Saturday, September 20, 2014

VMFA Update, 9-17-2014

Thursday evening saw a cool 74 degrees in the Capital of the Confederacy, and 8 Flaggers lined the sidewalk on the Boulevard in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA).  Traffic was VERY heavy and conversations were plentiful. 



Our Flaggers reported that even after almost three years of having a presence TWICE A WEEK at the VMFA, there are still many folks who haven't heard of the desecration of the Confederate Memorial Chapel at the hands of VMFA officials.  Most agreed that if a Confederate flag belongs ANYWHERE, it's on a Confederate Memorial, and most certainly on a memorial which was erected on the sacred grounds of the Old Soldiers' Home/Confederate Memorial Park.

Response was almost all positive and encouraging.  It seems that, as is usually the case, the majority of residents, museum visitors, and tourists do not agree with the forced removal of Confederate battle flags from the portico of the Chapel.



Still, there is the occasional ill-bred, vulgar passer-by, and this report filed by one of our Flaggers is typical of their "drive by" behavior... As we were shuttin'  'er down this evening, some VCU type on his bicycle - filled with outrage and self-righteousness - blasted by us at the speed of a 9 mm and called us an ugly name. We were able to master our emotions and not dissolve in tears. But our challenge is to counter the false racist accusations with the very real accusations that these people are the "useful idiots" of a totalitarian regime.  "Ignorance is strength" - George Orwell, "1984."

A challenge, indeed€¦and one that we will continue to rise to meet, with our Battle Flags as our weapon, at least TWICE A WEEK, on the streets of Richmond, until the Confederate Battle Flags are returned to the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

We return to the Boulevard tomorrow, Saturday, September 20th, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. JOIN US, and be a part of those taking a stand against those who have dishonored our Confederate Veterans.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

TriPp Lewis
Va Flaggers


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rededication of the LEE Tree, Rainelle, WV

In 1934, the Traveller's District Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, along with Greenbrier Co. and state agencies, placed a huge ironstone rock under the Lee Tree on Big Sewell Mountain, near Rainelle, WV. The rock has a bronze plaque commemorating the site where R.E Lee pitched his headquarters tent beneath a large Maple tree in 1861. This is also the site where Lee first saw Traveller, and where he first rode his famous war horse. A wrought iron fence was erected around the site.

In 1937, after the Maple Tree died, a second tree was planted.

Over the years, the concrete posts of the fencing had crumbled, and the fence had deteriorated badly and the second tree had died. In 2013, Allen K. Stone, who portrays General Lee, approached the Flat Top Copperheads SCV Camp 1694 and suggested they take on the restoration of the monument as a project. The Traveeller District UDC supplied the funding and the Flat Top Copperheads provided the labor to replant the tree, replace the corner posts, and restore the fence. One of the camp members confided to me that they placed a time capsule at the base of one of the newly placed footings, (right rear if standing at the front of the memorial) with the hopes that others, who will continue the care of this sacred place, will discover it one day. He asked me to record it in this report, so that there would be a record for those who come behind us.

On Sunday, September 7th, 2014, a crowd of over 200 people gathered for a ceremony to rededicate the Lee Tree and the marker, 80 years after the original placing of the memorial. It was a cool, foggy day on the mountain, but the dampness did not deter the spirit of those who attended, including the keynote speaker, C. Kelly Barrow, SCV Commander in Chief.



It was a wonderful event, with beautiful music, moving rituals, musket and cannon salutes, and speakers who discussed the history of the monument, heritage defense, and local history. I was honored and surprised to be recognized with the “Commander's Award” from the Flat Top Copperheads, a beautiful “Loyal Ladies of the Confederacy” brooch, and given the privilege of firing the cannon, courtesy of the Giles Light Artillery.



I had the pleasure of seeing a very beautiful part of (occupied) western Virginia, and meeting and chatting with some of the nicest folks I've ever met, including some new friends from the Mechanized Cavalry, among many others. Special thanks to Terry McAllister of the PJ Thurmond SV Camp #2190 for the warm welcome and escort. It was great to meet so many new friends and have the chance to visit with old ones.



Kudos and special thanks and to Commander Blaine Hypes and the Flat Top Copperheads for their ongoing commitment and dedication to living the Charge…and God bless all the men and women of the SCV and UDC who worked hard to repair and restore the monument, and for their diligence in organizing and hosting such a successful re-dedication event.

