Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

e) Allegations of display of a
Confederate flag

Several magazines printed a photograph purporting to be from the 1992 Roundup showing a group of attendees displaying a large Confederate flag.

(i) Evidence

During the 1992 Roundup someone brought a large Confederate flag that was given to an officer from the Toronto police. At some point during the Roundup a group of officers on motorcycles decided to have their photograph taken with the flag. Some of the officers in the photograph are making obscene gestures or have

1992 Confederate Flag
Fig. 30

raised fists. Several of the persons in the photograph are Canadians. One is a Johnson City, Tennessee, police officer (and later president of the Roundup). Richard Hayward is present in the group. The photograph appeared in the center of the September 1995 Media Bypass magazine and in the December 1995 issue of Soldier of Fortune. The captions suggest that the group in the photograph consists entirely of federal agents. We found no evidence that any individual in the photograph is a federal agent.

(ii) OIG findings

As the photograph makes clear, some participants at the 1992 Roundup openly displayed and appeared to rally around a Confederate flag. Although profound disagreement exists as to whether the mere display of a Confederate flag is intended to send a message of "southern heritage" or of racial hatred, such display accompanied by obscene gestures and raised fists is difficult to square with a benign interpretation. We do not know if any of the organizers that year were aware of this particular event, but in light of the failure to take any action when Confederate flags were flown in other years, it is unlikely that any action would have been taken even if they had been made aware of it. Furthermore, it is troubling that one of the persons raising his fist in the photograph was subsequently elected president of the Roundup, suggesting that at least certain members of the Roundup leadership were insensitive to the hostility and intolerance conveyed by this particular display.