On the heels of a march through downtown Mount Airy in early May, a pro-Confederate group is planning a similar event Saturday in Pilot Mountain.
It is billed as a March for the Confederacy, which is being sponsored by a Dobson-area group called Southern Cross. Participants are to begin gathering at 12:30 p.m. at Pilot Hosiery Mills on East Main Street in Pilot Mountain and, about 1 p.m., will walk to a spot near Hardee’s where a short program is planned.
In addition to the Southern Cross group, members of local J.E.B Stuart Camp 1598 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have been invited to participate in the march, and Southern Cross President Joe Davis said this also extends to the general public.
“We encourage anybody that wants to come.”
Although highlighting the positive aspects of Confederate heritage is a goal of the event, Davis said organizers seek to do more than that.
“The overall purpose,” he explained, “is our rights and freedoms.”
In speaking at the Mount Airy War Memorial after the downtown march on May 7, Davis cited a need for grass-roots awareness efforts in light of recent federal governmental actions threatening rights of expression, gun ownership and religion.
“Military soldiers have always fought against tyranny all the way back to the Revolution — these are things that are still true today that we still need to address,” he said Tuesday in discussing the Pilot Mountain march by Southern Cross.
“We’re just a group of guys who want to make a difference.”
Davis acknowledged that Saturday’s event also is a way to provide positive exposure for Confederate history. “So much stuff is misrepresented.”
During the May 7 event in Mount Airy, group members solemnly made their way down North Main Street carrying both Confederate and American flags, as onlookers watched and took pictures. The gathering at the war memorial included a prayer.
“Oh, man, it was awesome,” Davis said this week of the Mount Airy march. “Everything went off without a hitch — the police there gave us great cooperation.”
As was the case in Mount Airy, a hearse will be towed along the street as part of Saturday’s procession through Pilot Mountain, to symbolize how rights have died or are dying.
Davis emphasized that the intent is to hold a dignified event, with “no racist stuff” allowed among participants.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.