We believe that everyone has the right to express their opinion, but find the wording of the moveon.org petition inflammatory and misleading. It references "Southern Slavery" when the fact is that the institution of slavery was an American institution, legal and practiced for more than 85 years under the U.S Flag, and assert that it is disingenuous to lay the entire sin of its practice and existence at the feet of the Confederacy and her flags. The petitions suggests an American flag is a better representation of our community. We assert that the Confederate Battle Flag IS an American flag, as Confederate Soldiers are American Veterans by Act of U.S. Congress. http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/04/03/confederate-soldiers-american-veterans-by-act-of-congress/
With a population of approx. 205,000, the signers of this petition represent less than 5% of Richmond's citizenry. Factor in that the majority of the signers appear to be out-of-towners and the representation is even lower. At the height of the Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, we believe it most certainly does represent Richmond, which served as the Confederate Capital.
We continue to receive overwhelming support, both locally and nationally, from those who are anxious to support this memorial, with donations often marked in memory of their Confederate ancestor. After the War Between the States, Union veterans often lent their support to monuments and memorials to the Confederacy. Americans were united in their efforts to remember our dead and honor our Veterans. Sadly, this petition clearly is intended to divide our community and inflame others to act out against a memorial to American Veterans. We are determined that the flag will fly as a reminder that there are many of us who have not, and WILL not forget the honor, valor, and sacrifice of our Confederate ancestors.
Jimmy Jones, VA Flaggers