Councilwoman wants to end participation in patriotic parades with confederate flag

There are three patriotic parades each year in Melbourne, including Memorial day, Veteran's Day, and the Fourth of July. But one councilwoman is hoping to convince her fellow council members to stop supporting and participating in any of those parades if a confederate flag is in it.

As a tradition, city council members ride in an antique fire truck during these patriotic parades, but when councilwoman Teresa Lopez saw the local "Sons of the Confederacy" marching in the same parade with American and Confederate flags, she says she was angered by it.

"I saw it and I got very upset", said Lopez.

As a result, the newly elected district 6 councilwoman decided not to participate in the Fourth of July parade.

"I came off the engine" says councilwoman Lopez, "and I told my fellow council members I will not march in the parade as long as the confederate flag is participating in the same parade."

Now, councilwoman Lopez wants to take it a step further. On Tuesday, she'll ask her fellow council members to discuss crafting an ordinance to do two things if a confederate flag will be on display in future patriotic parades: end the city waiver of police and traffic fees, which amounts to about a $1500 credit, as well as forbid parade participation of city officials and equipment, which would include city fire engines.

"Because this confederate flag is saying that the white man is superior to the black people" said Lopez. "And that is such an injustice. I'm hoping that the city council will support me on this."

Lopez has put the issue on the agenda as a discussion item in this Tuesday's commission meeting at Melbourne City Hall. The meeting begins at 6:30pm.

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