After getting backlash board members of the Rodeo of the Ozarks Christmas Parade are now looking into what changes they can make to their decades old tradition.
“The Rodeo of the Ozarks is a multicultural organization, we celebrate diversity and it pains us that somebody was hurt and that’s the last thing we would want to happen,” said Rodeo of the Ozarks Board Member Sach Oliver.
A video surfaced saturday night after a float in the Rodeo of the Ozarks Christmas Parade showcased a Confederate flag and men dressed as Confederate soldiers. .
It belonged to the Arkansas Division of The Sons of Confederate Veterans. The commander, Trip Wilson, stands behind it.
“I saw nothing wrong with it, I saw nothing illegal nothing illicit nothing vulgar. They had the confederate flag which is the flag they fought under and I see nothing wrong with what was done at the parade, ” said Arkansas Division Commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Trip Wilson.
Rodeo of the Ozarks board member Sach Oliver said he had no idea this was going to happen.
The parade currently does not have a vetting process to filter out entries.
“We just want everybody to know that we do not endorse or feature a parade or float, we’re simply trying to host this parade for the community,” said Oliver.
Many people have taken to social media, saying the incident was racist. Wilson said it’s a piece of history.
“It is absolutely not racist.” said Wilson.
Wilson said the group wants to educate and tell people what they believe the war is truly about.
“Confederate soldiers are the same as U.S. soldiers by law, that’s why we’re able to get monuments, that’s why we’re able to get tombstones for them as government expense. And that’s the way we want them to be treated,” said Wilson.
Oliver said the Rodeo of the Ozarks board will have a meeting in January to discuss if the vetting process needs to change and are willing to work with anyone in the community to make this right.
The Arkansas Sons of Confederate Veterans will also not appear in this years Mountain Home Christmas Parade due to not having enough volunteers.