Roanoke debates group’s use of Confederate flag in parade

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — City Council members in a Virginia city say they have no grounds to ban the Confederate battle flag from a Christmas parade.

Local media outlets report that the topic arose at Monday’s meeting in Roanoke, days after NAACP leaders called on city leaders to ban the flag from the event.

Several council members condemned it as a hateful symbol but said the First Amendment doesn’t allow them to bar it.

The parade is scheduled for Friday. The flag has been flown in recent years by the Sons of Confederate Veterans 28th Virginia Infantry Camp.

Roanoke NAACP President Brenda Hale asked the group to compromise by marching in the parade but not flying the flag.

Mark Craig, commander of the SCV camp, says he didn’t view that proposal as a compromise.

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This story has been corrected to show in the headlines that the city involved is Roanoke, not Raleigh.

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