Thursday, July 24, 2014

Va Flaggers W&L Update - LEE Chapel Closed for SCV Rally/Symposium

This just in, from the Lee Chapel Face Book Page:
We regret to announce that Lee Chapel and Museum will be closed from Friday, July 25 at 3:00 p.m. through Sunday July 27.. This unscheduled closing is based on concerns for the safety of the facility and its staff on the day that the Sons of Confederate Veterans have scheduled a rally in Lexington. We must take this unfortunate precaution because of the inflammatory and threatening letters, emails and phone calls the University has received in response to the removal of reproduction battle flags from the statue chamber in Lee Chapel and the decision to bring authentic battle flags to the Lee Chapel Museum. We apologize for this inconvenience.

This announcement is an obvious attempt on the part of Washington & Lee University to incite unwarranted anger and misplaced fear towards the honorable members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  We call on the administration to do the honorable thing!  If there is a viable, traceable threat, then have the guilty arrested... and show their face and name on all media outlets.  Without proof, this announcement is nothing more than slander and innuendo designed to defame the excellent character of the men of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. 

Even the wording in the statement rings of their attempts to cover their actions.  We know for a fact that NO ONE is complaining that they are bringing "authentic battle flags to the Lee Chapel Museum". We applaud this effort.  The only complaint is that they are using THAT action as a smoke screen and excuse to remove the replica flags from the chamber, when in fact, the desecration was done solely to appease the demands of six students who threatened "civil obedience".

This statement proves that we are making progress.  The administration is feeling the heat and pressure of thousands of Southerners who have said "ENOUGH"... "NO MORE"...and W&L is striking back in anger, and with underhanded tactics.  Our efforts are working...and bringing unwanted attention to their despicable actions.  They have realized that we will not sit idly by while university officials dishonor General Robert E. Lee.  We have gathered in Lexington on a half dozen occasions since the Save Our Flags Rally of September, 2011, and NOT ONCE has there been ANY report of violence, attacks, or even inappropriate conduct. 

Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong in the face of this unwarranted attack.   PLEASE continue the letter writing, emailing and phone calls, and help us keep a constant presence at the University.   We look forward to having a good turnout this Saturday, and for as long as necessary...until the flags are returned!

REMINDER:  The Va Flaggers have called for and observed a TOTAL boycott of Lexington, Va,  following the September 1, 2011 flag ban ordinance by Lexington City Council that prevents the flags of Lee and Jackson from flying on City flag stands during the Lee-Jackson holiday.  PLEASE make arrangements so that NOT ONE DIME is spent within the city limits.  When you come, pack in food, or eat outside the city limits.  Stop by the Visitor's Center, sign the guest book, and tell them WHY you won't put any money into Lexington's coffers.  

We have also been asked about what flags we suggest to bring.  While any Confederate flag is suitable, we would suggest carrying Army of Northern Battle Flags, if possible, during the protests in Lexington, as the flags removed from the chamber at the LEE Chapel were ANV Battle Flags. 

Rally/symposium info: 
http://stonewallbrigade.webs.com/

See you in Lexington...RALLY BEHIND THE VIRGINIANS! 

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers


P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We have been very busy over the past few days, with the SCV National Reunion in Charleston, continuing efforts here in Richmond as regards the Confederate Memorial Chapel, and even though we have not posted an update recently, we have also been working steadily on the situation at Washington & Lee University.

Last week, we were onsite at Washington & Lee to scout for future flagging operations, and were able to spend a large part of the day at the school's entrance, flagging the administration,  and drawing much needed attention to the desecration of the Chapel.

Our Flaggers reported that response was OVERWHELMINGLY positive.  VERY FEW negative comments and LOTS of honks and support.

 
Students and residents stopped to show their support and offer words of encouragement...
We are in the process of defining the boundaries for future flagging activities, and developing guidelines for participants, and literature to distribute to students, faculty, residents, and tourists.  There is also a local resident who has been protesting, as well.  It is our hope that others will join soon him, and we will be able to coordinate weekly, even daily protests! 

Meanwhile, our sources inside the University tell us that the emails, phone calls, and mail received since our first call to action have overwhelmed the administration and staff.  A recent media report is very telling, and further proof that we are outperforming the opposition:

"The recent removal of the flags, as well as other parts of Washington and Lee President Ken Ruscio's July 8 message to the University Community, continues to resonate with alumni and the "concerned public", said Brian Eckert, Washington & LEE Director of Communications and Public Affairs.  "The reaction has been mixed and plentiful", he reported.  He said his office was still receiving calls, e-mails, and letters yesterday, Tuesday, a full two weeks after Ruscio's letter."

