Officials in a small North Carolina town received an earful of complaints from some spectators over an Independence Day parade float festooned with racially-charged language.

Local farmer Donnie Spell drove a green John Deere tractor with the Confederate flag hitched to the back. The makeshift float was pulling a wooden wagon with a red, white and blue sign on the side reading “white history month” and, just below, “HUG WTE PPL” in all capital letters.

Spell, who is a frequent entrant in the July 4th parade as well as the local Christmas parade, was decked out in a white baseball cap and a shirt in the design of the American flag.