150 car convoy waves Confederate flags

Confederate Flag Parade

A group of at least 150 vehicles drove through Dalton on Sunday waving Confederate flags — a spectacle documented in a YouTube video that has garnered national media attention.

The video clip shows a group of pickup trucks driving by a MAPCO gas station with at least three colliding with each other.

This was not an organized parade, according to the Dalton Police Department. The roads were not shut down. The police department learned about the plan through social media. The department then contacted members of the group and Walmart to determine the safest way to disrupt traffic the least.

“We had a concern that the group may proceed without coordination and felt it would be safer for our community to have a presence there to keep it peaceful,” Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker said in a statement.

The brigade of cars started at the Walnut Square Mall and ended at the Walmart on Shugart Road. That’s more than a five and a half mile ride.

Captain Chris Cooke said the police department did not take a side with any group taking part in the display. The department’s involvement, he said, was only a safety precaution. Law enforcement decides to how to handle demonstrations on a case-by-case basis, he added.

“We just try to determine if this is safe,” he said.

The department had six police officers and one supervisor monitoring the traffic flow.

Although this may have been Dalton’s first procession with drivers’ waving their Confederate flags outside their vehicles, Cooke said he’s not unfamiliar with events like these.

“We’ve heard of others outside the area,” he said. “Now it’s gotten bigger and bigger.”