Alpharetta ends city sponsorship of popular parade over confederate flag controversy

December 11, 2019
1 min read
Alpharetta ends city sponsorship of popular parade over confederate flag controversy

ALPHARETTA — The Alpharetta City Council voted this week to end its sponsorship of the Old Soldiers Day Parade, which has become a city staple.

After controversy and lawsuits related to the role of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, who seek to fly the confederate flag during the parade, the city coundil made the decision to stop funding the parade and will look to the private sector to continue the parade in the future.

A recent review of events funded in whole or in part by the City noted that the City’s costs for the 2019 event amounted to more than $20,000.

“Sadly, a wonderful event that brings the people of Alpharetta together to celebrate United States veterans has become a platform for outside groups to champion their own personal agendas. So, under these circumstances it is no longer appropriate for the City to use taxpayer money to fund such an event,” Mayor Jim Gilvin said.

“While we sincerely hope private organizations will continue to host the parade,” Gilvin said “recent lawsuits by individuals affiliated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans have caused additional financial burdens to Alpharetta taxpayers while creating unwelcome distractions which defeat the whole purpose of public support for an event intended to unite our community in celebrating the heroes who make this great nation possible.”

Martin O’Toole, a spokesman for the Georgia Division of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, told the AJC that he blamed the city’s decision on city leaders and political correctness.

City leaders said that they would welcome the event’s continuation if an organization seeks a special event permit to run the Old Soldiers Day Parade absent public funding.

The Old Soldiers Day Parade was revived in 1952 and has been held in downtown Alpharetta consistently ever since.

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