Saturday, June 2nd 2007
Many of you heard about Bryce Archambo early this year when he was suspended from Farmington High School for refusing to take off his "Dixie Outfitters" T-Shirt along with a baseball cap that read "Rebel Pride" and a belt buckle that displayed Confederate symbolism.
After the suspension, his parents contacted Attorney Robert Herman who specializes in Constitutional and Free Speech issues. Soon after they filed a federal lawsuit against the Farmington School system, which is still ongoing.
The controversy according to Bryce Archambo, started when a physical education teacher named Mark Krause knocked a hat that had Confederate symbols on it , it off of his head.
Following Bryce’s suspension, a rally was held at a local civic center in Farmington in support of him, and his right to honor his Southern heritage. The rally featured Black Confederate activist H.K. Edgerton, Dewey Barber (owner of the Dixie Outfitters clothing company), Attorney Robert Herman , Gary Ayres Commander of the John T. Coffee Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans as well as myself.
Two TV stations, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper covered the event and many of the attendees in the crowd participated in an impromptu public forum afterwards, including Joe Gresham of the Southern Independence Party of Kentucky (and Confederate States of America organizations) and a public school teacher from Bloomfield , Missouri, Paul Arnold.
Terry Warren who was the musical entertainment for the evening was getting ready for the show in his RV when he heard and witnessed local police telling students not to come to the rally.
Fast-forward to Saturday June 2’cd, 2007. The City of Farmington , Missouri is holding its annual Country Days parade and the Archambo family with help from the John T. Coffee Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, has entered a float in the parade, complete with Confederate flags and a sign that reads "The Ignorant think this Flag is Racist".
This time the police are friendlier. An older police officer asks "who’s in charge?", I immediately suspect that he wants me to remove my pistols, but he’s just there to tell us where we’re going to enter the parade line at.
Four-wheelers are driven by friends and Archambo family members. A local "bike shop" owner, Kirby Shelly, owner and proprietor of "Devient Bikes" of Farmington , Missouri are also in the parade. Kirby has brought several of his friends along, their "Harley’s" each sporting miniature Confederate Battle Flags on the back. Once again , I too am happy to "pitch in" carrying my Trans-Mississippi Battle Flag and vowing to walk the entire distance , in my Confederate uniform. Ironically the parade starts at Farmington High School, the same High School that kicked Bryce Archambo out of school for displaying Confederate symbols.
I tell Kirby, "Thanks for coming out and supporting the Archambo’s and Southern Heritage".
Brian replies, "It was the right thing to do".
Along the route we handed out dozens of miniature Confederate Battle Flags to children and even parents who were eager to receive them as well! Hundreds of "Dixie Outfitters" school protest shirts that read "Public Schools Should Educate, Not Discriminate Against Southern Heritage" were given away. The shirts were extremely popular as we ran out of them before the parade was at its half-way mark! So many shirts were being handed out at one point that it caused a HUGE gap in the parade line.
Along the way we received many "thumbs up" and approving nods from the public as well. There was , one person who was not happy to see us. Coach Mark Krause was in the crowd as Bryce pointed out. "He’s the one in the yellow shirt". Clearly infuriated shaking his head.
"Hey Krause!", I exclaim. But solicit no response from him. (Perhaps the sign on the float hit a little too close to home).
As the parade was winding down, I hear an elderly gentleman talking to one of his friends saying, "I’m proud of those boys".