From the copies of letters, and reports received, we know that this is true.  The administration believes that if they just sit tight, this will all "blow over" and things will return to normal at the University.  We aim to make sure that does not happen until the flags are returned.  We will need your help!  PLEASE take this time this week to continue to contact the university, AGAIN! 

This week, we are asking you to email, call, or write a letter to the Site Director at the Chapel.  Please be polite, but be firm, and insist that the flags be returned to the Chapel chamber.

Contact information:

Ms. Lucy Wilkins
Lee Chapel & Museum
100 North Jefferson Street
Lexington, VA 24450

email: lwilkins@wlu.edu
Phone:  (540) 458-8768

We have much more information to share, but wanted to get this brief update out right away.  Watch for more updates soon!  PLEASE continue to forward these emails to ANYONE who you feel might be interested in helping, especially anyone with connections to the University. 

We know that University officials did not expect the backlash that they have so far received. Ruscio and others continue to offer new talking points and cover stories for their actions, NONE of which changes the truth, which is that this action was nothing more than a complete and total capitulation to the demands of 6 students, seeking publicity and determined to dishonor General Lee and the men who served under him.  Their spin and attempts to explain away their actions have taken some interesting turns:   

"As a private university, we are not bound by the same legal and constitutional First Amendment constraints as public universities, Ruscio said.


Only those who are fearful of the expression of truth call the Bill of Rights "constraints", and view freedom as "binding".

"We have not yet begun to fight."  Our hope and fervent prayer is that you will take up the banner and join us.

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Va Flaggers Heritage Alert: Texas SCV Plate Poll

Please vote "Honorable", and share...
http://kissfm969.com/texas-confederate-flag-specialty-license-plate-honorable-or-offensive-poll/

"In 2011, the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans applied for a specialty Confederate Flag theme license plate.  The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected the application for the specialty license plate, and the applicants in turn filed a lawsuit.  It lawsuit was dismissed in 2013.  Here in 2014, a federal appeals court has revived the lawsuit.

"The group insists the design is to honor the memory of Confederate soldiers and is a representation of southern heritage.  However, the board concludes many residents will take offense to its design."

Pro News 7

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Monday the Texas board violated the group's First Amendment rights by rejecting the license plate request.

The case was sent back to an Austin federal court.

 

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Va Flaggers Alert: Heritage Victory In Texas!

Hurrah for Texas! Texans always move them!

Congratulations to the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans!

http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/07/appeals-court-rules-in-favor-of-confederate-flag-license-plate.html/

Austin -- ”The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Texas branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has the right to have the state issue license plates adorned with the Confederate battle flag.

In April last year, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled against the group, declaring that the state was allowed to pick and choose which messages and symbols appear on state-issued plates.

At issue in the Circuit Court was whether the state Department of Motor Vehicles Board had engaged in viewpoint discrimination and violated the group's First Amendment right when it denied an application for a specialty plate.

The judges ruled that license plates are a form of private speech, and thus protected by the First Amendment. The court also ruled that the Board's rejection of the plate favored one speaker over another.

Supporters of the plate argued that the flag honored Confederate soldiers and Southern heritage, while those opposed said the flag symbolized a racially-charged message and that distributing such a plate would be tantamount to the state memorializing slavery.

Texas could choose to appeal for a rehearing by the 5th Circuit judges or to the Supreme Court.


Virginia Flaggers

P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Va Flaggers: W&L - Lee Chapel Desecration Update/Call To Action #4, 7-12-2014

Washington & Lee, Lee Chapel photo, POST-DESECRATION. Obtained July 12, 2014...


We find it completely unacceptable that the flags that have flown in honor and sacred memory of Robert E. Lee since 1930 were stripped from this chamber, for NO OTHER REASON than to cater to the extortion-like "demands" of a half dozen students.

Once again, we want to thank each and every one of you who have made phone calls, sent emails, and mailed letters since we first forwarded the contact information last week.  We understand from our sources that phones were tied up and emails were filled with messages voicing disgust and outrage with the actions of officials at Washington & LEE University.

