NAACP to skip Newton parade over flag debate

Confederate battle flag will be in Newton parade.
Confederate battle flag will be in Newton parade.

The annual Soldiers Reunion festivities are underway this week in Newton, and Confederate flags are expected to be displayed during the parade Thursday night.

An agreement last year allowed only the Sons of Confederate Veterans to display Confederate flags as they marched in the parade. Members of the group said they would follow the same agreement this year.

Jerry McCombs, president of the Catawba County chapter of the NAACP, said his group will not attend the parade as long as Confederate flags are displayed.

“We do not like what it represents,” he said.

Parade officials do not expect any major issues, but Major Tim Hayes said, “We have a plan in place” in case there is trouble.

After what happened in Durham Monday police are also watching for any vandalism, said Hayes.

“No matter what the monument is,” he said.