A Christmas parade in the Ozark Mountain community of Springdale, Arkansas didn’t just have the customary Santa Claus.
According to the Kansas City Star, one of the floats at Saturday’s Christmas Parade of the Ozarks featured two men dressed as Confederate soldiers and flying the Confederate flag.
One of the two Confederates carried a rifle with him.
In video posted to Facebook, the two soldiers are asked to hand out candy, as is customary at Christmas parades.
“I got bullets. Want bullets?” replies the man with the rifle.
“Why do you have a rifle with a bayonet on it?” asks someone in the crowd.
“I’m looking for Yankees!” the man answers.
A reporter for the Democrat Gazette talked to a man who was at the parade and turned his back to the Confederates.
“It was supposed to be a Christmas parade,” the man said. “Everything that goes along with Christmas was supposed to be celebrated. It was completely the wrong place and the wrong time to celebrate your ‘heritage.'”
The local Sons of the Confederate Veterans group refused to comment to the Democrat Gazette.
The Downtown Springdale Alliance condemned the Confederate flag and soldiers.
“The Christmas Parade of the Ozarks is not organized by the Downtown Springdale Alliance, and the DSA is in no way responsible for the parade float lineup. DSA was responsible for the organization, promotion and oversight of the 3rd Annual Christmas on the Creek activities which took place in and around Shiloh Square on the same date, at the same time. The annual Christmas on the Creek intentionally coincides with the Christmas Parade of the Ozarks in order to attract the largest possible crowd, but these two events are separately managed and funded,” the organization said.
“DSA staff, board leadership and Christmas on the Creek volunteers experienced the parade floats for the first time along with the rest of the public on the Shiloh Square section of Emma Avenue. The float featuring the Confederate flag and soldiers was NOT approved by DSA or known of in advance, nor was its message condoned by any of the organization’s staff, volunteers, sponsors or board of directors.”
“We emphatically denounce any form of racism or displays intended to intimidate or separate any groups of people in our community. We are truly saddened by a specific act that tarnished a special community celebration for all people during a season of peace and togetherness,” DSA said.
Watch video of the float posted to Facebook below.