Monday, January 25, 2016

New Civil Rights Movement: Lee-Jackson Day Reflections From a First-Time Flagger

We received permission to share this excellent piece, written by a gentleman who joined us on the front lines for the first time last Friday in Lexington for Lee-Jackson Day...

 New Civil Rights Movement

Recently I participated with a new Civil Rights group in reaffirming our First Amendment right of free speech and peaceful assembly on a public street. 

Washington & Lee University is attempting to deny this by force, complete with security guards in a blatant violation of civil rights. VDOT and the police affirmed that Letcher Ave is indeed public right of way and W&L had no right to stop peaceful people from carrying the Battle Flag on public property.

Arriving, I was briefed on what citizenship etiquette was expected. We were not to impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic, to respect private property, not to use loud, profane or threatening language, and not to litter. BLM and Occupy take note. The briefing closed with prayer for safety and tolerance.

With Battle Flag in hand and wearing my veteran€™s baseball cap I took my post where I was pleasantly surprised at the warm reception.

About half the cars exhibited no notice but the other half waved, gave a thumbs up or spoke encouragingly. Pedestrians and visiting tourists also commented favorably including one distinguished looking lady who made eye contact, winked and whispered €Å“Keep up the good work!€ as she passed by. The drivers of several trucks bearing W & L logo gave an apologetic smile and waved approval.

The one and only negative reaction was a woman in a BMW sports car who must be suffering from Affluenza and White Privilege Guilt Syndrome. Stopping at the traffic signal she rendered a double single digit salute using both hands. At first I thought perhaps she was advertising the availability of her services but when she lowered her window and released a string of invectives and vulgarities I realized that it was she and not my Battle Flag that was engaging in hate speech.

I resisted the temptation to respond because in the adjoining lane a mother with her children in the car also lowered her window. This kind lady, setting an example for her children, first thanked me for my service to our country and then gave thumbs up to the Battle Flag.

Later we raised a huge Battle Flag on private property overlooking I- 81. As the flag was unfurled and far off motorists realized what was happening, the sound of supportive car and truck horns blaring was like a symphony.

During lunch I learned how the left wing Gestapo is attempting to intimidate people by posting lies on the internet; calling employers and urging firings simply for exercising free speech.

So what is the source of this hatred of the Battle Flag? Well it is like the US Flag, the Christian Cross, the Star of David and the Crescent Moon of Islam, all of which once have been hijacked by haters. A 1931 KKK rally at Hotel Roanoke, pictured in Roanoke Times featured three U.S. Flags, four Christian Crosses but no Battle Flags.

Unauthorized temporary usage by a hate group does not allow anyone else to redefine for all others the previous and future meaning of a symbol.

Wornie Reed and others at the Christiansburg conference, not delivering a history lesson but  a  propaganda lecture, have no more credibility to define forever the Battle Flag€™s meaning for others than does Donald Trump have the right to define Islam.

The absurdity of the Nazi correlation to the Confederate soldier and his flag is a classic example of racial dividers trying to impose their superficial understanding of history on those who know the truth.
The flag was in 1861, and is still now worldwide, a symbol of resistance to what many consider tyrannical governments.

In a memorial setting the Battle Flag honors soldiers who fought for many reasons, the least of which was for the perpetuation or the abolition of slavery. Listen to the soldiers, North and South by reading their letters.

This is the great hoax than induces many such as Bill Bestpitch to betray their ancestors honor for a handful of votes without really understanding what their ancestors believed.

Elitists in academia, government, media and entertainment regard those who defend the Battle Flag as untermensch. These men and women are not going to furl their Battle Flag and quietly go to the back of the bus. Reintroducing an abandoned tactic of nonviolence and demanding civil rights protection, they will persevere.

So what is the take away from all this? In spite of what the Gauleiters of speech censorship tell you, there are many Americans who still support the Battle Flag. 


