Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Forrest Seminar In Memphis - Saturday July 11


A friendly reminder to make your reservations for this year's annual Forrest Seminar and Historical Conference in Memphis. Deadline is July 6.

This event will be Saturday, July 11, Scottish Rite Auditorium, 825 Union Ave. (across from Forrest Park), Memphis, Tennessee. Starts at 9:00 a.m. $45 for seminar, catered lunch, bus tour of Forrest's Raid on Memphis. And guest appearance by Hon. Bertram Hayes-Davis, great grandson of President Jefferson Davis.


Red Roof Inn, $59.95, Ask for SCV discount rate1/4 mi east of Forrest Park, 42 S. Camilla, Memphis, 38104, (I-240 @ Union Ave/Madison Ave, exit #30)You must call the hotel directly for reservations: 901-526-1050. If you have any problem, ask for Michelle (mgr) Attached is the flyer.

You won’t want to miss this great Forrest event and plan to stay over for the Sunday, July 12 Forrest Birthday Celebration in Forrest Park, 2pm.

Here is the schedule. Forrest Seminar 2009

0900 Welcome Lee Millar, chairman

General N. B. Forrest, himself (Steve McIntyre)

0930 Speaker: Forrest – the early years, “Gunfight at Hernando Square" Judge Melvin McClure

1015 Speaker: “Ft Pillow and northern propaganda – massacre or Union defeat ?”
Derek Frisby

1100 Speaker: “Black Confederates and Combat in Forrest’s Escort” Dr. Michael Bradley

1145 Luncheon - Speaker: Tom Parson, Shiloh NMP

0115 Speaker: “Forrest at Shiloh -- Will the generals listen?” Tom Parson, Shiloh NMP

0215 Speaker: Forrest and the KuKlux -- “Protectionist group or Vigilantes?” Edward F. Williams

0300 Bus Tour of Civil War Memphis – Forrest’s 1864 Raid -Lee Millar, president,
Gen N. B. Forrest Historical Society.

Mail your $45 check to: Forrest Seminar 09, PO Box 11141, Memphis, TN 38111.

For more info, contact Lee Millar, Lmillar1@yahoo.com, 901-545-3364.

Lee Millar,
ChairmanN. B. Forrest Camp 215
Memphis, TN

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reunion Deadlines Approach


The time for our 2009 Reunion is drawing close. It will be held July 22-25 at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For detailed information please see the reunion website at: http://www.scv2009reunion.com/.

Registration is currently 80 dollars for SCV members but will rise to 85 dollars for walk-in registration – so if you are planning to attend the Reunion you can still get your registration in before the rates increase.

The camp has requested that, to ensure they receive the registration forms in a timely manner, no forms are mailed after July 15.

Llink to the registration form: http://www.scv2009reunion.com/SCV-2009-Reunion-Print-Ad-Final-c.pdf

The members of the James M. Keller Camp of Hot Springs are working hard to make this an enjoyable Reunion – I look forward to seeing you in Hot Springs.

Chuck Rand
Chief of Staff

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

GEC Teleconference Held

Summary of GEC Teleconference:

On Friday, June 12 at 8:30 PM Central Time, a teleconference was held by the General Executive Council.

There were two items considered at the teleconference:

1. The approval of a licensing agreement between the SCV and Dixie Outfitters was presented to the Council. The agreement allows Dixie Outfitters to produce and sell t-shirts bearing the SCV created Sesquicentennial Logo. The SCV will receive royalties for each shirt sold. The agreement was approved and the shirts should be available by the date of the Hot Springs Reunion (July 23-25) at the Headquarters table.

2. The GEC voted to create a Roll of Honor medal for those Confederate Soldiers that were, during the war, placed on the "Roll of Honor". This is a separate award than the Confederate Medal of Honor that has been awarded in the years after the war by the Confederate Medal of Honor Committee. The Medal Of Honor Committee will be charged with reviewing applications for the Roll of Honor Medal.

Meeting ended at 9:13 PM Central Time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Battleflag Flies in Texas

Video link for New Coverage of Battleflag Raising in Texas



NOTE: The NAACP Announced a boycott of South Carolina in the year 2000 - the effect of that "boycott" was an increase in tourism dollars spent in South Carolina. - ed.

