray ” and “love”. Look it up for yourself.

      • Thank you Faye. The flag of the United States flew of the genocide of Indians. However it is our nations flag and American Indians have defended that flag in every war since. Point made you do not bann a symbol because of what some perceive it to represent or what it once represented. If this were the case we would have to bann our own Nations flag. A flag my father defended in WW2.

    • You show an ignorance of history and that is sad. The South legally and rightfully seceded from the Union after having the Morell 45% tariff imposed upon it. They had threatened secession in 1824, when the Tariff of Abomination had been impose with the same unbearable rates. Any State had a right to secede because Virginia and other States in their ratifying documents noted their rights to withdraw from the Union if their was abuse or oppression. The South was paying 85% of all the Federal government expenses. That was certainly abusive and oppressive. South Carolina threatened to secede in 1824 and did so in 1860, for the same reason. In 1824 Henry Clay in the Great Compromise, which brought the tariff back to 24% was able to stop the secession. Jackson had threatened invasion. In 1860 Lincoln and Corwin had an Amendment passed that would have enshrined slavery in those states where it was legal. The South rejected this promotion and guarantee of slavery, because the issue was not over slavery, but the tariff and abuse. President Lincoln “invaded” South Carolina and Virginia. The South had a right to secede. It did not start the War. While Virginia had organized a Peace Conference to prevent the break up of the Union, Lincoln sent a flotilla to Charleston and tried to land Marines. Their commander refused knowing that his orders were unconstitutional. Lincoln sent the Star of the West to reinforce Fort Sumter and permit it to collect the tariff in Charleston. South Carolina had been advised that the vessel was unarmed and only bring food and medicine, but it fired on another USN ship mistakenly, showing that it indeed was armed. This was an illegal occupation and an act of War. President Lincoln tried to raise a 75,000 man force to invade South Carolina and demanded that Southern Governors contribute their militias to this effort. They refused. Sympathy for the right of South Carolina to secede was felt throughout the nation. The Mayor and Council of New York City voted to secede from New York and their Governor threatened to send in the NY militia if they did. Union troops burned the Gosport Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia, against the pleadings of the City Council that it would catch the City on fire. It did, and the Council was not permitted to see the Commander. President Lincoln invaded Virginia with Federal troops after Virginia had voted in referendum not to secede, and was repulsed by Gen. Lee and the Virginia Militia at Manassas. Again Federal troops invaded and a second battle of Manassas was fought by Virginia Militia. Virginia and the other middle Southern States seceded upon invasion. Lincoln arrested half of the Maryland legislature so that they would not vote to secede. When Supreme Court Justice Taney spoke out against Lincoln, saying that he was violating the Constitution, Lincoln threatened him with arrest. Lincoln imposed Habeous Corpus. He shut down 2-300 newspapers, imposed censorship and arrested thousands of people in the North that objected to his tyranny. The North went to war and invaded the South, not over slavery, but because the South was the richest part of the nation and the Federal government was getting nearly all its revenues from Dixie. Lincoln said the South could keep their slaves, secede, as long as they paid the tariff. But today thanks to Federal and NAACP-SPLC revisionist history, the War was fought over slavery. That is a monstrous myth. Don’t drink the Cool-aid. Don’t buy into the Maoist Cultural Revolution.

    • The South can say with pride that last Confederate General to surrender was Sam Wade a brave Cherokee Chief. People of many races, faiths and persuasions stood up to defend their homes and States in Dixie under the Confederate banner in the name of liberty and self governance and against tyranny that was being imposed upon them. The Southland was peaceful, until it was invaded by President Lincoln at Charleston and in Portsmouth and in Manassas. With only a population of eight million compared to one of twenty-two million, we fought a valiant defensive war to maintain our freedom and rights. We lost, and were nearly destroyed, but the spirit of our beliefs in State sovereignty, local government and self determination where what created the United States in the rebellion of 1776 and what we fought for in Dixie in 1860, but in that instance, not as a rebellion or as traitors to an oppressive king, but rather to protect our families and homeland from invasion. Our peaceful secession was from a nation that had become abusive of our rights and had invaded our territory with armed troops and hot rifles. Our cause was noble. Our efforts inspiring, and the memory of our brave Veterans and of those four years of suffering should never be forgotten. The banner that Dixie fought under should never be maligned and should be raised high with pride. The South should not suffer the lies and slander and libel that is being poured on us today. We must stand up and defend our dignity, our good name and the memory of our fore-bearers whose name is being reviled in ignorance.

  11. This is sadly an extension of the politically correct cancer that is destroying our country…and the weak kneed politicians that go along with it. If those that are “offended” would get off their lazy asses and learn some TRUE history it would go a long way to help end this nonsense.
    Keep in mind….those of you who support the degredation of our history and culture….it’s not going to just stop with Confederate symbols……theyre t just the most vunerable at the moment.
    This makes me sick

  12. You just had a couple loud mouths trying to throw their weight around and the mayor folded like a cheap suit! Nothing new could cost him 4 votes .

