Thursday, January 22, 2015

Va Flaggers Lee-Jackson Weekend Report Part II -- Washington & Lee University

Saturday morning, we gathered at Stonewall Jackson cemetery for a memorial service for General Jackson. Once again, God smiled on the Confederates gathered to honor Lee & Jackson with beautiful weather…sunny, breezy, and temperatures near 50 degrees!  A large crowd was on hand for the service, and those in attendance paid respects to the General through prayer, singing hymns, and laying memorial wreaths.



Immediately following the service, we formed up for a parade through Lexington.  Our unit was led by Generals Lee and Jackson, a Flagger color guard, and followed by the largest group of flaggers we have ever had attend the event including SCV, UDC, OCR and Mechanized Cavalry members from across the Commonwealth and the country!  It seemed to us that there were about twice as many folks gathered to watch the parade as there had been last year as well.  It was truly a glorious site, to see the parade stretched down main street, and the street filled with flags and supporters of Confederate heritage. Along the route, we sang Dixie, handed out stick flags, and received the support and well wishes of all who had gathered. 



At the end of the route, the parade took a detour from its normal path.  Instead of heading to Washington and Lee University, we were directed the opposite way, and into the municipal parking deck.  At this point, we turned and our entire unit headed over to Letcher Ave., to make our way to VMI to pay our respects to General Jackson before the Memorial Service, as has been our custom for the past several years.

As most of you know, a group of 6 students who attend Washington and LEE university's school of law wrote a letter in April of 2014 to Washington & LEE officials (copy attached) which demanded that the university €œhold itself responsible for the racist and dishonorable conduct of Robert E. Lee.€  Specifically, these agitators demanded the following mandates be implemented, threatening €œcivil disobedience€ if the administration failed to comply tot their demands:

1)  We demand that the University fully recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the undergraduate campus.

2)  We demand the University stop allowing €œNeo-Confederates€ (i.e.SCV, UDC, re-enactors) to march on campus with confederate flags on Lee-Jackson Day and to stop allowing these groups to hold programs in Lee Chapel.

3)  We demand that the University remove all confederate flags from its property, including those flags located within LEE Chapel.

4)  We demand that the University issue and official apology for the University's participation in chattel slavery and a denunciation of Robert E. Lee's participation in slavery.

In July, W&L President Ruscio began the systematic capitulation to these demands when he stripped the replica memorial Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flags from the chamber which holds the "Recumbent Lee" statue in the LEE Chapel.  Shortly thereafter, Confederate Flags were prohibited on the grounds, and those wishing to visit the Chapel were not allowed to carry a Confederate flag and were made to remove apparel that had a Confederate flag on it.  Recently, W&L officials announced that classes would be canceled next school year in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and this year, the LEE Chapel was not available to the SCV and UDC for their annual Lee-Jackson Day memorial service, reportedly (and conveniently) due to renovations.

Throughout the weekend, we had Flaggers stationed at Washington & Lee, and Campus Security was right there to make sure none of "those flags" were allowed on the property.  One of our flaggers, speaking of his conversation with one of the security officers, remarked,  "I told him it was a sad day in America when the borders of W&L are more secure than those of the United States."


As our group walked up Letcher Avenue after the parade, we stopped for a photo, unveiling the 20' x 30' flag that will soon be raised on I-81 in Lexington.







Security guards rush to ensure an education did not break out at Washington & Lee University.

At this point, those who still wanted to make the trip to VMI, including our own Robert E. Lee, portrayed by an elderly Vietnam Vet, were forced to walk back down Letcher Ave, cross busy traffic twice, and climb a very steep, difficult to navigate entrance, in order to access the VMI parade grounds.

For those who were not keeping track, this means that officials at Washington & Lee have already capitulated to THREE of the FOUR ludicrous demands made by the agitators, in effect giving full credence and agreement to their assertion as to the €œracist and dishonorable conduct of Robert E. Lee.

SHAME ON WASHINGTON & LEE UNIVERSITY FOR FORSAKING THE HONOR, MEMORY AND LEGACY OF ROBERT E LEE...AND SHAME ON THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ADMINISTRATION AND THEIR COWARDLY ATTEMPTS TO APPEASE.

"Obstacles may retard, but they cannot long prevent the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice, and sustained by a virtuous people."-President Jefferson Davis

Despite the obstacles presented, we made it to VMI to pay our respects, although the hassle, delays, difficult hike, and lost time meant that many did not make it back in time for the Noon service at Lexington Presbyterian.