NAACP issues ultimatum on Confederate flag ban


HOMESTEAD — Civil rights groups on Thursday put city and business leaders here on a 30-day notice that unless they meet a list of demands – including a ban on the display of the Confederate flag at taxpayer-funded events – they will be subjected to protests and boycotts.

More than 100 people converged on the steps of Homestead City Hall for a press conference organized by clerical, civil rights and community groups who submitted the list of demands. “We are ready to talk with the city of Homestead and the Homestead Chamber of Commerce concerning our action items. And our issues are with them, and not with the Sons of the Confederacy,” said Bishop Victor T. Curry, president of the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP. “If the Sons of the Confederacy want to have their own parade, we are not trying to stifle freedom of speech or freedom of expression. We just don’t want to see racism walking down the streets of Homestead, being funded by the taxpayers.”

Curry warned business leaders that if their demands are not met by the 30-day deadline, the controversy would escalate to another level.“We want the mayor and the council, and the chamber, to do the right thing. We hope that we could start this with a positive dialogue. But we’re also ready to move from dialogue to demonstration,” Curry said. “We are also prepared to say to the businesses that support the chamber, that if you want to offend the people of this great county and community, then we will seek other places to spend our dollars,’’ Curry said. “We will not pay you to offend us.”At the press conference, the coalition of organizations issued a six-point ultimatum and a 30-day deadline for those conditions to be met. If the demands are not met, the city could face protests and economic boycotts of local businesses.

The list of demands includes:• An apology from Mayor Lynda Bell and city officials over their handling of the issue • A reversal of the city council’s vote to dissolve the advisory Homestead/Florida City Human Relations Board, which initiated the challenge to the Confederate flag • A meeting between city officials and coalition members to discuss other concerns • A meeting between Chamber of Commerce representatives and the coalition to discuss their concerns • The city’s adoption of the guidelines for parades that the Human Relations Board established. • The Chamber of Commerce’s restriction of all flags in its events to official local, state and/or national flags.

None of the city council or chamber officials, including Mayor Lynda Bell, attended Thursday’s press conference, and none could be reached for comment about the demands, or the 30-day time limit.“In light of the comments that Mayor Lynda Bell is making about us, their lack of response really doesn’t surprise me,” said Rosemary Fuller, the former chairwoman of the now dissolved Human Relations Board. “I think Mayor Lynda Bell has not demonstrated any leadership in how she has handled this issue and for her to criticize those of us who are opposed to the Confederate flag is what has caused this to go on for the last seven months,’’ Fuller said. “The city needs to designate someone else as the point person on this issue.”

Curry said Bell canceled a meeting that was scheduled to take place between the coalition and city officials immediately after the press conference. He said she canceled because she objected to having former members of the Human Relations Board participate in the meeting. “I really think it’s unfortunate that she [Mayor Lynda Bell] doesn’t have the foresight to understand that she needs to work with Rosemary and myself, and it’s a disservice to the citizens of Homestead,” said Pat Mellerson, a founding member of the Human Relations Board. “I think the council should try to work with us, and meet the demands,’’ she said. “I think if the mayor does not want to have this resolved, someone else should take the lead.’’

The controversy dates back to the 2008 Veterans Day Parade in the city, which was organized by the Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber allows the Sons of Confederate Veterans to march and display the Confederate battle flag in the pocession. Opponents of the Confederate flag say it is a reminder of the violence and oppression of slavery. Supporters insist it is a symbol of their southern heritage and pride.

Homestead officials say they had no say in the city’s Veterans Day parade because it was organized by the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, and the city only provided in-kind and logistical support. Therefore, they said, the city has no say in who is allowed to participate in the event. Chamber of Commerce officials say it is a matter of freedom of speech, and they would not ban the groups from marching in future parades.

H.K. Edgerton is a 61-year-old African American and former president of the Asheville, North Carolina branch of the NAACP. He is also the founder and president of Southern Heritage 411, a pro-Confederate States organization whose intended purpose is to educate black people about their role in the Confederate Army and civil war. “If they are successful in banning the flag, we will surely file a lawsuit to stop it,” Edgerton said when he was informed of the press conference. He also sits on the board of the pro-Confederacy, Southern Legal Resource Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina, which is near Asheville. “I think it’s absurd,’’ he said. “It sends the wrong kind of message, especially when you’re talking about fulfilling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of bringing together the sons of former slaves and slave owners. What the NAACP is doing, once again, is trying to use the Confederate flag to solicit donations and increase its coffers, with the same old tactic of trying to divide Americans, but it will fail again.” Edgerton said he is not sure if his lifetime membership in the civil rights organization remains intact, but he has not been active since deciding not to run for reelection in 1988.

