Melbourne official wants to defund parades featuring Confederate flag


A protest by Confederate supporters outside Orlando City Hall in 2017. - PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
  • A protest by Confederate supporters outside Orlando City Hall in 2017.
A Melbourne City Council member wants the city to defund parades featuring the Confederate flag.

Florida Today reports Melbourne Councilwoman Teresa Lopez made a motion Monday to remove $6,500 of taxpayer dollars given to the Fourth of July parade, the Memorial Day parade and the Veterans Day parade. During those parades, Confederate flags are usually displayed by the Confederate Sons Association of Florida Indian River Camp 47 and Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp J.J. Dickison Camp 1387, according to Today. Lopez previously pushed for a motion to ban the city from sponsoring events featuring the controversial flag.

"I can’t see how funding these three parades benefits all our Melbourne residents when some feel belittled, insulted and upset by the participation of a hatred symbol: the Confederate flag," Lopez said, according to Today.

Her fellow Councilman Tim Thomas said the Confederate flag was under First Amendment protections, and that people who wanted to protest the flag could turn their backs, Today reports. Lopez's motion lacked a second and was unable to move forward on Monday, but Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan said a debate over the funding could occur during budget discussions in September.

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