town of canton

Canton Steelworkers Union Celebrates Labor Day

Aug 29, 2018
Cory Vaillancourt

The South’s oldest Labor Day parade takes place in the Haywood County town of Canton on Monday.  You can’t have a Labor Day parade without labor.  And for more than 50 years, the United Steelworkers Union has represented workers at the century-old paper mill through the ups and downs of global economic trends in a right to work state.  

Cory Vaillancourt

Complaints about the display of Confederate imagery during last year’s Canton Labor Day parade prompted a quick effort to bar the stars and bars – along with other controversial symbols – from town sanctioned events.  A year later and with the town parade right around the corner, the flag flap hasn’t gone away, and the Confederate flag still flies on a lightning rod in Canton.

Cory Vaillancourt

Many small towns sponsor holiday parades, complete with everything one might expect to see – sidewalks crammed with people, garland-draped lampposts and high school marching bands keeping the beat on the street.  But at the town of Cantons two most recent parades – including last night’s Christmas parade – some were also greeted with the sight of the Confederate flag.