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

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Va Flaggers: VMFA Update - Flagging with Santa!

Colder weather has arrived in Richmond, and yet the Va Flaggers have continued to maintain our presence, twice a week, every week,  on the Boulevard in Richmond.

Flagging the VMFA Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has brought us some tremendous opportunities to meet people and educate and inform them about our Confederate Ancestors and the flags they fought and died beneath.

On a recent Saturday, this delightful family stopped to visit with us. They were from out of town, tourists in fact, and were thrilled to see the flags on display. We talked at length, despite the chilly weather, and they posed for a photo and thanked us over and over before heading out to see more sites in RVA.

We love it when a walking tour stops by and we get a chance to educate a group. These folks listened attentively and were very receptive and supportive...

Thank you, VMFA...for every opportunity such as this...and thank you, Flaggers for taking time out of your day to stand and make a difference...for such a time as this!

Wednesday evening, a half dozen Flaggers made their way to the Boulevard and were thrilled to welcome Confederate Santa, who took time out of his busy Christmas schedule to come and flag with the Va Flaggers!

Did we mention FLAGGING IS FUN?!?!?!  ;)

Confederate Santa spent the afternoon/evening spreading good will, cheer, and the truth about our Confederate ancestors, and was a HUGE hit, with many folks honking, waving, and stopping to take photos.

We received many positive remarks and comments... from a guy on a bike that stopped to say "thanks for preserving our heritage"... to a guy who told us "I'm not for you or against you, but I respect what y'all are doing."  We explained to him why it was important to us.  We believe we made an impression. ;) 

The Va Flaggers will be back out on the Boulevard THIS SATURDAY, December 20th, from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, forwarding the colors, protesting the forced removal of Confederate flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and changing hearts and minds in the Capital of the Confederacy.  Join us, and be a part of those standing for the honor and memory of our Confederate ancestors, and standing AGAINST those who have dishonored them and desecrated the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

JOIN US...and be a part of those taking a stand FOR the honor and memory of our Confederate Veterans...and AGAINST those who would dishonor them and desecrate the Confederate Memorial Chapel.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Va Flaggers: Va War Memorial Flag/Veterans Presentation

Several months ago, someone stopped by the Chester I-95 Memorial Battle flag site,  and asked if we would be interested in a big flag that she had received but could not use. Of course, we replied YES! When we received the flag, we were a bit surprised to find that it was a very large, like new, U.S. Flag.

We reached out to the folks at the Virginia War Memorial and found out that it was the right size for the flag that is flown in their outdoor display.  We contacted them about making a donation of the flag in memory of Sgt. Cliff Troutman, and in honor of the Veterans in our organization. They accepted our offer and agreed to open the facility to us on Tuesday evening, December 9th for the presentation.

We had the flag cleaned, courtesy of Hawthorne Cleaners in Highland Springs,  and grommets added, courtesy of Festival Flags in Richmond and arrived a little early tonight to take some photos in the shrine area.  For those of you who have never been, the Va War Memorial is a beautiful memorial, with the names of Virginia's war dead etched in glass or stone in the shrine, and an educational annex with exhibits, auditoriums, and meeting spaces.

The Va Flaggers were honored to be present, on what we consider hallowed ground for this ceremony.  As an organization whose main purpose is to honor Virginia's war dead, we feel a deep and profound connection with the Va War Memorial, and their mission to ensure that ALL of the men and women of the Commonwealth who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom, will never be forgotten.


The flag, along with a donation, were given in honor of our veterans and in memory of Sgt. Cliff Troutman, USMC, Vietnam Vet, and Virginia Flagger.

Sgt. Troutman was, and still is, an inspiration to all who knew and loved him.  His devotion to God, Country, and the memory of his Confederate ancestors was an example to all, and his fierce determination to recognize and care for all of Virginia's veterans, living and dead, was unmatched.

While the Va Flaggers are dedicated to honoring the memory of Virginia's Confederate dead, we are proud to have, in our ranks, Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.  The were recognized as follows:


Jon C. Hatfield, Executive Director, Virginia War Memorial

Jim Tingle, Sergeant, US Marine Corps Vietnam War Veteran
Karen Cooper, US Army

Jimmy Creech, US Army
Thomas A. Morris, Sr. US Navy, Operation Nimbus Star/Nimbus Moon Veteran

Jerry Howard, US Marine Corps
Marvin Stalnaker, Sergeant, Virginia Army National Guard

Hubert W. Cash, Petty Officer, US Navy, Sergeant, Virginia Army National Guard

*Lt. Col (Ret.) Al Bruner, US Air Force, Panama, Gulf 1, Serbia, Somalia, 9-11, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Nobel Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran

*H.V. Traywick, Jr., Captain, US Army, Vietnam War Veteran

*Not pictured

In honor of these, our Veterans, and in memory of Sgt. Troutman, we presented the flag to be flown on the site, and a donation to be used to continue the good and excellent work of the Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation.

The Va Flaggers would like to offer our sincere thanks to Mr. Hatfield and Mr. Jeb Hockman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation, for welcoming us to the site and working with us to arrange the ceremony.

More photos here: 

God bless ALL our Veterans...and God Save the South!

Susan Hathaway

Monday, December 8, 2014

Va Flaggers 2014 Mechanicsville Rotary/Ruritan Christmas Parade

A slight chill, but a beautiful, sunny day yesterday greeted those who came out for the Mechanicsville Rotary/Ruritan Christmas Parade yesterday.

The Va Flaggers joined a large Confederate contingency that included the Capt. Sally Tompkins Chapter #2, Order of the Confederate Rose, Captain Wm Latane Camp #1690 SCV, Virginia Division United Daughters of the Confederacy, Edmund Ruffin FireEaters Camp #3000 SCV, Hanover Dragoons Camp #827 SCV, and the General W. C. Wickham Camp #2250, SCV.  Before the parade stepped off, we gathered as many as possible for a group photo:

We were honored to have Generals Stonewall Jackson (Greg Randall) and Robert E. Lee (George "Tex" Wells) leading our unit and they were enthusiastically received by the large crowds gathered along the two mile route.

We passed out over 700 stick flags, and still ran out well before the parade was over. All along the route we heard shouts of may I have a flag, please? Units behind us remarked at what a beautiful sight it was to see the streets lined with crowds of children and adults waving Confederate flags!

Rifle salutes from the Wm Latane Camp were a REAL crowd pleaser!

This little fella's Mother told us that as soon as he saw the men in uniform carrying the Confederate flags, he jumped up to attention and saluted, without any prompting...

All along the route, we were greeted with shouts of appreciation and when we led parade participants in singing "Dixie's Land", citizens joined in singing with us. 

For our Flaggers, it was a much appreciated and well deserved break from what can seem to be a constant battle against the haters and misinformed.  At one point, after receiving a particularly warm welcome from one large crowd, one of the Flaggers yelled to the other marchers "Who said Old Virginny was dead?", and someone in the crowd yelled back "NOT HERE!" which started another flood of applause and shouts of support! 

Many thanks to the parade organizers and all who participated in making this event so successful!  Mark your Calendars for the first Sunday in December, 2015, and let's DOUBLE the Confederate presence again next year! :)

The VaFlaggers