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Residents of Hope Mills, N.C., are upset over a Fourth of July parade float that stirred the ire of many onlookers.

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An antique tractor, flying a Confederate flag, was pulling a wagon loaded with watermelons and sporting a draped sign which read, “White History Month, Hug WTE PPL.” The spectacle made many revelers question who would issue such a permit to the man pulling the tractor, reports ABC11.

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Donnie Spell, a farmer, was the man behind the tractor shenanigans. Spell was able to get a permit from the town without a problem. However, Hope Mills administrators told ABC11 that Spell was  duplicitous when he applied for the permit, stating that he’d only be pulling a tractor with a sign that read “Watermelons for Sale” at a nearby bank parking lot.

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ABC11 visited Spell’s home to try and get some answers as to why he felt compelled to pull such an outright racist prank at an event that is typically enjoyed by children. The reporter was met by an unnamed neighbor who said that Spell’s float was not done to be funny or vicious. Well, apparently Spell’s racist tactic was not a hit with parade onlookers.

“This should be over, all that stuff should be over,” Hope Mills resident Suzanne Singletary told ABC11. “I don’t understand why people are still living like this.”

Meanwhile, town officials are looking into possibly changing the parade registration process so that incidents like the one involving Spell’s float can never occur again.

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