- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - A pro-Confederate flag group has withdrawn its request to hold a parade on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Lexington.

Media outlets report Grayson Jennings of the Virginia Flaggers sent an email to Lexington officials saying his organization requested the permit for a parade on Jan. 16 only in an effort to swap permits with an anti-racism group that plans to march two days earlier - when Lee-Jackson Day is usually celebrated.

The group, Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative, declined the Flaggers’ request to switch parade dates.

For the past 15 years, Virginia Flaggers has held the parade on the Saturday of a double-holiday weekend that consists of Lee-Jackson Day on Friday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

CARE officials say they hope to replace a procession of people waving Confederate flags with an event that is more inclusive.

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