On the way home, I stopped in Lewisburg, WV and visited the Confederate Cemetery there. The remains of 95 unknown Confederate soldiers from the Battle of Lewisburg, fought May 23, 1862, lie in this cross-shaped common grave. It has a vertical length 80 feet long and a cross arm of 40 feet long, with an overall width of 10 feet.



Yankee Colonel George Crook would not permit the southern sympathizers to bury their own dead, and thus they were originally laid out in the Old Stone Church and later placed in a trench along the south wall of the church without ceremony. It wasn't until after the war that the remains of the 95 Confederate dead were removed from the churchyard and interred in the cross-shaped mass grave.

LEST WE FORGET!


Susan Hathaway
Virginia Flaggers

W&L LEE Chapel Desecration Update

Desecrating the LEE Chapel by removing the Confederate Battle flags placed there in 1930 dishonored ALL Confederate veterans, especially the hundreds with direct connections to the university, including Gen. George Washington Custis Lee, whose birthday was marked this week.  Born September 16, 1832, he served 26 years as the 9th President of Washington and Lee University, following the death of his father in 1870. "Custis Lee" as he was called by his family, is also buried in the family crypt below the Chapel.


Upon his death, on Feb. 18, 1913, University trustees resolved that "his administration witnessed periods of depression in the affairs of the University calculated to make the stoutest heart lose courage; yet at no time did he lose confidence in the work to which he put his hand."

http://www.wlu.edu/presidents-office/about-the-presidents-office/history-and-governance/past-presidents/george-washington-custis-lee

Just over 100 years after his death, the university saw fit to capitulate to the demands of 6 agitators, rather than defend the honor and sacred memory of Custis Lee, his father, and hundreds of other Confederate Veterans.

LEXINGTON FLAGGING REPORT:

The Va Flaggers traveled to Lexington for three days of Flagging Washington & Lee University last weekend.  It was VMI's homecoming and the streets and sidewalks were packed with students, parent, and alumni, almost all of whom offered their enthusiastic support for our efforts.


While the weather offered some challenges, our Flaggers were determined, and they had the chance to talk with many citizens, students and tourists about the desecration of the LEE Chapel by university officials.

On this trip, we were told by Chapel docents that they know, for a fact, that Robert E. Lee specifically did not want Confederate flags at his funeral.  When asked for documentation of this claim, none was provided.  The gentle lady simply said that "that was what they have been told to tell visitors who inquire about the missing flags."

It is certainly sad, but not unexpected, that these types of  statements are being fabricated to try and "explain away" the desecration of the Chapel.

FLAGGING THIS WEEKEND:
Jamie Funkhouser will be leading a group of Tar Heels to Lexington this weekend to continue the Flagging of Washington & Lee University after the removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the chamber of the LEE Chapel.  This weekend is Young Alumni/Homecoming weekend for the University, and it will be an opportune time to forward the colors, educate the thousands of students, parents, and alumni who will be on campus, and protest the vile act of desecration committed by university officials.


They will be on site at the Chapel from 9-5 on Saturday, September 20.  Join them and be a part of what has been 2 months of a continued presence at Washington & Lee.  Contact Jamie via email at: jamiefunkhouser@yahoo.com for more information.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

Grayson Jennings

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thunder in the Valley -- Flagging W&L

The Virginia Flaggers will be in Lexington this weekend, as a sponsor of "Thunder In the Valley," and to coordinate flagging Washington and Lee throughout the weekend. Join us Thursday-Sunday and enjoy this great cavalry re-enactment, and take the opportunity to stand against the administration of Washington and Lee and their desecration of the LEE Chapel.

http://events.lexingtonvirginia.com/events.php?view=d&id=5817&m=09&y=2014&d=14

Email info@vaflaggers.com for more information.

As a reminder, we have called for and implemented a TOTAL boycott of Lexington, since the September 1, 2011 actions of the Lexington City Council, which effectively banned the display of the flags of Lee and Jackson on city flag stands in the days leading up to and including the Virginia State Lee-Jackson Day holiday. PLEASE make sure you make your hotel reservations, dining, and shopping plans OUTSIDE of the city limits, and stop by City Hall and let them know WHY!

Washington & Lee Chapel Desecration Update:  We are receiving updates from alumni groups that are organizing, and hearing from several sources that law suits are being prepared to bring against the school and administration for the unlawful and improper removal of the Confederate Battle Flags from the LEE Chapel.  In the meantime, we ask that you continue to contact university officials by phone, email and US Mail. 