Iain Colquhoun
Roanoke, Va

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150

A Virginian's Timely Question

"Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason toward my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings."
~ Patrick Henry, St. John's Church, Richmond, VA — 
with Susan Frise Hathaway in Lexington, Virginia.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Lee-Jackson Day 2016 Lexington VA Weekend Report

The Virginia Flaggers arrived in Lexington, VA early Friday morning, and kicked off the Lee-Jackson Day State Holiday with an informational meeting  at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery. 

We then headed down Main Street and spread out along Main and down to Washington & Lee University, covering most of the heart of downtown.  With very few exceptions, the local residents welcomed us and often stopped to thank us for being there and forwarding the colors.  We had many, many good conversations with folks who were eager to ask questions, and receptive to the information we shared about the discriminatory flag ban by Lexington City Council...and the desecration of the LEE Chapel by Washington & Lee University.

One of our favorite stories of the morning was that of a Washington & Lee University student who came out to speak to us.  He told us that he had been visiting the university last year during Lee-Jackson weekend last year and was impressed by the showing of flags. He said he had been waiting for the holiday to arrive and hoping we would be back out this year so he could come speak with us.  He carried a Mississippi state flag in his pocket and was well educated about our history and heritage.

We spoke with a few reporters, and a nice piece aired that evening, inviting folks to attend the festivities on Saturday...

After lunch outside of city limits, we headed out to the I-81 R.E. Lee Memorial Flag site to raise a new flag.  We were watching the weather closely, as rain was forecasted to move in, and were able to get the flag up and flying just in time.

Re-dedicated, on Lee-Jackson Day 2016, to the Glory of God, and in memory of General Robert E. Lee and the men who served under him. 

Heavy rain set in shortly thereafter, and we moved inside to prepare and plan for the next days' activities.

Saturday morning, we awoke to chilly temperatures, but bright sunshine filled the sky as hundreds gathered at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery for a service to honor Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.  The crowd was larger than we had seen in several years.  Members of the Stonewall Brigade reported they quickly ran out of the 300 programs they had printed.

It was a beautiful service, and a moving tribute to General Jackson.Immediately following the service, we stepped off for a parade through town.  Once again, the reception was cordial, with those in attendance cheering us on, and shouts of thanks and support were heard throughout the route.

Following the parade, Flaggers attended a Memorial Service for Robert E. Lee at a Lexington church, or headed back down Main Street for more flagging. 

Kudos to the men of the Stonewall Brigade for organizing this event every year and for their commitment to ensuring that there is still a formal commemoration of Lee-Jackson each year in Lexington.

After the parade, we headed across town to W&L.  The details of "The Battle of Letcher Ave" were sent in a previous email, and can be found here:

After leaving VMI, we headed over to the Jackson Farm Memorial Battle Flag site on Rt. 60.  The flag that was raised one year ago on Lee-Jackson day, 2015, had been repaired several times, and needed to be replaced.  We raised a new 10' x 15' flag and rededicated her in memory and honor of General TJ "Stonewall" Jackson. 

*Thanks to our friends at Tredegar DroneWorks for this great aerial photo! 

After raising the new flag, we headed back into town to finish out the day with some very chilly, but very productive flagging!
One of MANY great conversations we had during the Lee-Jackson weekend.

As the day came to a close, the last Flaggers left standing were reluctant to leave after what was, by far, our best Lexington Lee-Jackson weekend to date.

Many thanks to all who joined us, many for the first time, those whose support made it all possible, and those who offered prayers of protection and safety.  Over the two days, we did not encounter a single protester or heckler, and enjoyed a warm welcome from most residents and students.  We were able to freely and properly honor and remember Generals Lee and Jackson, and forward the colors on the sidewalks where City Council had hoped their ban would mean the end of their display during the holiday.  We were encouraged by the fact that in spite of all of the best efforts of some to drive her down, Dixie is alive and well and burning in the hearts of even the youngest citizens of the Commonwealth...
will leave you with these drone video highlights of some of the events in Lexington...

