Celebs should have been allowed in battle commemoration, Confederate group says

Tuesday, 12/05/06
By KEVIN WALTERS
Staff Writer

FRANKLIN – Celebrity volunteers should have been allowed to participate in the Nov. 30 Battle of Franklin ceremony, said the national commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Christopher Sullivan, the SCV’s commander-in-chief, called the decision by local SCV officials to bar celebrities “short-sighted”. Local Sons of Confederate Veterans folks claim celebrities, who they would not name, had asked to march in the Franklin event. They turned them down, officials said, because they wanted to maintain a somber feel to the march. Sullivan says that was a mistake.

“There are plenty of celebrities who have Confederate ancestors and want to express their Southern pride, the same as anyone else,” Sullivan said in a press release. “Presumably they could be counted on to behave with dignity. More importantly, in a time when Confederate heritage is getting a bad rap throughout the media, the movies and sports, having these folks stand up and be counted would have been a tremendous public relations boost. We don’t need to be excluding anybody.”

Michael Bradley, commander for the state SCV division, claimed last week that Franklin-area SCV leaders had been approached by country music starts and athletes to participate in the event. Bradley said he has spoken with Sullivan about his concerns.

“Hindsight’s always 20/20,” Bradley said. “Certainly in any event there’s anything that could have been done better. I respect Mr. Sullivan’s point that we need everybody involved that wants to be involved.”

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