The Virginia Flaggers arrived at the LEE Chapel entrance to Washington & Lee University at 10:00 a.m., to find that our Tar Heel brothers had been first to have boots on the ground. The men of the Old North State had a GREAT representation on the front lines, and joined us for most of the day...
We also arrived to find that W&L Security had barricaded off the entrance to the Chapel parking lot. It was not long, however, before the Flaggers realized that traffic cones make GREAT flag stands!
Foot and auto traffic was heavy around the Chapel all day, and feedback was almost 100% positive and in support of our efforts to return the Confederate Battle Flags to the RE LEE Chapel.
There were many great conversations, and opportunities to educate the public. As promised, here is one young man's Story...
"We started off the day flagging in front of Washington and Lee. We flagged for 20 minutes or so until a friend and I decided to go see VMI.
On the way to VMI , we got many honks, waves, and signs of support for the Battle Flags we were carrying. We got to VMI and walked all around the campus until we found the statue of "Stonewall" Jackson. We took a picture of me in front of Jackson with my Battle Flag.
We left VMI and went to the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. There I got to visit the General and talk to a nice family from Pennsylvania. I told them about the history of the Battle Flag and Washington and Lee's decision to remove the flags from the Lee Chapel. They were very understanding and nice.
After I visited Stonewall we went to the SCV rally in Hopkins Green Park. There I had conversations with Wayne Jones and Rev Herman White.
We left the rally early to go back to flagging in front of Washington and Lee. Since it was my first time in Lexington I wanted to see the Lee Chapel and the grave of Lee's horse Traveller. As I began to head for the Lee Chapel, a Police Officer stopped me and said that I could not enter the campus property with my Battle Flag or any images of Confederate Flags on any of my possessions including my clothing. I really wanted to pay my respects to General Lee and Traveller so I had to turn my shirt inside-out, take off my hat, and take off my badge.
When I finally arrived to the Chapel there was a sign on the front door saying that the Lee Chapel was closed for the weekend. I took a picture of the Lee Chapel and then went to see Traveller. I was glad to see that I had access to the grave of Traveller.
I talked to 3 different couples while I was on the campus and they were all very supportive. I told each couple why I was there and why my shirt was inside-out.
When I got off of the campus and back on to the sidewalk I flagged for the rest of the day. At least 2 out of every 3 cars would wave, honk, or salute us. One man who was walking down the sidewalk gave me a "Confederate fist-bump" to show his support for the Flaggers.
We had two interesting conversations while we were on our way to the car. The first was with a family from the great state of Missouri. They were very supporting of our efforts and were against the removal of the flags that were in the Lee Chapel. The second was a man from the Richmond Times-Dispatch who asked why I was out there, my name, and if I was related to any Confederate soldiers. He took my picture with my Battle Flag and said that I should be in the paper tomorrow!
Fred talked to the owner of a local ice cream shop. At the end of there conversation the owner gave Fred free Ice Cream to show his support for our efforts.
Overall it was a VERY successful day for the Virginia Flaggers."
This young man, a 15 year old member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and proud descendant of several Confederate Ancestors, was told he could not enter the campus of Washington and LEE University without removing his "offensive" apparel, which consisted of:
- A Lee-Davis High School cap
- A Sons of Confederate Veterans Sesquicentennial Commemorative T-Shirt
- And a name badge on a lanyard which had Confederate Battle Flags printed on it
The implications of these restrictions are far reaching and mind-boggling. Is the Confederate Battle Flag now prohibited in any form at the campus? Are students prohibited from wearing a label pin, or t-shirt, or cap, if it has a Confederate Battle Flag on it? Are students prohibited from possessing or displaying a Confederate flag? Is a vehicle with a government issued SCV license plate prohibited access to the campus?
We find it the worst kind of intolerance and bigotry that the University administration has chosen to openly discriminate against those of Confederate Ancestry...on the campus of a school that owes its very existence to the Gen. Robert E Lee, and the Confederate Veterans who helped save the institution.
The rally and gathering in Lexington this weekend was a good start, but it must be just that...a kick off for a campaign that may be long fought, and demand much of our time and resources.
Please take a moment to contact University officials AGAIN this week, and express your outrage at their decision to remove flags, CLOSE the RE LEE chapel for the weekend, and force visitors to remove any representations of their Confederate ancestry before stepping foot on University property.
Washington & Lee University Contact Information:
Mr. Kenneth Ruscio
Washington and Lee University
204 West Washington Street
Washington and Lee University
Washington Hall 214
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Secretary of the University:
James D. Farrar, Jr.
Washington & Lee University
203 Washington Hall
Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees:
Washington & Lee University
202 Washington Hall
Thank you for your continued support. Please look for more updates soon, with additional opportunities to join us in Lexington, and/or support our continuing efforts.
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150