Wednesday, August 6, 2014

VMFA Update 8/7/2014

The Virginia Flaggers finished out July, and our 32ND month of Flagging the VMFA, with a strong showing, twice weekly on the Boulevard in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Even though we stretched our line, with troops on the ground at Washington & Lee, and at other events across the Commonwealth, we have not forgotten the FIRST Chapel desecration in Virginia, and the Cause that first brought the Va Flaggers together, almost three years ago.

Although museum traffic has been light recently, there have still been many opportunities for good conversations with museum visitors, residents, and tourists.

We are always looking for new ways to add more flags to the landscape, and new methods of bringing attention to the actions of VMFA officials...

For those of our supporters who have just joined this email list and may not be familiar with the situation at the Confederate Memorial Chapel, we offer the following summary:
Twenty years after Gen. Robert E. Lee rode into Appomattox and surrendered his tattered army, ending the War Between the States, a memorial chapel was built in Richmond in memory of the 260,000 Confederate soldiers who died during the conflict. The Pelham Chapel -- Confederate War Memorial is designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S., and has been granted the status of Confederate Monument by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The organ in the chapel was donated by a group of Union veterans from Lynn, Mass. One of the contributors to the soldiers' home that surrounded the chapel was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. And a Union private from Massachusetts donated his annual pension to support the home.

Confederate flags had flown over the grounds since the opening of the Old Soldiers Home in 1885. Those flags did not trouble the Union soldiers who donated the organ to the chapel; nor did they trouble Ulysses S. Grant. They were placed there by Confederate Veterans, to memorialize the Confederate dead, and honor the living.

Fast forward 150 years€¦on the eve of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the War Between the States, June 1st, 2010, Confederate Battle Flags were forcibly removed from the Confederate War Memorial by a restriction in the lease renewal, at the insistence of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

This is in direct violation of Virginia law, which clearly states: it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same. For purposes of this section, "disturb or interfere with" includes removal of, damaging or defacing monuments or memorials, or, in the case of the War Between the States, the placement of Union markings or monuments on previously designated Confederate memorials or the placement of Confederate markings or monuments on previously designated Union memorials. (§ 15.2-1812)

As citizens of Virginia and descendants of Confederate soldiers who gallantly answered Virginia's call to defend her, we demand that the VMFA remove these blatantly prejudicial restrictions and allow the Confederate Battle Flags to once again fly on the Confederate War Memorial.
We are committed to continuing our flagging efforts until the flags are returned.  Will you join us?  We will be forwarding the colors TODAY, Thursday, August 7th, 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm, on the Boulevard in front of the VMFA, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA.  Bring your flag and come stand for our Confederate Ancestors and against VMFA officials, who have desecrated the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

If you cannot be there in person, PLEASE take 10 minutes to support the troops on the ground by calling the Director's Office at (804) 340-1502 and asking him to return the Confederate Battle Flags to the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel.  He can also be reached by mail: :  Alex Nyerges
Director, VMFA, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220-4007 / Fax  (804)  340-1502 / and/or email:

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

TriPp Lewis
Va Flaggers

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150

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