Our next and final report  will share our experience at VMI and the final hours of flagging Lexington that afternoon.


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



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

VaFlaggers: Lexington Report -- Flagging Friday

Greetings Patriots!  We have much to share about the incredible turnout, events, and experiences during the Lee-Jackson Holiday weekend in Lexington, Virginia.  This will be the first of several reports, in an attempt to inform, inspire, and properly thank all of those who had a part in making it the biggest and best ever!

FLAGGING FRIDAY:

Ever since the City Council voted to ban ALL flags from city light pole flag stands (except the US flag, Va State Flag and non-existent Lexington City Flag), the Va Flaggers have taken to the streets of Lexington on the State Lee-Jackson Day Holiday, which is the Friday closest to Robert E. Lee's birthday.  This Friday, BY FAR, was our best ever, with more folks attending, and more opportunities to educate and change the hearts and minds of those willing to listen, and stand up to those who refuse to hear or accept the truth regarding Lee and Jackson, their flags, and the men who fought and died beneath them.


We started the day with 54 folks meeting at Jackson Cemetery for instructions, information, and an invocation, asking God's protection and blessing on our endeavors.  Armed with flyers, flags, and the determination of our ancestors, we took to the sidewalks of Lexington, spreading out and taking positions at city light poles from the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery stretching down Main Street and over to Washington & Lee University.  It was a beautiful sight to behold, looking down from Main at the flags of our forefathers lining the streets of the city once considered €œThe Shrine of the South€.  The weather, ominous just the day before, was almost perfect.  Temperatures reached the upper 40's, with sunshine and a gentle breeze to lift our flags throughout the day.



At 1:00 pm, we gathered just a few blocks from the city center on Route 60 to raise the first Lexington Memorial Battle Flag, as reported earlier.   Our numbers continued to grow, as over 60 folks attended the dedication, and then headed back to Lexington to resume flagging.

 


By the time we left the Lexington sidewalks at dusk, over 80 people had joined us, many flagging for the first time, and all reporting very positive exchanges and experiences with citizens, tourists, and students throughout the day.  We printed 350 flyers and were completely out of "ammo" (the term coined by our own Sgt. Troutman for our literature) before the day was over! 



Exhausted, but galvanized by the incredible turnout and success of a very long day, we met at Country Cookin' (by invitation of the good folks there!) and counted over 100 in attendance, double what we had reserved, as more folks came in that evening.  After a great meal and last minute instructions for Saturday, we retired for the evening with great anticipation, realizing that the influx of folks who could not take off work to be with us Friday would mean even more flags and Flaggers on Saturday. 

Great press coverage and more photos here:  http://www.thenews-gazette.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1925%3Aflagging-the-holiday&catid=77%3Abreaking-news&Itemid=395

Excellent commentary here...  http://www.southern-thangs.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-really-big-confederate-flag-in.html?m=1

...and here:  http://www.parispi.net/opinion/columns/article_fac881ea-9ffe-11e4-8dd3-ffd6a2fa21c6.html

Stay tuned...much more to come...

VaFlaggers



Friday, January 16, 2015

MEMORIAL BATTLE FLAG RAISED IN LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA

This afternoon, during the Lee-Jackson State holiday in Virginia, the Virginia Flaggers took a break from flagging Lexington and Washington & Lee University, just long enough to raise a 10 x 15 Battle Flag on a 50 foot pole in a small ceremony on private property on Route 60, just outside of Lexington's city limits. 

The flag will fly in honor and memory of all Confederate soldiers, and specifically to remember Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, the great Virginians whose final resting places are within just a few blocks of the memorial.

When we placed an ad a few months ago in the local paper, we were thrilled to receive calls from several citizens who were eager to offer their property for the placement of a memorial flag.  It seems that we are not the only ones who are upset about the way officials in Lexington have turned their backs on Lee, Jackson, and the rich and honorable Confederate history and heritage of Lexington.  This property, with its elevated location and close proximity to town, seemed a perfect location and we were thrilled at the prospect of placing a memorial flag on the hill.   Little did we know that there was even more to this property than we imagined....

In 1859, Thomas J. Jackson took out a $500 note to purchase 13 acres just outside of Lexington, with the intention to farm the land, using the proceeds to pay the note. The War Between the States changed his plans, and in 1862 he wrote J.T.L. Preston and asked him to sell his little farm, which he did.  The Va Flaggers have recently received information that the flag raised today is located either directly on or adjacent to the property owned by General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.  We are overwhelmed by the knowledge that this Memorial flag, raised in honor and memory of Lee & Jackson, would also have such a profound and personal connection to General Jackson. 