The following is a letter submitted to Washington & Lee University President Kenneth Ruscio and forwarded to us. Since the desecration of the LEE Chapel at the hands of the W&L administration, we have received copies of hundreds of well written, poignant communications. This one is different than most. It was written and sent by a 15 year old student, without prompting, instruction, or assistance. In this young man, we find the wisdom, maturity, and intestinal fortitude that is sorely lacking among W&L University leadership.  Submitted without correction or editing...
"Dear Mr. Ruscio/ Mr. Ruscio's Secretary,

As a Virginian, I am completely appalled and disgusted with your University's unintelligent decision to remove the replica (but historically accurate) Battle Flags from the Lee Chapel.

Your university has several different flags in the chapel that honor Robert E Lee, but you felt the need to exclude the Confederacy from the Chapel. The Battle Flags that were in the Chapel were appropriate for the following reasons: 1) They were positioned above/beside the "Recumbent Lee", a statue by Edward Valentine that depicts Lee in his Confederate uniform, asleep on the battlefield where these flags were present. 2) Most (if not all) Confederate Generals have at least one (yes replica) battle flag on their grave to honor them. For example: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart, John Singleton Mosby, George Pickett and the President of the Confederacy, Mr. Jefferson Davis. 3) The Battle flags that you removed were the flags of the Confederate Soldier, not the government. The Battle Flag never flew over any building of the Confederate government. It was kept safely in a wooden box and when battle occurred, it was raised and ran through the battlefield so the Confederate Soldiers could be identified. Therefore, if someone deems the Battle Flag "racist" then they don't understand the flag in no way represents the institution of slavery, which the South wasn't fighting to preserve in the first place.

I understand that the flags were added to the Lee Chapel in the thirties however, many years prior to when the flags were added, the Lee Crypt had Ivy growing inside and stick flags were placed in the Ivy to honor Robert E Lee. When Washington and Lee representatives say that the flags were not original to the Chapel does that mean that the "Recumbent Lee" must be removed considering that it was not original to the Chapel? Why don't we take out the rest of the flags that are on display since they are not original either? Why don't we strip off the extra layers of paint on the walls since they too are not original ?

I also understand that an original battle flag is coming to the museum downstairs however, it will not be their permanently, it is not meant to honor Lee, and it will be displayed in the very back of the museum in a separate section. Don't get me wrong, I applaud your discussion to bring an original flag to the museum, but just because you're putting an original in the museum does not make it necessary to remove the flags from the Lee Chapel.

I will end this letter with a few questions. Where are the United Daughters of the Confederacy's flags now? When will the original flag arrive to the museum? Why did you cave to the minority? And when will the flags be returned to the chapel to properly honor Robert E Lee?

With great repugnance,
Patrick S, Mechanicsville, VA"

CONTACT INFORMATION:

University President
Kenneth P. Ruscio
president@wlu.edu
(540) 458-8700
(540) 458-8945 (fax)

Senior Assistant to the President
Elizabeth Knapp
knappe@wlu.edu
(540) 458-8867
(540) 458-8745 (fax)

Mailing Address:
204 West Washington Street
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, Virginia 24450

We also encourage you to copy your letters to the local media.  Every time we get a letter printed, we speak for those who are no longer able, educate and influence those who need to hear the truth, and encourage those who have yet to speak out.  Great one here, from the Roanoke Times:  http://www.roanoke.com/opinion/nezbeth-don-t-remove-the-flags-and-rewrite-history/article_b7bb1616-9af1-51b7-938b-f1d203cad7fa.html


Please add your voice!

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

Friday, September 5, 2014

I-295 Memorial Battle Flag Raised at Cold Harbor

On the third anniversary of the founding of our organization, the Va Flaggers are pleased to announce the completion of our third Interstate Memorial Battle Flag project.  Last month, a 9x12 Army of Tennessee pattern Confederate Battle Flag was quietly hoisted up a 45' pole, high on a hill, on a parcel of land adjacent to north bound Interstate 295, near Cold Harbor.  Raised just days after the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of the Hanover County Confederate Monument, she will fly as a living, breathing reminder of the courage and sacrifice of our Confederate Veterans.  This memorial was made possible through the diligence of several Va Flaggers, the continued and generous support from folks across the U.S., and the dogged determination of one 15 year old boy to honor his Confederate ancestors, several of whom fought in battles in Hanover County.

