On Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of speaking to the members of the Ivy Ritchie Camp #1734, SCV, in Albermarle, NC. On Friday, I spent the day visiting the area around Stuart: Mt. Airy and Pilot Mountain, NC... Ararat, and Stuart. I had never visited Laurel Hill, J.E.B. Stuart's ancestral and boyhood home, and was glad to have to opportunity to do so, in preparation for attending the rally on Saturday.
As I visited these places, I carried a little stick battle flag in my bag. Aside from quite a few positive comments and "thumbs up", it opened the door to many great conversations with the good folks in this part of the country. ACROSS THE BOARD, everyone I talked to was upset about the removal of the J.E.B. Stuart portrait from the Patrick County Courthouse, and wanted to know what they could do to help get it back up.
When we arrived for the rally, we found that this sentiment was echoed by those who had gathered, who expressed anger and outrage at Judge Clark's decision and his very apparent disdain for all things Confederate, as expressed in his "statement". Wayne Jones did a fantastic job organizing the event and gave a stirring speech that moved everyone in attendance. We were thrilled that Rev. Dr. Herman White made the trip up from High Point, and we all enjoyed his remarks, full of the fire and brimstone we all needed to hear!
After the event, we were busy for at least an hour, talking to folks who wanted to put up flags on their property, who were eager to know how they could get involved and help get the portrait returned to its rightful place, and wanted more information about the Va Flaggers and what we do.
We were absolutely overwhelmed by the warm welcome and sincere thanks expressed by the people of Stuart, not only during and immediately following the rally, but throughout the rest of the day, as we visited many of the over ONE DOZEN potential flag sites for which we have received requests, SO FAR.
Local law enforcement and State Police had a good presence at the rally, but there was not a single sign of counter protest, or even a negative comment heard throughout the entire day, a stark contrast to what we experienced in DC one week earlier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4uRLNVrOuk
What a welcome respite to be able to spend time in this part of the Commonwealth, with such good folks. If God created anything more beautiful than the Blue Ridge mountains, I have yet to see it. We were on the Blue Ridge Parkway near sunset Saturday evening, and had the opportunity to stop and appreciate and enjoy His handiwork.
"If all else fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region and make my last stand for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger." Attributed to George Washington, at Valley Forge.
We will be evaluating the numerous flag sites and planning for the first installations very soon. We also hope to get back to town and work with the folks there in training for and kicking off flagging operations in Stuart.
God bless the memory of General J.E.B. Stuart, and GOD SAVE THE SOUTH!