She will be a living, breathing memorial to our Confederate dead, and a beautiful tribute to our gallant ancestors.  But, in the face of constant attacks by those who worship ignorance, historical revisionism, and political correctness, and at a time when officials in Lexington seem determined to completely ignore the sacrifice of her own citizens, and dishonor Lee & Jackson by their words and deeds, she will also be a visible reminder to all who see her that there are still many of us with Confederate blood coursing through our veins, who refuse to allow the ignorance and prejudice of others to force us to relinquish our birthright.

The Lexington Jackson Farm Memorial Battle Flag is the third roadside memorial battle flag erected in Virginia by the Va Flaggers since September of 2013, and part of an ongoing project to promote Confederate history and heritage, and honor Confederate Veterans in the Commonwealth.  These projects, and numerous other heritage defense efforts, are made possible through the generosity of supporters from across America and beyond.

Virginia Flaggers


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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

VaFlaggers: Lexington Update...Coundown 4 Days

Question received..."What flag should I bring?"

While all Confederate flags are welcome and appropriate, we suggest you consider carrying one of the flags that was banned from display on City flag stands, which included...

Robert E. Lee's headquarters flag
Unreconstructed Virginia State Flag
The Second National Flag (Stainless Banner)
The First National Flag (Stars & Bars)


...and, of course, the ANV battle flag, which represents Lee, Jackson, and all the men who served under them.

We will have a good supply of flags available. A minimum 8' pole is suggested for flagging.

Join us, as we "take it to the streets" to let the folks in Lexington and Washington & Lee University know that there are still many of us who honor Lee and Jackson and will not go away quietly.

We will flag all day Friday, participate in memorial services and the parade on Saturday, and flag Saturday afternoon/evening. We welcome all those interested in standing with us to attend Friday, Saturday, or both days.

Meet at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery Friday at 10:00 a.m, Saturday for details, a complete schedule, and more information. 

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

*Photo design courtesy of Chief James Skelton.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Va Flaggers: Lexington Update-Countdown: 7 Days


A week from today, the Va Flaggers will gather in Lexington for the Lee-Jackson holiday. Friday, January 16th is the Virginia State Holiday for Lee-Jackson Day, and Saturday, January 17th is officially recognized as Lee-Jackson Day in Lexington. The Virginia Flaggers will flag the town of Lexington for action taken by City Council to ban ALL flags from city light pole flag stands, rather than allow the flags of Lee and Jackson to fly for the week leading up to the State holiday, AND Washington and LEE University for actions taken by President Kenneth Ruscio to desecrate the LEE Chapel by removing battle flags from the Lee Mausoleum in response to the demands of 6 agitators/students.

Since the City Council of Lexington, Virginia voted to ban ALL flags (except the US, State and non-existent City flags) from flying on city light pole flag stands, rather than allow the flags of Lee and Jackson to fly for several days leading up to the Virginia State Lee-Jackson Holiday, the Virginia Flaggers have called for a FULL BOYCOTT of Lexington, Virginia. When we gather for the upcoming holiday and events, we ask that all participants make their arrangements for lodging, eating, entertainment and shopping OUTSIDE of the town limits. The map below provides an outline of the town boundaries. Please join us in making sure that the town that has turned its back on Lee and Jackson and its rich Confederate heritage, does not profit from what could have been a windfall of much needed revenue.

Honor Lee and Jackson...BOYCOTT LEXINGTON!

Join us, as we "take it to the streets" to let the folks in Lexington and Washington & Lee University know that there are still many of us who honor Lee and Jackson and will not go away quietly.

We will flag all day Friday, participate in memorial services and the parade on Saturday, and flag Saturday afternoon/evening. We welcome all those interested in standing with us to attend Friday, Saturday, or both days.

Meet at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery Friday at 10:00 a.m, Saturday for details, a complete schedule, and more information.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!


 
Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 -- Va Flaggers Year In Review


On a recent trip to Texas, a gentleman asked Susan, €œWhen you stepped out on the sidewalk with that flag, did you ever have any idea that you would be flying to Texas just three short years later to talk to us about everything that has happened since? Her honest and sincere answer was œnever in a million years!

