This turned out to be a providential decision, as council chambers had already started to fill when we arrived at 4:30. By 5:30, all seats were taken, and the Fire Marshall began turning people away who wanted to attend. Over 100 people, most of whom were Confederate supporters, were left to stand outside during the proceedings.
We knew that the flag we had just raised was in a great spot -- high visibility and located at the main entrance of town -- but imagine our surprise and joy when we arrived and discovered that the flag is visible from City Hall. This is the view out of the City Manager's window!
We were the overwhelming majority in council chambers, and most of hose who addressed City Council were opposed to the ordinance that would officially ban ALL flags from city owned flag poles EXCEPT the US Flag, Virginia State Flag, Danville City Flag, and US POW/MIA flag, but was obviously specifically proposed to force the removal of the Third National flag from the Confederate Memorial from the grounds of the Sutherlin Mansion. The meeting started promptly at 7:00 and by the time council finished discussing the ordinance, we understood why. One member of council actually admitted that it really didn't even matter what the citizens thought on the matter, or had to say, because this deal had been brokered in "work sessions" and was already decided.
We listened as council members called for "peace and unity" following the vote -- no matter what was decided -- when, in actuality, they had already decided to vote to remove the flag. Apparently, even after seeing the fallout that has occurred across the South after similar measures, these men actually still believe that appeasing the demands of these people will lead to "eace and unity." In fact, if they had been paying attention, they would know that pandering to the PC crowd not only leads to increased unrest and strife, it is NEVER effective, as these folks are NEVER satisfied with whatever it is that is handed to them. Minutes after the vote, SCLC representative Avon Keen, the man who has been complaining about the flag loudly and agitating in Danville for years, made this perfectly clear in his statement when he bragged that this flag was just "one of the dominoes which had to fall," and that their "battle has not concluded."
I often speak of the fact that there are very few elected officials left with any kind of backbone ANYWHERE in the South. Last night, we found two of them in Danville, VA. These men stood up to the bully politics that apparently caused others to cave and turn their backs on their history, their heritage, and the citizens of Danville who elected them. They fought to the end, knowing full well their stand would be unpopular with their colleagues and the militant leftists pushing the agenda of Confederate Cleansing. God bless councilmen Buddy Rawley and Fred Shanks. PLEASE take a moment to thank them for their support and courageous stand!
After the vote, Representative Shanks asked the Mayor if the flag was going to be removed "as discussed" in the closed work sessions. Mayor Saunders seemed highly agitated, and claimed that he knew nothing about the removal and refused to answer the question.
In fact, the bucket truck was already on site, waiting for the official result which was already decided long before the roll vote was called, and the flag was cut down, the monument desecrated, and the honor of our ancestors SPAT UPON by order of City Council within minutes of the vote. Apparently, Mayor Saunders expected us to believe that those police officers acted on their own volition, and that council had no idea it was going to happen.
As to the turncoats who decided to vote for this ordinance, after pledging to support Confederate history and heritage in Danville, we are left only to wonder what they were promised for their vote --¦and if it was worth selling their soul.
While it was painful to sit and watch the proceedings, and more hurtful than I can describe to ride down to the Sutherlin Mansion afterwards and find the empty pole, those of us who have been engaged in this war that is raging in Danville are far from discouraged.
Yesterday, we raised the first Roadside Memorial Battle Flag in Danville, Va.
The actions of the City Council, in fact, served to trade one 3x5 Third National, tucked away in a quiet part of town, for ONE (so far) massive battle flag in a prominent location on a major highway. If this was the ONLY thing accomplished yesterday, we would have plenty to celebrate, but there is much, much more.
And in the aftermath...sweet irony. The ordinance that was designed to remove the flag at Sutherlin Mansion...
...also brought down the national flags from the display of flags of countries doing business in Danville...
I wonder if we can talk to city officials about taking these poles off of their hands, now that they are no longer needed? We will put them to very good use! ;)
As it has in communities across the South, this unnecessary and divisive action by the Danville City Council has served to "awaken the sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." We are not only confident that the flag WILL be returned to its rightful place at Sutherlin Mansion, but believe that the end result will be that Danville will be even more Confederate than ever before.
This flag installed yesterday is the first of several scheduled for installation in Danville, and the eighth Roadside Memorial Battle Flag installed in the Commonwealth of Virginia by the Virginia Flaggers since the fall of 2013, made possible by generous gifts and support from folks across the country. We would like to especially thank the many UDC, SCV, OCR, Mechanized Cavalry, and private citizens in Danville who have stepped up to help us with the flag projects, and with whom we have worked closely and successfully over these past months in Danville.
"For every flag removed, a thousand more will rise to take its place"