Last Updated ( Friday, 12 June 2009 )

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Battleflag to be Raised in Texas

Plan to honor Confederate dead at cemetery near Robinson draws praise from some, apprehension from others

By Wendy Gragg
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Sunday, June 07, 2009

At Fletcher Cemetery on Highway 77, the breeze blows unfettered across the top of the cemetery hill, the chinaberry trees offer just a hint of shade and a Union soldier lies peacefully among at least 15 Confederate veterans. Not everyone in the Robinson area knows about the historic spot, but those who do — relatives and others with reason to be reverent of the cemetery’s denizens — feel proud and protective of the overgrown plots. Some proud enough to want to raise a Confederate flag at the cemetery gates. Some protective enough to worry what the implication of flying the Stars and Bars might be.

Roland Duty proudly tells the history of his ancestor William Henry Duty, who fought in the Civil War and now rests in Fletcher Cemetery on Highway 77. Duty is looking forward to hoisting the Confederate flag in his relative's honor.

Sue Baker has many relatives buried in Fletcher Cemetery, including her great-great-grandfather, who was a Union soldier. She worries about the attention that the Confederate flag may bring the cemetery.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans are planning to raise the American, Texas and Confederate flags at a ceremony next Friday, helping to kick off their state conference in Waco next weekend at the Hilton. “We’re remembering those men who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, to defend that flag,” said Charles Oliver, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. For Oliver, the Confederate flag itself isn’t the problem. He said the problem is that so many people don’t know the basic history of that particular flag. “It was a soldier’s flag,” Oliver said. As Oliver describes it, the Stars and Bars is a battle flag, which Confederate soldiers carried into battle and rallied around.

Oliver is well aware of the controversy that follows the flag. But he looks at it from an historical viewpoint, rather than a political one. He recognizes that he and his Civil War ancestors may have even seen the flag differently. His ancestor may have had 20 slaves, but that is something that the ancestor will have to answer to God for, Oliver said.

Oliver and other members have joined Robinson community members who are trying to form a Fletcher Cemetery Association to ensure better upkeep of the historical site. Sisters Joyce Farar and Sue Baker also are concerned about the future of the cemetery, where generations of their family rest. They find themselves in an interesting position where the flag is concerned. Their great-great-grandfather, Robert Franklin Wooley, is the only Union soldier buried at Fletcher. Wooley had friends who were from Texas, so after the war, he took a trek to check out the area.
“He told my great-great-grandmother to sell their farm, and she used the money to fund their move to Texas,” Farar said. “He loved it when he got here. Apparently, that was a popular thing. Texas must have looked like the promised land.”

Farar and Baker’s “blue” blood, however, does not make them naturally opposed to the flag. The sisters simply find themselves on either side of whether the flag should fly at Fletcher. Farar said she, along with most of the other people at the last meeting of those trying to start a cemetery association, didn’t personally have a problem with the Confederate flag being raised along with the state and American flag at the cemetery.

Baker said she understands why the Sons of Confederate Veterans want to raise the flag, but she’s wary of the controversy that she thinks it will invite. “The climate in the U.S. right now is rocky, and a lot of groups use the Confederate flag to hide behind,” she said, side-stepping clumps of bull nettle and stinging nettle as she made her way to just one of her family plots at the top of the cemetery hill. “I think it could cause controversy, and that’s not what I’m looking for for the cemetery.”

The president of the McLennan County NAACP did not comment on the issue.

Cindy Moseley, president of the Robinson Chamber of Commerce, has no personal stake in Fletcher Cemetery, but she still finds herself conflicted about the flag’s placement on Highway 77. “Personally, I welcome anyone’s right to honor the past and history and honor individuals who made sacrifices for what they believe in,” she said. She also welcomes the interest of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in helping to maintain the historic resting place. Robinson is growing, she said, with a lot of new businesses, and a wider awareness of the history of the area could be a good thing. Her concern, she said, is in the way people who are just driving by will interpret the flying of that flag.

