Man behind Confederate Flag in American Fork parade says he didn’t intend offense

Posted at 9:33 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 08:54:48-04

AMERICAN FORK, Utah -- A Utah County man is in hot water with multiple cities after sneaking his way into parades and displaying the Confederate Flag. It happened in Eagle Mountain in June, and then again in American Fork over the weekend.

"Un freaking believable, right in the parade, the start of the parade."

That's reaction from video posted on former Utah Jazz, Thurl Bailey's Twitter page during the American Fork Steel Days Parade on Saturday.

It was in response to a golf cart being driven down Main Street with a Confederate Flag displayed off the back.

On his Twitter page Bailey writes, "American Fork Steel Days Parade...come on people! Are we really that ignorant."

American Fork City officials say they were just a surprised as anyone else.

"It was not an official entry, they didn't follow the proper channels, they didn't have their registration forms in," said Audra Sorensen, spokeswoman for American Fork. "Don't show up unannounced and wave a symbol that can be potentially considered as threatening or scary."

One month earlier, the same golf cart, with the same Confederate Flag, was seen in Eagle Mountain at The Pony Express Days Parade.

Eagle Mountain pointed the blame at the Hobble Creek Wranglers, a local shooting club, who had been entering the parade for the past 13 years and never had an incident, according to the city.

However, the club said they've been sorely misrepresented.

"It is a little bit frustrating to find out he's been using our name for the past 13 years when we don't know this guy, we have no association with him and then to have some sort of controversial aspect show up in the parade," said Michael Snelson, of Hobble Creek Wranglers.

The man responsible for crashing these parades has been identified as James Stritikus of Lehi.

"We absolutely did not intend to offend anybody," Stritikus said.

Stritikus admits that he doesn't always go through the proper channels when it comes to entering parades. As for pretending to be a Hobble Creek Wrangler, he said he was a member, it was just a long time ago.

"There was no intent to offend them either," said Stritikus, who said he does not plan on bringing the Confederate Flag to any future parades.