A March of the Confederacy is planned soon in downtown Mount Airy.
It is scheduled for May 7 at 12:30 p.m., to be led by Southern Cross, a Dobson-based organization, with the public invited to take part, also.
The march will start from Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia) on North Main Street at Independence Boulevard and end at the city war memorial at the corner of South Main and Rockford streets, where patriotic and other activities are planned.
And while one of the purposes of the gathering is to honor the Confederate heritage, Southern Cross President Joe Davis said its scope will be much broader – a show of support for the American way of life in general.
“It is for our rights and our freedoms,” Davis explained Wednesday.
“There’s so much racial stuff that goes on in the media and everywhere else – white against black and black against white and everyone against gay,” he said.
“They’ve forgotten what this country was founded on, which is freedom for everybody.”
“The Bible tells people not to judge,” Davis continued. “We are all brothers – and we have stepped away from that.”
Southern Cross members also are disturbed over how recent high-profile events have become catalysts for attacking gun-ownership rights and displays of Confederate flags and monuments. “And that’s why we’re standing up,” Davis said.
A permit for the upcoming march has been granted by the Mount Airy Police Department.
Anyone wanting to participate is asked to assemble at Wells Fargo Bank at 12:30 p.m. on May 7, with the march to begin around 1 p.m.
“We encourage people to come join us,” Davis said. “Anyone wishing to march with us is welcome.”
While participants may carry Confederate battle, American or Christian flags, protest signs or any display of racial or hate remarks won’t be allowed, Davis added.
“This rally is not about hate.”
One element of the march will be a symbolic reminder of dying rights.
“We actually built an old-time wooden Western hearse,” Davis said of a creation that will be pulled through downtown Mount Airy.
A police escort is to accompany the marchers.
Once at the war memorial, activities will include “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Pledge of Allegiance. There also will be remarks, including those in support of veterans, who have fought and died to preserve America’s freedoms, Davis reminded, and prayer.
The upcoming march will be the first in Mount Airy for Southern Cross, which held one last year in Dobson.
It is planning similar events for June and July in Pilot Mountain and Dobson, respectively, as part of what Davis called “a mass of marches.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.