Nothing will ruin the Fort Worth Stockyards’ global success faster than a Confederate invasion.
So activists waving and handing out Rebel battle flags had absolutely no business in a Cowtown Goes Green Western parade.
Now, they won’t be back.
Confederate battle flag activists, barred from Stock Show events for years, somehow fudged their way into the St. Patrick’s parade Saturday.
So now their flag-waving is also banned from parades in the Stockyards.
In a tourist district built to welcome and serve everyone from all over America and the world — and to celebrate the multiracial and multicultural true history of the West — these resentful Rebels gave everyone a peek backward at the Old South.
Two chapters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, still grieving defeat after nearly 158 years, waved hostile Southern Cross battle flags along with national flags from a parade wagon.
They also beckoned to small children and handed flags to little boys and girls running dangerously close to the rolling float.
These are the same groups the Stock Show booted years ago from its January parade.
Not because they’re Southerners.
Because they’re spiteful.
They shock tourists and drive away families who came to celebrate cowboys and the Old West, not to see reminders of enslavement or the plantation South.
Stockyards events now will ban groups that didn’t come to promote Western heritage, according to a statement late Monday.
A spokesperson for Stockyards Heritage Development said that Stockyards businesses support everyone’s right to an opinion “but do not condone the soliciting of propaganda or tolerate divisive symbols or flags of any kind.”
Future events will not include groups “that detract from the goal of uniting the community for the purpose of the celebration,” the statement read.
In other words, no matter your special interest, from now on, if you come to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, celebrate the Irish.
Not your obsession with secession.
In parade videos online, Azle-area resident Joe Allcock of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Fort Worth-based Robert E. Lee Camp said his group “just discovered” the Cowtown Goes Green parade,
This was only the event’s 41st year.
“We try to do the Stock Show parade, but we’ve been ostracized out of there,” Allcock said on the video. “They’ve denied the battle flag for the last six years, and so it’s an ongoing battle with them.”
So he asked about entering the Stockyards parade,
“The lady I spoke with, they were more than happy to have us,” Allcock said.
The Stockyards spokesperson did not identify who approved the parade entry, saying only that the district is “addressing the situation internally.”
The announcement’s line about the “soliciting of propaganda” is apparently a reference to the group handing out flags and describing itself in the parade script copy as promoting “the true history of the 1861-1865 period.”
The group was mostly met with cheers. But on the video, one loud voice is heard: “Boooo!”
After the parade, Allcock wrote on Facebook: “We were loved by the crowd, and people couldn’t get enough Battle Flags.”
“Our float was engulfed,” he wrote, “and we loved it.”
St. Patrick’s Day is for leprechauns.