The pace at which we have grown and been able to accomplish so much is truly phenomenal, and we give thanks first to God, who gives us strength, and has prepared a way for us to be used by Him and for His purposes and glory.  Our success and continued growth is due almost entirely to the dedication, commitment, and hard work of a small, but determined group of people who make up the Va Flaggers, and the prayers and support of thousands who encourage and inspire us daily.

Like MANY of you, our folks have been busy, and we want to share just a glimpse of what we have been up to¦

In 2014, the Va Flaggers continued our ongoing protests of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where museum officials forced the removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the Confederate Memorial Chapel, logging over 2,500 hours of Flagging on the Boulevard in Richmond.  During this time, we were able to talk with thousands of citizens about the situation at the Chapel, the honor of our Confederate Veterans, and the truth about the flags under which they fought and died.  In doing so, we have effectively changed the landscape in Richmond, assuring that Confederate flags are seen, and seen OFTEN on the streets of Richmond. 

In January, we had over 100 folks attend the two day flagging we organize each year in Lexington, VA to protest the flag ban there. We have had a presence in Lexington at Washington and Lee almost every weekend since the flags were removed from the mausoleum of the LEE Chapel, and continue to do what we can from Richmond to assist with the restoration of the flags there.  We lent our assistance to our friends in Danville when a memorial and flag on the grounds of the Sutherlin mansion were threatened, and were thrilled at the victory that was achieved there!

Susan had the privilege and honor of being invited to speak at and attend Confederate services, meetings, and engagements in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, and across the Commonwealth.  Each engagement brought new friends and supporters, and helped to encourage others to take a stand for the honor and memory of our Confederate ancestors.

In May, we quietly raised another Interstate Battle Flag Memorial, this time a 20™ X 30™ flag on a 90™ pole near Fredericksburg, VA.  In June, we installed a battle flag at Savage™s Station in Henrico County.  Work continued at the Chester flag site to dramatically improve visibility, and the process to add lighting has begun. Lighting was completed and is now operational at the Fredericksburg site.  We acquired additional poles through reclamation and have a half dozen additional flag sites under development, heading into 2015. 

Throughout the year, Flaggers attended dozens of memorial services, including traveling to Point Lookout for the Annual Pilgrimage where Susan was the keynote speaker, as well as many, many other local and nearby events. We saw the formation of other flagging groups across the South, and have assisted with their organization and activities as much as possible, and have lent a hand with other heritage defense issues when help was requested. We also were and are active in clean-up projects in several local cemeteries, and were proud to organize and carry out the return of the Confederate Memorial Day service at Oakwood Cemetery in Richmond in May, with a wonderful program and over 100 persons in attendance. 

We set up a booth again this year at the annual Shad Planking in Wakefield, as well as at several gun/Civil War shows and War Between the States Events.  We continued our flagging of the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission™s œCustermobile at every opportunity, providing a Confederate presence and sharing the truth about the War and the men who defended Virginia from invasion.  We participated in several parades, including the Mechanicsville Christmas parade, and over the course of the year, gave away or placed on graves over 3,456 stick flags. 

We were excited to acquire several drones and have been field testing them and training operators for use in heritage defense and preservation operations.  We celebrated our third anniversary with over 100 supporters at a picnic and an auction which raised enough money to replace the I-95 flag at Fredericksburg!  We received a large US Flag and donated it to the Va War Memorial, and honored our own Veterans at a ceremony there. 

Through contributions from our Flaggers, we supported efforts including the NC SCV/MC Flags across North Carolina, the Sally Tompkins OCR tombstone fund, the Va War Memorial, the Mattie Clyburn Rice tombstone fund, sent funds to help restore a flag site that was vandalized in Waco, TX, and assisted with other worthy funds and projects. 

Sadly, 2014 also saw the loss of two of our own, with the tragic deaths of Sgt. Cliff Troutman in January, and Floyd œTrey Tate in October.  We are still hurting from these losses, but will carry their memories with us as and are inspired by their dedication and commitment as we move forward. 

The Va Flaggers look back on 2014 and are overwhelmed at all that was accomplished, and overcome with gratitude for each and every person who gave of their time, talents, and resources to make it happen. As much as we have to be thankful for, we look forward to 2015 with even more excitement and hope that with the blessings of our Creator, and the cheering on of a great cloud of witnesses, 2015 will be the year that the flags will be returned to the Confederate Memorial Chapel in Richmond and the LEE Chapel in Lexington, and that Southerners across Virginia and beyond decided to take a stand for our Confederate Heritage, and push back against those who would desecrate our memorials and dishonor the memory of our Confederate dead.