Fletcher Cemetery lies along a sparse stretch of Highway 77, just a couple of miles south of Moonlight Drive. Blink and you’ll miss it, despite the old cemetery gates and the historical marker. But an impressive cluster of flagpoles, tall enough to be seen a mile away, on the lower slope of Fletcher Cemetery’s hill, may draw the old resting place quite a bit of attention.
“My hope would be folks don’t rush to judgement without understanding,” she said. “The issue probably does come down to someone driving by, seeing that for a second and making a judgment which has nothing to do with the person lying dead in that cemetery.”

Robinson Mayor Brian Ferguson didn’t know of the plans for the Confederate flag to go up along the highway. He said he had no problem with it being used to honor fallen Confederate soldiers if it was going to be up temporarily. But if the flag is up permanently, he said, he can’t help but wonder what people passing through Robinson are going to think about his town when they see the flag. He supposes the city will deal with any problems regarding the flag as they arise, he said.

Roland Duty seems annoyed by the flak that the Confederate flag takes.
“The controversy is from the uninformed citizen,” he said. As a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, he’s looking forward to the flag raising. “Yee-haw!” he said, tromping through hip-high weeds, up to a large and impressive tombstone for William Henry Duty, who died in 1876. The stone marks the resting spot of Roland Duty’s great-great grandfather, who moved to Central Texas from Tennessee after fighting in the Civil War. Duty overflows with pride and the stories of his heritage.

Duty’s grandmother’s grandfather, William Benjamin Stovall, had no slaves but fought for the Confederacy in Vicksburg, Duty said. “He was just fighting for his beliefs, not being told what to do by a central government,” he said. Duty said he is a fan of the Bonnie Blue flag, a single white star in the middle of a solid blue field. The Bonnie Blue was used in some parts of the south during the Civil War, but it does not seem to carry the same negative connotations as the Stars and Bars.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans also fly a Confederate flag in Oakwood Cemetery, over the graves of Jerome and Felix Robertson, father and son brigadier generals for the Confederacy. Oakwood Superintendent David Evans said he has never had any complaints about the flag.
“Because people see the context it’s flown in, they understand,” Evans said. “We have so many Civil War soldiers. There are still individuals today that come out to see these sights and pay their respects.”

Oliver said he expects to hear grumbling about the flag flying on Highway 77. For some, the concern is more about perception and image. “Probably, there will be a lot of people who won’t even pay attention, but I think it could reflect not well on Robinson. Someone driving through, saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a redneck community,’ ” Baker said.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Battle Flag Raised in Bristol Tennessee

Sons of Confederate Veterans Raise Battle Flag

The 19th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry fire a
volley during Saturday’s flag dedication
ceremony in Bristol, Tenn.

Published: June 7, 2009

The Sons of Confederate Veterans raised a confederate battle flag Saturday evening in Bristol, Tenn. The 25-by-15-foot banner was hoisted on a 70-foot pole on a hillside in clear view of Interstate 81 – to serve as a monument and memory to those who fought on behalf of the South.
“You can’t get the real history from a text book,” said David Roberts, who organized Saturday’s event and spearheaded project to install the flag. “The ones that won got to write the book,” Roberts said. “But we know it’s different and that’s what we’ve got to teach our children. God bless Dixie and may this flag ever wave.”

About 200 people gathered for the ceremony, semi-circled around the pole on top of a hillside several hundred above the interstate. A dozen or so men dressed as confederate soldiers and among them was a black man named H.K. Edgerton. “The most discriminated against person in America is the Christian Southern white man,” said Edgerton, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a former president of the NAACP’s Asheville, N.C. branch.
Edgerton also said he enjoys “whipping Yankees.”

“This place should be full of black folks,” Edgerton said. “I don’t know why [I’m the only one here]. Maybe your newspaper should have told them to come to celebrate and sing Dixie and salute our flag. It’s a shame white folks and black folks make people think this is an evil flag. This is a southern flag. You can’t attack this flag and call yourself a southerner. You can call yourself a traitor.” Edgerton delivered his comments with the conviction of a preacher, in an impromptu address to the crowd. His adoring fans reciprocated with hoots and thunderous applause.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an national organization dedicated to protecting the honor of their ancestors. All are great-great-somethings of a confederate soldier, and they look to the flag as a symbol of that fight. To many others the Confederate flag is America’s most contentious symbol, likened to a swastika in hateful significance.