Starting tomorrow morning, we are going to ask you to switch gears and contact these folks:

Alumni Affairs Staff

Waller (Beau) T. Dudley
Executive Director of Alumni Affairs
wdudley@wlu.edu

Thomas D. Lovell
tdlovell@wlu.edu
Associate Director of Alumni Affairs

Mary Webster
Assistant Director for Engagement
mwebster@wlu.edu

Washington and Lee University
Office of Alumni Affairs
Lexington, Virginia 24450
(540) 458-8468

Please contact these folks and let them know that the removal of the flags from the chamber of the Lee Chapel was unacceptable and must be corrected immediately.  These contacts are particularly important to share with anyone who is an alumnus or has alumni contacts.  We must let them know we will stand united and end ALL support until the flags are returned.

If, for some reason, you have yet to contact the President and staff, we have included the original contact request information at the bottom of this email.

Many of you have asked repeatedly about when we are going to "March on Washington & Lee" and start flagging them. Most people see this outward expression of what we do, and may not realize that it is a powerful tool, but one that is typically held in our arsenal and used when all other efforts are exhausted. We contacted the W&L administration in April, when news of "The Committee's" demands first surfaced, and have been collecting information and investigating the situation ever since.

Of course, the actual removal last week has kicked our efforts into overdrive. We have contacted W&L officials again, and our next communication will let them know that if the flags are not returned by our deadline, flaggings will begin. In the meantime, we are making trips to Lexington to scout the area, investigate all pertinent laws and regulations, and preparing literature and talking points so that our Flaggers, and those who join us, have everything needed to be successful. We never step onto the sidewalk until we have covered all of our bases and have all needed resources lined up and available. Everything from parking, to bathroom accessibility is covered.

While we expect to begin scheduling flaggings within the next few weeks, IF the flags are not returned, our main push will come in September, once students are back on campus.  We realize full well that the announcement of the flag removal in July, while students were on summer break, was very much by design. We have been contacted by and are in communication with students who are ready to join us in these protests, and whose presence will be a huge boost to our efforts.  Student move-in dates, Parents' weekends, home football games, and other high profile events will be the targets of our activity.  We are organizing now and are looking for anyone who is willing to join us, especially those in the Lexington area,  to contact us for more details. 

Misc: 

University officials are deleting any and all comments about the flags from their FaceBook page, but you can leave a "rating" here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-and-Lee-University-School-of-Law/103129179727624

And it appears that comments are allowed and posted on their blog site:
http://alumni.blogs.wlu.edu/president-ruscio-responds-to-concerns-raised-by-law-student-group/

Please sign and share this petition:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/washington-lee-university-keep-the-confederate

Stay tuned for more updates and information, as we have much more to share... and please continue to forward these emails to everyone on your contact list.  We must keep the skeer on through phone calls, emails, and letters...and have flags ready for the call...it's coming soon!

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com


Follow us:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Virginia-Flaggers/378823865585630
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaFlagger
Blog:  http://vaflaggers.blogspot.com/


Original contact request information:

President
Mr. Kenneth Ruscio
Washington and Lee University
204 West Washington Street
Lexington,Virginia 24450
(540) 458-8700
president@wlu.edu

Provost
Daniel Wubah
Washington and Lee University
Washington Hall 214
Lexington,Virginia 24450
(540)458-8418
dwubah@wlu.edu

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Secretary of the University:
James D. Farrar, Jr.
Washington & Lee University
203 Washington Hall
Lexington,VA 24450
(540)458-8465
jdfarrar@wlu.edu

Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees:
Katherine Brinkley
Washington & Lee University
202 Washington Hall
Lexington,VA 24450
(540)458-8417
kbrinkley@wlu.edu

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Va Flaggers: W&L Lee Chapel Desecration Update 7-12-2014

Many thanks to the hundreds of you who have called, written, or emailed officials at Washington & Lee regarding the removal of the Battle Flags from the Lee Chapel.  We have received copies of many excellent letters, and have had reports of very interesting conversations held with, and responses received from school officials.

It seems that the staff is doing their very best to draw attention away from the fact that this decision was a surrender to the extortion-like threats of the member of "The Committee", who promised "civil disobedience" if the flags were not removed by September 1st.  Their spin and propaganda is hard to swallow, especially in light of some new information that the Va Flaggers have discovered. 

The members of "The Committee" posed for this photo for the press back in April, shortly after their letter of "demands" was sent to University officials...


Other than the letter itself (attached) we heard very little from the students, until the announcement Tuesday by W&L President Ruscio that the school had caved to the demands and stripped the flags from the memorial.

Since then, the leader of the Committee, Brandon Hicks, spoke openly to the press, telling CNN:

"It's about creating a climate on campus that everyone feels welcome," Hicks told CNN on why he sought the changes. He said some students felt uncomfortable with the flags at Lee Chapel.  "These are huge steps. We are ecstatic," Hicks said of Ruscio's announcement.

