A college fraternity inspired by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has banned members around the country from wearing Confederate uniforms to "Old South" parties and parades after years of complaints that the tradition was racially insensitive.
The Virginia-based Kappa Alpha Order issued new rules to chapters earlier this year saying members aren't allowed to wear Rebel uniforms to parties or during their parades, which are a staple on campuses across the South.
The decision, announced in an internal memo posted on the group's website, followed a flap last year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where a black sorority complained after a KA parade stopped in front of its house on campus. KA members were dressed in the gray uniforms of Confederate officers, and young women wore hoop skirts.
More than 70 alumnae of the sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, sent a petition to Alabama President Robert Witt complaining about the use of Confederate flags and uniforms on campus.
In the memo to chapters, Kappa Alpha's national executive director, Larry Wiese, said such displays had to end.