PROCLAMATION OF INTENT AND DEDICATION OF THE I-295 MEMORIAL BATTLE FLAG AT COLD HARBOR:

WHEREAS, in April 1861, the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order to retain her honor, exercised her Constitutional Right to secede from the Union; and

WHEREAS, Virginia, known as the Mother of States and Statesmen, did not make this decision lightly but only after exhaustive efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issues which divided Southern and Northern states failed; and

WHEREAS, the sons of Hanover County, Virginia heeded the call of their Mother State by the tens of thousands to defend their country, their Commonwealth, their home and their family from an invading army; and

WHEREAS, these brave Virginians of Hanover County fought in the Confederate Armed Forces alongside other men from across the South; and

WHEREAS, these men sacrificed their all and spilled their blood defending the sacred soil of both Hanover County and Virginia; and

WHEREAS, their sacrifices Hallowed the Ground of Hanover County such as Hanover Courthouse, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, Seven Days, First and Second Cold Harbor, Haw's Shop/Enon Church, Peake's Station, Beaverdam, Watt House, North Anna and many other battlefields; and

WHEREAS, Richmond, Virginia, was the Capital of the Confederate States of America and the wartime home of President Jefferson Davis and many Hanoverians protected and served this Capital; and

WHEREAS, we must never forget the sacrifices made by the women of the South, who with every ounce of their being supported their men in uniform, undertook the duties normally performed by men, and suffered along with their children, and other citizens untold horrors in a war torn land; and

WHEREAS, after four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, as General Robert E. Lee so eloquently wrote, the war for Southern Independence ended for the fabled Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865; and

WHEREAS, the honorable blood of such brave Virginians from Hanover County such as John Tyler, Captain William Latane, Edmund Ruffin, and the thousands of known and unknown heroes of Hanover County, Virginia flows through the veins of thousands of its citizens; and

WHEREAS, it is the sworn duty and privilege of the citizens of Hanover County to encourage education within Hanover County, defend the good name of Hanover County, and to teach and promote the true history of the Hanover County to future generations;

THEREFORE, the Virginia Flaggers do hereby dedicate the I-295 Cold Harbor Memorial Confederate Battle Flag in honor of the sons of Hanover County, and in memory of all Confederate Soldiers who fought, bled, and died on her soil.  

Grayson Jennings

Gifts to the Interstate Memorial Battle Flag projects may be mailed to:

Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
Payable to Va Flaggers

or through PayPal:
http://www.vaflaggers.com/i95flagdonate.html

Thursday, September 4, 2014

VMFA Update 9-4-2014

The Virginia Flaggers closed out our 152nd week, and 35th month of flagging the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) with a great showing on Saturday.  A dozen Flaggers were on hand to forward the colors and were able to spread out around the block, making sure all who entered and left the VMFA were greeted with Confederate flags!

Special shout out to Calvin Allen, Texas Division, SCV, 3rd Brigade Commander, who took time out of his schedule to come stand with us while visiting Richmond! Thank you, Commander for your support and for making your stand with us, ALL THE WAY FROM TEXAS!
 

For our Flaggers, it was pretty much a day like any other August day in the naked city.  Hot, humid, little or no breeze to float our flags with lots of bicycle traffic & young folks walking their dogs.  We had several VCU students stop and ask what the flags were all about.  Most seemed to be from up north but were attending college down here.  All good comments.

For a college town like Richmond, September brings thousands of new students to Richmond for the first time, and we are honored to have the privilege (thanks to our friends at the VMFA) to be able to welcome and greet them, and educate them about the honor of our Confederate ancestors and the flags under which they fought and died.


As we begin our 36th month on the Boulevard, we are excited about the coming fall weather...not only for the relief it brings our Flaggers, who have stood in the heat all summer, but for the new opportunities the changing season will bring for us to continue our work of changing hearts and minds in the Capital of the Confederacy...while we protest the VMFA and their forced removal of Confederate flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel.


JOIN US TODAY, Thursday, September 4th, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm, as we continue our vigil. 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA.   If you cannot be on the Boulevard, you can still support the troops on the ground by contacting the VMFA, politely expressing your displeasure with their desecration of the Confederate Memorial, and asking them to return the flags and restore the honor! 