“It’s been hijacked by hate groups,” Roberts said. “We are in no way aligned with anyone who uses the flag our ancestors fought and died for, for purposes of hate or intimidation. These groups have also denigrated the U.S. flag and the Christian flag and make it very hard at times for us to honor our relatives without a negative response from the general public who have no idea about our organization.”

The pre-raising ceremony Saturday included opening remarks and many who attended exchanged certificates of appreciation. Among the presenters was Sheila Hunt, director of the Sullivan County Archives and Tourism, who offered the gratitude of the mayor of Sullivan County. Fittingly, Roberts dedicated the rebel flag to those who resent it: teachers who don’t allow children to wear it on their clothing; politicians who disassociate themselves from it; and a man who removed one from an Alabama cemetery.

Edgerton, flanked by several young boys, unveiled the giant flag, and the onlookers – five rows deep – clapped and chanted as it made its way up the pole. It hung quietly for several seconds, with audible anticipation below. Then the wind blew. “There she goes!” Digital cameras buzzed open. “Oh, isn’t it beautiful,” one woman cried. “Another great day in Dixie,” shouted a man. “Thank you Jesus,” said another. Then everyone sang Dixie and caught a ride down the hill.
“I represent four and a half million black folks who’ve been beat down and would love to be here, too,” Edgerton said. “If they tell you they wouldn’t be, the first thing you ask is where they’re from. Then you tell them to go on back.”

John Harrison, the former head of the Kingsport chapter of the NAACP, does not share such enthusiasm for the Confederate flag. “I am not endeared by that flag,” Harrison said. “Sometimes people do these things to see a knee-jerk reaction. And I really wish they wouldn’t. When I see it, I ignore it the best I can. I don’t challenge, because that’s just what they want.”
A Friday call and an e-mail to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were not returned. Saturday calls to other local chapters of the NAACP also were not immediately returned.

“I don’t plan to protest or write letters.” Harrison said. “That just moves their agenda to the forefront, like when three or four members of the Klan march they bring a lot of attention. I’m just going to go on past it. I’ve got better things to do. But that’s just me.”


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Confederate Soldiers to be Included in Tennessee Memorial

Confederate Soldiers Have A Place In Jonesborough Memorial

By George Jackson Reporter-Producer / News Channel 11
Published: June 9, 2009

Jonesborough, Tenn.—Last month, Tennessee’s oldest town celebrated the near-completion of Veterans Park. To Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Marion Light, Memorial Day Weekend was a dream come true. “It has been a labor of love and a lot of time,“ Light said.

The park includes hundred of bricks, all placed to honor fallen veterans from Washington County—but the collection of names etched in granite did not include confederate soldiers. That changed Monday night when the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted them in.
Light said the park was intended for U.S., not confederate soldiers. “We’re not trying to discriminate,“ he said. “We were just trying to honor the people who held this country together."

An organization called the ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans’ thinks both groups are one in the same. “It was their sons that went on to fight in World War I, their grandsons went on to fight in World War II,“ Brigade Commander David Roberts said. “We’re as American as anybody else and we want our place in history. We don’t want it covered up.“ Roberts said federal law provides equal rights to the confederate soldier.

According to the U.S. Department Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Government denied benefits to Confederate soldiers until 1958. That year, Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower pardoned the entire group—when they pensioned 80 year-old Minnie Cave, the last living confederate widow.

Jonesborough Town Attorney James Wheeler looked into the issue’s legal background. Monday night, he presented that research (and the following conclusion) to the board.
“All authority cited to me or found by me is persuasive rather than controlling on this issue, “ Wheeler said. “In other words, this is a decision for the town of Jonesborough as the owner of the park to make."

The board made that decision immediately—and voted unanimously in favor of including confederate soldiers.

It remains unclear whether or not that vote will incite Light’s resignation from the V.A. Committee. “I plan to get this {project} finished,“ he said. “Then I’ll look at what the town has required. But, I want to finish what we’ve got started first."

