Celebs should have been allowed in battle commemoration, Confederate group says

Tuesday, 12/05/06
Staff Writer

FRANKLIN – Celebrity volunteers should have been allowed to participate in the
Nov. 30 Battle of Franklin ceremony, said the national commander of the Sons of
Confederate Veterans.

Christopher Sullivan, the SCV’s commander-in-chief, called the decision
by local SCV officials to bar celebrities “short-sighted”. Local
Sons of Confederate Veterans folks claim celebrities, who they would not name,
had asked to march in the Franklin event. They turned them down, officials said,
because they wanted to maintain a somber feel to the march. Sullivan says that
was a mistake.

“There are plenty of celebrities who have Confederate ancestors and want
to express their Southern pride, the same as anyone else,” Sullivan said
in a press release. “Presumably they could be counted on to behave with
dignity. More importantly, in a time when Confederate heritage is getting a
bad rap throughout the media, the movies and sports, having these folks stand
up and be counted would have been a tremendous public relations boost. We don’t
need to be excluding anybody.”

Michael Bradley, commander for the state SCV division, claimed last week that
Franklin-area SCV leaders had been approached by country music starts and athletes
to participate in the event. Bradley said he has spoken with Sullivan about
his concerns.

“Hindsight’s always 20/20,” Bradley said. “Certainly
in any event there’s anything that could have been done better. I respect
Mr. Sullivan’s point that we need everybody involved that wants to be

Copyright © 2006, tennessean.com

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