  13. As a resident of Natchitoches and my job I have remained silent though all of this. However no one knows more about this than I for it was I that brought the Confederate battle flag to the parade and the first to carry it. Not 20 years ago as the SCV claims but in 1981 as a Civil War reenactor. Harold Collier Christmas Festival chairman came to my work and asked if I could get reenactors in the parade. Both sides were represented. The 5th Louisiana Confederate and the Union Rifles Federal. Two flags carried, the Union and Confederate. We won second place in drill competition only second to NSU’s Black Knights drill team. For many years after we participated in the parade. Even leading it at times. Eventually the Sons of Confederate Veterans began to participate. Let me say here that reenactors and the SCV are very different. Reenactors are Civil War historians reliving history and educating by demonstration. The SCV’s purpose is to defend Southern Heritage and attack those who threaten it. The flag issue started when dozens of flags appeared in the parade instead of just one. Many reenactor’s are also members of the SCV. I will close saying that regardless of who carried the flag reenactors or SCV not a single incident ever happened. It is done and comments will change nothing. The public needs to know that the SCV has an agenda and reenacting is just a hobby.

      • Sorry a bad choice of wording. My point is the flag has been in the parade continuously since 1981. It was reenactors who first carried it, we were invited to do so and I was the first to carry it. We were at the start of the parade behind the color guard. We were introduced as reenactors, host of the Battle of Pleasant Hill and participants in Motion Pictures, “North and South”, Glory and others. Also my point is, the SCV and reenacting are two different things although SCV members are often reenactors. The city of Natchitoches lost a great re-enactment in our town because of this issue. Someone commented that the Confederate flag represented the Holocaust of our Nation. Not really. It was the flag of our nation that flew over the practiced geniocide of American Indians and flys today over the murder of millions of the unborn. You cannot bann a symbol without first doing historical reasearch. I spoke with mayor Posey once on this issue. Mainly to let him know the flag had been in the parade since 1981 not 20 years as carried by the SCV. In the phone conversation I asked him what the symbol of the city of Natchitoches was. His reply “the Fleur de Lis”. I the asked what was at the top of his stationary. Same answer. I then. informed him there is an attempt to ban this symbol in Louisiana. His reply. He never heard of this. No one thought this Country would ban the Confederate flag. Look out Natchitoches. Our symbols could be next.

    • Dixie doesn’t need to apologize for anything. We need to reveal history not revise it. Carry that Confederate Battle Flag with pride and understanding. It is not a toy, you are not a toy soldier, reenacting should not be just be a hobby, but a living lesson for present and future generations to envision events with living figures. The Confederate Battle Flag is stained with a lot of blood of valiant Southern patriots who gave their lives and fortunes to defend Dixie. Remember that with pride. I encourage you to organize a parade on Decoration Day, Lee-Jackson Day, or some other auspicious point on the calendar with your re-enactors and SCV camps in which you can march down main street in a show of dignity and respect for what Dixie and our fore-bearers fought for. Demand your right to do so! If the mayor or anyone slanders the symbolism, from what ever direction, sue them for defamation. You know what that Battle Flag stands for – speak up for it with pride and honor!

  14. Here’s my take on the issue. First, the SCV had participated in the parade for years, maybe 20 years, and there was never a problem. But when groups make threats and Mayor Posey fears that THOSE GROUPS might commit violence, his solution is to ban the threatened group, not the ones making the threats.

    Seems backwards to me.

    • I agree with you on that Jason all everyone sees is that it is racist when it is really heritage and history

    • The scenario you depict is the play book recipe of the NAACP in collusion with White and Black liberal and Democratic elected officials and sometime spineless Republicans. It is the same agenda being played out all across Dixie. Coercion and extortion from the NAACP-SPLC is a model that Jesse Jackson has used for years. If you don’t do what we want, your town will see looting and rioting and if you have to put it down we will call out the media dogs and define you and your community as racist.

    • you are correct Jason.All this time participating and not one issue,the mayor
      is trying to kiss PC rear end so he can get his name and his stupid sports complex passed.

  15. the SCV should go to a higher court and fight this.The political correctness
    is beyond ridiculous these days.fight until you can’t fight anymore !

    • Matt, unfortunately it cannot be fought in a higher court. The suit was dismissed “with prejudice” which means it cannot be filed again.

      • Recall the Mayor. Sue for slander. File a complaint with the bar and the Legislative Judicial Committee or State Judicial Board. Hold mass demonstrations in front of City Hall, speak out at Council meetings and call for the Mayor’s resignation or recall. There are alternatives to sitting on your hands with your thumb up your petard.

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