Light suspended brick orders last Monday in anticipation of this ruling. He said the town has 1,400 bricks left to lay. Wheeler said the V.A. Committee will decide how markers for Washington County’s confederate soldiers will be incorporated.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Confederate Veterans Honored in Tennessee

A WAR MEMORIAL: An old tradition will live again today when local members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans gather to observe Confederate Decoration Day. The service will mark the first such ceremony held at the Confederate Cemetery on Bethel Avenue in about seven years, said Ron Jones, commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Longstreet-Zollicoffer camp. The cemetery holds the graves of more than 1,600 soldiers in gray who died from wounds or disease during the Civil War.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

SCV Presses Forward in Homestead

Sons of Confederate Veterans intend to march in Homestead

The local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said it intends to march at a Veterans Day parade in November. But organizers from the military affairs committee of the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce are debating on whether to continue the 47-year-old event.

The committee's executive board will decide Thursday whether to support the chamber's recommendation to discontinue the parade after a controversy erupted over the one-time display of the Confederate battle flag last year.

For some, the flag symbolizes their heritage. For others, it is a symbol of racism and slavery.
The Miami-Dade chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling for a ban of the rebel flag. It plans to protest June 13 in Homestead and has threatened to boycott businesses belonging to the chamber of commerce.

But Confederate ancestors said they have a right to march with the flag and the chamber shouldn't be afraid to put on the parade. ''I think it's very sad they are considering canceling the parade,'' said Gregory Kalof, commander of the Miami camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. ``The chamber is responding to a threat of a boycott from the NAACP.''
After hearing of the group's intentions to march, Mary Finlan, the executive director of the chamber, replied: ``We would expect that.'' Last week, she said board members said they wanted to cancel the parade because they did not want veterans to be disrespected and the event to be marred by protests.

Debra Toomer, a spokeswoman for the local NAACP, said she couldn't comment on the Sons of Confederates planning to march at the Homestead Veterans Day parade. ''We have not heard officially that the Sons of Confederate plan to march,'' she said. ``We can't give you a reaction.''

In recent days, the NAACP has been tight-lipped about its plans, including a campaign to inform NASCAR and its sponsors about the flag's appearance in Homestead and a possible boycott of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship and Sprint Cup Series Championship at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Toomer said NAACP President Bishop Victor Curry would discuss these issues at a press conference June 11 in front of Homestead City Hall.

Robert Hurst, public affairs officer for the Sons of Confederate Veterans Florida division, said there had been talk among the Confederate veterans about holding their own press conference this week. Members decided against it. ''We don't try to interfere with the NAACP,'' Hurst said. ``They have the right to do whatever they want to do. We have a First Amendment right of free speech.''

In an interview Tuesday, Brandon Hensler, spokesman for the ACLU of Florida, said no one has asked the ACLU to get involved in the dispute, although the organization is monitoring the executive board's decision and could play a role in the future. One organization that has waded into the conflict: The U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service, an impartial body whose purpose is to help communities resolve tension and conflict in matters over race, color or national origin. ''We are involved and we have personnel in Homestead,'' said Ryan Breitenbach, legal counsel for the Community Relations Service in Washington, D.C.
He declined to comment on the group's work, citing confidentiality agreements.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a national group that was formed in 1896. Open to male descendants of Confederate veterans, its purpose is to ''preserve the legacy of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the southern cause,'' according to its website. Hurst said there are 50 to 55 camps or local chapters, totaling about 1,500 people, in Florida.

The Miami camp decided to march in the Homestead Veterans Day parade because a similar parade in Palm Beach County had been canceled, Kalof said. They had participated in that parade for at least four or five years without any protests or incidents, he said.
''We wanted to support the troops,'' Kalof added. ``We don't endorse slavery, segregation or white supremacy.''

In February, Kalof suggested that his group would march with the Stars and Bars flag instead of the rebel flag at this year's Veterans Day parade, but members of the now-dissolved Homestead/Florida City Human Relations Board rejected that idea, he said.

At the end of April, the Sons of Confederate Veterans installed the largest Confederate battle flag in the country -- 30 feet high and 50 feet long atop a 139-foot pole on private land near the junction of Interstate 75 and Interstate 4 in Tampa. The giant flag is part of the group's Flags Across Florida project that also includes a memorial for Confederate veterans, Kalof said. It also has erected rebel flags in Lake City and north of Tallahassee by the Georgia state line, Hurst said.

The Tampa flag prompted a mixed reaction among nearby business owners in Hillsborough County, who feared a backlash from blacks, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Kalof said there are plans to erect Confederate battle flags in South Florida; although, nothing is imminent because the costs are high and time is needed to raise money for the project.
''We are not a political organization. We are a historical group,'' he said.