Ringgold council denies permit for confederate rally

Randall Franks

Ringgold City Council decided 4-1 against a request from the New Confederate Partisans to host a rally downtown at Citizen’s Park.

According to its national website, the New Confederate Partisans is an activist organization dedicated to preserving the South’s heritage, and in helping to fight the problems facing the South today.

The request to host a rally comes from Tommy Aaron of the organization’s Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia chapter. The organization asked through its application for a permit to host a rally in Citizen’s Park April 26 between noon- 4 p.m. No one spoke on behalf of the organization at the Feb. 11 meeting.

“Our Southern heritage is under attack. It is time for Southern patriots to stand up and take action. Due to the unrelenting efforts of groups openly opposed to the South and her symbols, our southern heritage is being eliminated,” said the local chapter’s website. “What is needed now are proud Southerners to take a stand for our noble heritage and for the brave men and women who died in the name of the independence of the Confederate States of America. We must secure the posterity of our heritage for ourselves and for the generations to come.”

Aaron said Feb. 12 that he was unable to attend the council meeting.

“The main reason was to honor our Confederate veterans on their day — Confederate Memorial Day. It’s an honoring thing,” he said. “I stated that in application. The main reason I applied for the permit was to keep undesirables away. That gives us the right to have them removed.”

Council member Bill McMillon made the motion to deny the permit.

“The little park is not suitable,” he said. “There is not enough room.”

He suggested that the applicant being from East Ridge might consider using Camp Jordan for the event.

Council members also mentioned in its work session, a rally held at the major intersection of Tennessee Street, U.S. Highway 41 and LaFayette Street may cause some safety issues.

Council member O.C. Adcock voted against the measure thus for allowing the permit.

“I didn’t see any problem with them doing what they wanted to do,” he said. “It’s part of our heritage and I think they should have a right to express themselves. I don’t think its probably the best location.”

Aaron said the group is trying to do an honorable things and he does not understand why the city does not allow it.

“There would be no trouble caused,” he said. “I don’t understand why the city would deny it. Constitutionally they can’t keep us from assembling. We’ve got lawyers that can handle that.

“We are not racist. We are strictly for the heritage of the Confederates soldiers, their memorials and graves,” he said.

Aaron said that he anticipated around 20 people, mostly from Georgia, to attend the rally.

“All are welcome to come,” the website said. “Be sure to bring your battle flags, third national flags, Bonny Blue and your real Georgia flags…”

The reason for the rally is to encourage “support in numbers to insure our heroes flag flies in Ringgold on their day or weekend after.”

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