"Huge steps"?  As in just the beginning...?  What will these students demand next?  Now that they have won an easy victory, there is little doubt that they will stop their campaign of hate and discrimination, and will not be satisfied until every mention of Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy is removed from the school which he personally saved from extinction and which owes much to the Confederate veterans who helped build it into the University we know today.

"Students don't have to sit in the same room as the flags anymore. I feel like we made a tremendous difference." Brandon Hicks

Now, I have had the pleasure and honor of worshiping in the LEE Chapel on several occasions, and I can testify that this statement not true.  First of all, the flags were in a chamber, behind the pulpit, at the rear of the Chapel.  There is no seating in that room.  The photo below depicts the view from the seating in the Chapel, itself.  Clearly, students NEVER sat "in the same room as the flags", although I would argue that they SHOULD be made to sit there, and taught the TRUTH of what the flags stand for.  Nevertheless,  this is further proof of the distortion of truth  these students are using, in their efforts to eliminate our heritage. 


Once he spoke to the press and posed for the photo, we were able to find out much more about Mr. Hicks.  Mr. Hicks, it turns out, is quite the activist, having been a speaker at "Race for the Ballot," a forum against a proposed family marriage act in NC.  Reports Pam's House Blend, "One of the kickoff sites is North Carolina Central University's Student Union and Law School, which hosted a forum moderated by student leader of NCCU's LGBT group COLORS, Brandon Hicks..."

More here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2nRc8bOe6g#t=15


We can only hope that this new information will serve to motivate alumni, students, and citizens to realize that this effort was nothing more than the manipulative work of "professional activists", attempting to force their views and intolerance on the rest of the University, AND the rest of us.  The Chapel in which Lee's remains are interred may be deeded to the University, but it BELONGS to all of us who love General Lee, the South, and freedom.

PLEASE continue to share our updates, and continue to make phone calls, write letters, and send emails.  We will have some new contact information tomorrow, so that we will start a new round of "mortar fire" on Monday morning.

Please stay tuned, and please STAY MAD!  We need EVERYONE to get involved and help turn this around!

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!


Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers

P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com




Friday, July 11, 2014

Va Flaggers VMFA Update 7/11/2014

The last few months have been very busy for the Va Flaggers, as it has for many of you.  We have several updates coming over the next few days, which will cover a variety of topics. 

While temperatures have soared over 100 degrees in the Capital of the Confederacy, and our Flaggers have often pulled double duty in fulfilling obligations in other heritage organizations, the Virginia Flaggers have remained vigilant in our stand against the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and their forced removal of Confederate flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel. 

Twice a week, EVERY week, our Flaggers gather to forward the colors, and educate museum visitors, residents, and tourists about the honor of our Confederate ancestors and the flags they fought and died under. 




These folks were visiting from out of town, and once we explained why we were out on the sidewalk with flags, they offered their full support, and posed for a photo.

Despite the hot and humid weather over the last month, we have had MANY such great conversations, and opportunities to educate, while at the same time, maintaining a constant, visual display of Confederate flags.  Before the Confederate Battle flags were forcibly removed from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel by the VMFA, 2 3x5 flags flew for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Thanks to the VMFA, dozens of flags now fly in RVA...and more folks than ever are hearing about the honor and sacrifice of the Confederate Veterans who lived on the grounds of the Old Soldiers Home.



We are visited occasionally by a lone agitator, who has taken to stalking our Flaggers, following them closely on his tricycle, and blasting filthy music with lyrics that include vile profanity, racial slurs, and graphic sexual references.


We greatly appreciate that he carries a sign which reads "NOT MY FLAG", as we would not one anyone to associate his antics with our honored banner.  ;)

While he has been unable to get any reaction from our Flaggers, we are hearing from more and more upset museum visitors, tourists, and residents, who are disturbed by his rude, uncivil behavior. 

The gentleman pictured below, and his wife, witnessed the agitator's antics, and pulled over and offered to help hold the line if any of our Flaggers needed a break from the filth. He also left a gift to help fund our efforts, and in appreciation for what the Flaggers are doing.


God bless this couple, and all those who support our Flaggers in their noble efforts...and God bless the agitator, for HELPING us by bringing even more attention to the desecration of the Confederate Memorial Chapel and dishonoring of Veterans by the VMFA Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

TriPp Lewis










Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com


Follow us:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Virginia-Flaggers/378823865585630
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VaFlagger
Blog:  http://vaflaggers.blogspot.com/