Southern Heritage Confederate Flag Rally Parade in Middleburg
By James Colquhoun
Today, Saturday, 18 July 2015, Volunteers from the Florida League of the South’s Headquarters Chapter along with their family members attended the “Southern Heritage – Confederate Flag Rally / Parade” in Middleburg, Florida.
The event was organized by Prevatt’s Sports Bar and Grill located at 2620 Blanding Blvd., Middleburg, Florida 32068. Co-organizer, Rob Welton of D N D Productions officiated the event, welcoming people, providing instructions and guidance for the parade.
The purpose of the Florida League’s participation in the event was to gain name recognition for the Florida League, identify key leadership personnel, recruitment and education of the attendees.An estimated 275-300 vehicles participated in the parade with most vehicles containing 3-4 people.
Headquarters Chapter distributed approximately 300 Free Magnolias to the crowd along with approximately 50 fliers including “What is the League of the South” and “The Southern Nation”. Two membership application cards were given out to people wanting to know how to join. Additionally, 16 each 12”x18” Confederate Battle flags were given away to people who didn’t have flags to fly and about 4 dozen small CBF stick flags were given to small children. Everything distributed was accompanied by the statement “compliments of the Florida League of the South”. Our literature and flags were gratefully accepted by the participants. Many individuals tracked us down in the parking lot seeking out literature they had seen in the hands of others.
Surprisingly, several people we encountered at the event had already heard of the League of the South and spoke highly of what they knew about it. These people were encouraged with additional League literature. One in particular knew about the Black Cross Flag and wanted to know where he could purchase one. Contact information was provided for purchase of the flag.
The parade went relatively smoothly even without police escort as it proceeded North on Blanding Boulevard, East on Wells Road, South on US17, West on Country Rd. 220 and South on Blanding Blvd to return to Prevatt’s restaurant. The parade traveled through the towns of Middleburg and Orange Park.
Throughout the entire parade route the vehicles in convoy were enthusiastically greeted by people on sidewalks and driveways who cheered, screamed, waved, gave thumbs up gestures and, in one case 3 women “flashed” the convoy in happy appreciation. Passing motorists were equally enthusiastic with the spectacle of the parade.Noticeable opposition was miniscule. On one occasion two young White males were seen holding a large banner near the intersection of Blanding Blvd and Wells Road reading “Black Lives Matter No Racists in O P” (Orange Park) as well as a small sign with the image of a Confederate Battle Flag in a circle with a slash through it. In Orange Park two Black youths were observed on bicycles traveling beside the convoy imitating firearms popping noises with their mouths and using their hands to simulate pistols while also flashing gang signs. A third Black male on a bicycle in Orange Park was seen giving “the Bird” to the passing convoy. No violence was reported throughout the event.
A St. Johns Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol vehicle were seen pulling over two convoy vehicles near the end of the parade. One citation was for having passengers riding in the back of a pickup truck. The other citation was unknown.
Overall the event was a huge success, not only for the organizers and participants but for the Florida League as well. League members were able to establish multiple useful contacts to include event leadership and members of the community. Recruitment from this event seems likely and many participants were left with a positive image of the Florida League.