The usual organizers of the Veterans' Day Parade in Homestead won't be sponsoring it this year.
Instead, the Arrant-Smith Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4127 is hosting the popular event at noon on Nov. 11 in downtown Homestead.
The sponsorship change is the latest in an 11-month controversy over the Sons of Confederate Veterans flying the Confederate battle flag in last year's parade.
The Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP had demanded the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce ban the flag, saying it symbolizes racism and slavery. Others disagree, saying the flag is a symbol of pride and Southern heritage.
The chamber had gone back and forth on the issue; its military affairs committee voted to ban the flag.
But the wrangling had left the committee without the usual time to organize Miami-Dade's longest-running Veterans' Day Parade.
"We find ourselves at the 11th hour with no plan of action to put the parade on. We've decided to put it off this year and pick it up next year," said Jeff Porter, incoming chair of the military affairs committee.
Jim Pierce, the parade chairman, had also retired and no one had replaced him, added Mary Finlan, executive director of the chamber. The military affairs committee then decided to cancel the parade last Thursday.
In stepped local veterans.
William Thibault and Louis Melara -- both volunteer organizers for the VFW -- confirmed Wednesday that the VFW in Homestead will sponsor the event.
"We wanted the parade to happen. It's to honor our veterans and we want no deviation from that," said Melara.
However, it's unknown what the VFW's stance or rules are regarding the display of the Confederate flag.
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