Contact:

Alex Nyerges
Director
VMFA, 200 N. Boulevard,
Richmond, VA 23220-4007
T 804-340-1504/F 804-340-1502
email: alex.nyerges@vmfa.museum 
Tale of Two Flags: Art Sparks Dialogue

Virginia Flaggers like Sydney Lester and Barry Isenhour plan to keep coming back week after week to the VMFA and not likely for the art. "Put them two flags back up there and the only time they'll ever see me is when I come down here for a memorial service."
http://wvtf.org/post/tale-two-flags-art-sparks-dialogue 
RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!
TriPp Lewis
Va Flaggers

Follow our blog:  http://vaflaggers.blogspot.com
Find us on FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Virginia-Flaggers/378823865585630
Follow us on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VaFlagger











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

Friday, August 22, 2014

W&L Update/Call to Action 8-21-2014

The Va Flaggers did not have an organized Flagging at Washington & Lee last weekend, but one of our Flaggers was in that part of the Commonwealth, took the opportunity to forward the colors, and filed the following report:





"I flagged W&L from 2 to 6 on Saturday. The majority of the passing traffic gave no response. Of those that did (maybe 25% - 30%) the response was overwhelmingly positive. One alumnus pulled out of the parking lot and asked me the status of things. He evidently has not been keeping up with things, and was mad when he found out Ruscio had removed the flags. I asked him to get the alumni involved and gave him a copy of my "Blame Abraham Lincoln for the Confederate Battle Flag." I had a stack of them with me and I handed out quite a few. One man walked up the sidewalk and asked me if I had any flyers. I suggest it might be a good thing in the future if we had some brief handouts on the situation for passers by who might be interested.

Of the negative responses, I can think of only two or three thumbs down from people with Massachusetts license plates. Their logo on the plate is "The Spirit of America" which I take to be their heritage of seceding from the British Empire and firing the first shot for their own independence from an exploitative mercantilist empire bent upon invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance. Evidently the secession from Old England is considered the height of patriotism in those parts, whereas secession from New England is considered high treason - a logic understandable only if one understands New England hubris.

One man walking his dog from a residence across the street informed me that we were all in the United States now, but he declined to slow down and have a rational discussion with me. I wanted to tell him that I risked my life under the Stars and Stripes for a year in Vietnam, and ask him if he was one of those people who spit on me when I got back, but he wouldn't slow down, and disappeared into the W&L campus with his dog.

A woman security guard leaving the parking lot stopped to exchange pleasantries. I asked if I was allowed on campus. She said I was most welcome, but that the Confederate Flag was not. I asked if I could wear my VMI ring on campus, since VMI fought for the Confederacy. She said that would be OK.

An Imperialist's worst nightmare is secession, and our flag stands for secession. That is the real reason it is being proscribed and denigrated these days, and the regime's "Useful Idiots" are being indoctrinated to believe it as representing slavery and racism in order to cover up the Truth. If people were to learn that its true meaning is secession from an overweening usurpation of the Constitution, then the Imperialists would be exposed for what they are."
 
We will have Flaggers back out at the LEE Chapel THIS Saturday, August 23rd from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and invite anyone who is able to join us.  This weekend will see matriculation for VMI, so the town of Lexington will be crowded with students and parents, bringing us the opportunity to educate countless people regarding the desecration of the LEE Chapel by the administration of Washington & Lee University.  We will have plenty of "ammo" (fliers) to distribute, and hope we see some local folks step up, stand up, and speak out, so that the flaggings can continue with more frequency and numbers than we can regularly supply from Richmond.
 
Going forward, we also have definite plans to be on campus NEXT Saturday, August 30th, and the weekend of Friday, September 12 - Sunday, September 14. (More details to follow)  Mark your calendars and make plans to join us in Lexington to protest the removal of the flags and educate the masses, especially as students and faculty arrive back on campus for the fall term.
 
UPDATE!!
 
Many of you will remember that Washington & Lee officials made the decision to CLOSE the Lee Chapel during the SCV rally/symposium held in Lexington last month, issuing the following statement...

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 ..."

 
Based on this inflammatory claim, the Va Flaggers filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request with Lexington's City Manager, asking for copies of any communications between W&L officials and law enforcement regarding any threats received.  As might be expected...we were subsequently informed that there were no reports and/or communications regarding any type of threats having been made or received.
 
We are pleased to continue to hear from alumni, students, and several attorneys, who are committed to pursuing the matter of restoring the flags through various channels, and encouraged by the overwhelming support we have received on campus, to date. 

Stay tuned for more updates, and please continue to forward these emails and encourage others to do the same.
 
RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers