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.

Email 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"


University President
Kenneth P. Ruscio
(540) 458-8700
(540) 458-8945 (fax)

Senior Assistant to the President
Elizabeth Knapp
(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:

Please add your voice!

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

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