The mayor of Austin, Texas announced Thursday that he would not march in the city’s Veterans Day parade, even after the parade committee banned the Confederate flag from appearing there.
Austin mayor Steve Adler told the parade committee he would not march in the same parade as the Confederate flag, stating that “symbols of racism” should not be “cheered and applauded,” reported KVUE. But after the committee banned the flag, he still refuses to march.
“Symbols of racism, Civil War secession, and white supremacy should not be forgotten or erased, but they need to be remembered and studied in museums and classrooms, not cheered and applauded in parades,” said Adler, according to KVUE. “There are people in our community that feel great pain associated with having the confederate flag in the parade.”
The mayor said his decision was personal and a tough one to make.
“Some in our community consider the Confederate battle flag as a negative symbol, and therefore voted unanimously to ban the flag from the parade,” the Austin Veterans Day Parade Committee wrote in a statement obtained by KVUE.
Committee members said they had believed that Adler had met with groups representing Confederate veterans and had reached a compromise that would enable them both to attend the parade.
“I think that while [banning the Confederate battle flag] is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t quite go far enough for me,” Adler said Thursday.
While the committee banned the Confederate battle flag, it is still permitting participants to fly the Confederacy’s national flag, reported Statesman.
In lieu of attending the parade, Adler will volunteer at a food bank, write thank you notes for veterans, and attending a “Red, White, and Blues” concert, reported Fox 7.
“25% of the people that get meals at the food bank are veterans so that’s a really good way to honor vets,” he said.
“The response from the community has been very positive,” said Jason Stanford, addressing the mayor’s decision to volunteer at the food bank instead of attend the parade to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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