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Austin mayor skipping Veterans Day parade over Confederate flag

Austin Mayor Adler said he will not attend, but instead will volunteer at the Central Texas Food Bank.

While Mayor Steve Adler announced he will not march in Austin's Veterans Day parade Saturday "because that parade will include groups carrying the Confederate flag," organizers said the Parade Committee voted to ban the flag from the parade.

The parade, which will march down Congress Avenue, is set to take place at around 9:30 a.m. that day.

Instead, Adler said he will honor veterans on Veterans Day weekend by volunteering at the Central Texas Food Bank, which he said serves a large number of the local veteran community.

Adler said in a statement that Veterans Day should only be about honoring United States Miliary Veterans.

"Symbols of racism, Civil War secession, and white supremacy should not be forgotten or erased, but they need to be remembered and studied in museums and classrooms, not cheered and applauded in parades," Adler said.

In an interview, Adler said, "there are people in our community that feel great pain associated with having the confederate flag in the parade."

He also added this is a personal decision that was a hard choice to make.

The Austin Veterans Day Parade Committee said in a statement that they understand that "some in our community consider the Confederate battle flag as a negative symbol, and therefore voted unanimously to ban the flag from the parade."

"We also understand that Mayor Adler met with the veteran Confederate groups and was of the belief that they had worked out a compromise for both of them to participate in the parade," the committee said in a statement.

However, the mayor's office said Mayor Adler informed the parade committee of his decision back in September.

Also, even though the parade committee voted to ban the battle flag back in September, Mayor Steve Adler said in an interview Thursday, "I think that while that is a step in the right direction, it doesn't quite go far enough for me."

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