WJTV News Channel 12 - Hope Mills to regulate phrases used on parade floats

Following July 4th gaffe, Hope Mills to regulate phrases used on parade floats

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A Fourth of July parade float flies a Confederate flag while pulling a trailer full of watermelons with a sign that reads "White history month." (Michael Kenneth, Contributed) A Fourth of July parade float flies a Confederate flag while pulling a trailer full of watermelons with a sign that reads "White history month." (Michael Kenneth, Contributed)
HOPE MILLS, N.C. -

Hope Mills town commissioners hope to present new rules for parade floats at next month's Town Council meeting after a float in the Fourth of July parade stirred unwanted controversy.

The town has never had rules about what is and is not allowed in parades. However that lack of policy came into question as dozens of parade watchers expressed concern about the contents of one of this year's floats.

Following a public outcry, town commissioners now want to limit the types of phrases used at a parade to seasonal sayings like "Happy Four of July" and "Merry Christmas."

The parade float that caused a stir in the small community included a tractor with a Confederate flag, pulling a trailer of watermelons. On the sides of the trailer were signs that read, "White history month" and "Hug white people."

There was also a vintage advertisement sign on the front of the trailer, with the derogatory word "picaninny" and a caricature of a black child eating watermelon.

The new regulations will be presented at October's Town Council meeting.

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