We have only just begun to fight.  Will you join us?

*Fredericksburg I-95 Flag photo design, courtesy of David Tatum

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Va Flaggers: Old Soldiers' Home Veterans Profile: Rev. Moses Drury Hoge

The Virginia Flaggers are pleased to announce the release of the third in a series of profiles of Confederate Veterans with connections to the Old Soldiers™ Home, on the grounds of Confederate Memorial Park in Richmond, VA. 

For over three years, the Virginia Flaggers have forwarded the colors, twice a week, on the sidewalk outside of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) after museum officials forced the removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel.  

One cannot truly appreciate the history and significance of the Chapel, nor the degree of desecration committed when museum leadership, driven by their own misguided prejudice and ignorance, removed the flags, without knowing the (personal) stories of the men who built the Chapel, worshiped in it every Sunday, and gathered each time the bell tolled, to pay their respects to and honor their comrades, as one by one, the Veterans passed over to eternity. 

For many of our Flaggers, this fight is about more than just defending our Heritage against yet another unwarranted and unprovoked attack.  For those whose veins course with the blood of the men who actually had a connection to the Old Soldiers ™ Home, it is personal...

Moses Drury Hoge -- Confederate Chaplain

Moses Drury Hoge may not have been a soldier, but his importance to the veterans of the R.E. Lee Camp, No. 1 Soldiers' Home cannot be denied.

Born in 1818 in the oldest building at Hampden Sydney College in Prince Edward County, Virginia, he was the son of  college president Moses Hoge, who moved his family to Ohio so he could study there when his son was 2. After his father's death, young Moses, then 15, was sent to live with an uncle in North Carolina. He went on to attend Hampden Sydney and graduated as class valedictorian, becoming the assistant to Dr. Plumer in Richmond's First Presbyterian Church after college. Though the two became lifelong friends, Moses decided to start a separate church, Second Presbyterian on Fifth Street, in 1845. That same year, he discovered that the U.S. Army in Mexico needed chaplains, so he immediately volunteered.

In 1860 the Hoges moved to a house at the corner of Fifth and Main Streets, where they entertained many distinguished visitors, including Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Robert E. Lee, Joseph Johnston, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and more.

Rev. Moses Hoge was an abolitionist who supported secession from the Union and the radical Republicans who controlled it. At the start of the War Between the States, Gov. John Letcher appointed him to the Council of Chaplains. Moses preached to over 100,000 men during the war and was a favorite of the Stonewall Brigade. Cpl. James P. Smith wrote, ".... but the prayer, with far-reaching distinctness and with appeal and tenderness went up through the open skies to the God of so many fathers and mothers, to the great captain of our salvation, and went down into the hearts of those boys in gray, and tears were on many faces and strong desires in many hearts."

After the Seven Days Battles, Gen. Jackson himself went to Second Presbyterian to hear Moses preach. Small wonder that Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens appointed Moses "Honorary Chaplain" of the Confederate Congress. He opened congressional sessions with prayer 44 times,  far more than any other minister. He also accompanied President Davis and his cabinet during the evacuation of Richmond. In Danville, he found Secretary of State Benjamin walking the streets without a room and took him to his own lodging.  

By May, 1865 Moses returned to Richmond, depressed. "To me it seems that our overthrow is the worst thing that could have happened for the South and the worst thing that could have happened for the North, and for the cause of constitutional freedom and of religion on this continent," he wrote. "But the Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens and his kingdom ruleth overall ..." Later, Moses admitted to having lost $30,000-$40,000 during the war.

Moses returned to his job as pastor of Second Presbyterian church but was not forgotten by the Confederate veterans. On May 8, 1887, he dedicated the Confederate Memorial Chapel at the Robert E. Lee Camp No.1 Soldiers Home. He preached there often, also speaking at the dedications of the Lee and Jackson monuments. When Moses was 80, he was injured in a streetcar accident but never recovered. He passed away on January 6, 1898 and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery across from the 10th President of the United States, John Tyler.


Over 100 years after Moses Drury Hoge entered his eternal rest, his young cousin is determined that his sacrifice, courage and devotion to God and country will not be forgotten, as he forwards the Colors in his memory, and in protest of those who have desecrated the Confederate Memorial Chapel and the hallowed ground on which it rests, and dishonored our gallant Confederate Veterans.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers