This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
In a staredown with a Confederate veterans group, the all-volunteer Magna Days Parade Committee refused to blink or bend.
The Utah Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) threatened to sue if the committee didn't let the group wave the controversial Confederate battle flag when its members march in Magna's Fourth of July Parade on Saturday.
The SCV caused a stir during the recent Herriman Days Parade by donning Confederate uniforms, carrying muskets and displaying the Confederate battle flag.
After the parade, which came in the wake of the mass killing of nine parishioners at a historic black church in South Carolina, Herriman posted on its Facebook page an apology to anyone who might have been offended by the Confederate entry. The apology noted that the parade committee was not aware the marchers were going to carry the flag, seen by many as a racist symbol.
When the Magna committee wrote to the SCV, which has appeared in the west-side township's parade for the past several years, and asked that the marchers not display the Confederate battle flag, an SCV leader wrote back and threatened to sue.
"Let me remind you of what happened just before we first marched in the Magna Fourth of July Parade," wrote Alan Lerwick, who described himself as adjutant, Soldier Summit Grays, Camp No. 1797 of the SCV in Salt Lake City.
"A similar request was made by the Magna parade committee [and] you were contacted by Sons of Confederate Veterans headquarters in Tennessee by the Heritage Defense Department. You were informed if you persist in holding to this request, that you would see us again in federal court with a civil rights violation."
Lerwick referred a 1913 congressional act that "gave all American Confederate soldiers the rights afforded to all other American soldiers, including protection of their flags."
Meanwhile, the parade committee received a request from a spouse of an SCV marcher that the group be given extra police security during the procession.
The committee responded to Lerwick that the SCV marchers are welcome in the parade but they are to leave the flag at home.
The SCV backed down. It will march minus that flag.
In addition, the committee said it doesn't have the money to pay for extra security beyond the regular police patrol for the parade, which typically attracts 15,000 to 20,000 people.
Kudos to Jordan High • Utah's Jordan High won kudos in the July issue of Oprah Winfrey's national O Magazine in a feature called "The Gratitude Meter: Five things we can't stop smiling about this month."
The Sandy school was praised for a bake sale organized by the Young Democrats' club that brought awareness to the income disparity between men and women in the U.S. and in Utah.
Dubbed the "Gender Equality Bake Sale," the Beetdigger boys were charged $1 for their cookies while the Beetdigger girls were asked to pay 77 cents for their treats. That gap reflected the fact that women nationally make, on average, 77 cents to the $1 pocketed by their male counterparts.
In Utah, the divide is even wider.
Former Democratic Utah congressional candidate Donna McAleer penned an op-ed piece in The Salt Lake Tribune in January 2014 chronicling these sobering realities:
While Utah was named "Best State for Business and Careers" multiple times by Forbes magazine and garnered other economic accolades, McAleer noted, the state's women are paid 70 percent of what men get, according to a 24/7 Wall Street article.
The typical full-time Utah working woman earns $34,062 a year, compared with $48,540 for a male, a difference of $14,478 annually.
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, as the worst-paying cities for women, she wrote, adding that the National Partnership for Women & Families reported that, as a group, full-time employed women lose more than $4.3 billion every year because of wage disparity.
So let's hope those enterprising Jordan High students and their homemade cookies caused a few people to feel a tad uncomfortable. And congratulations, Beetdiggers, for making Oprah proud of you.