Barry Isenhour
Va Flaggers

Monday, January 18, 2016

Va Flaggers: Lee-Jackson Day 2016 - Outflanking W&L University

A full report of the weekend's activities will follow shortly, but we have had many requests for details on what transpired Saturday afternoon at Washington & Lee University so we decided to get this update out first, ahead of the general report.

Many of you may recall that last year, security guards at Washington & Lee University refused to allow our folks to walk up Letcher Avenue after the parade through town when we attempted to pay our respects to General Jackson at VMI. 
Details here:

It seems that W&L officials are determined to make sure that the demands of the six agitators are met, and are going to great lengths to ensure that W&L students will not be exposed to a battle flag as it is carried up the public sidewalk on Letcher Avenue, which apparently would cause great distress and damage to their delicate psyches. 

After the incident last year, we began an investigation and received information that Letcher Avenue is, in fact, a public road, NOT privately owned by the University.  We received information from VDOT in April of 2015, that confirmed that Letcher Avenue is in no way subject to the dominion or control of Washington & Lee University.  In addition, a City of Lexington Police Dispatcher confirmed that the restriction by W&L's security force to prevent public use of Letcher Avenue is illegal.  She advised that if they should attempt to prevent any of us from walking on EITHER sidewalk along Letcher Avenue that we immediately call the Lexington Police.

With this in mind, knowing they had denied the SCV access to the LEE Chapel for their annual Robert E Lee Memorial service, and having received word that W&L had security personnel positioned at Letcher Avenue on Lee-Jackson Day, we called the Lexington Police ahead of our arrival, and asked them to meet us at W&L to make sure we were allowed access. 

At 2:00, several dozen Flaggers had gathered, and W&L security would not allow access to the sidewalk to anyone carrying a Confederate flag.

Representative from Lexington's Police Department and Sheriffs office arrived shortly after we called them. Acting as spokesman for the Flaggers, I first spoke to a female Sergent.  I told her that we had talked to Lexington dispatch, consulted with attorneys, and received information from VDOT, ALL of which confirmed that Letcher Ave. is a public street and not under the domain of W&L, and I handed her the email correspondence to prove it. She was understanding, assured me she would get some answers, and placed a call to the Chief of Police. I was asked to speak to him. I informed him of the same thing that I had just told the Sargent about the legalities of the situation at hand.

At that time a Dean at W&L called the Sheriff and he asked me if he could call me back after he tried to resolve the issue with her. I agreed and walked over to the group of Flaggers, which was growing larger by the minute, to update them on the situation. 

I was quickly summoned back up the hill by the Sergent to talk to the chief of police again. He said that W&L remained insistent that law enforcement intervene if we try to walk up Letcher Ave. He asked if our folks would consider walking down the sidewalk of N Jefferson instead, and offered to instruct his officers to escort us up the steep VMI entrance and then offered to help us get this straight for next year.

I told him today was not the day that any of our folks were ready to compromise.
He then informed me that he was instructing his officers NOT to impede  the Flaggers if they walk up Letcher Avenue to VMI, but warned that W&L officials could try to obtain names and information of those who did so and go down to the courthouse and swear out a trespassing warrant on those individuals.

I thanked him and told him that we would contact him soon to "put this situation to rest once and for all".

By this time, our numbers had grown, as word spread across Lexington of what was happening at W&L.  As I met with our group again, to let them know the situation and decide what our next move would be, one woman took it in her own hands to do what needed to be done, grabbed her flag, and started up the hill, marching right past the security detail. 


Defiantly, bravely, and determined to honor General Jackson, she proceeded up the hill without interference. One by one, others joined her, and soon a steady stream was walking up the hill, much to the consternation of the W&L security personnel. 

Simultaneously, a group of Flaggers who had been positioned on Jefferson Ave, took the right flank, and were escorted by Lexington police down Jefferson Ave.  The officer then stopped traffic to allow them to cross the street and enter by way of the VMI entrance. 

We believe General Jackson would be proud of our flanking maneuvers!

W&L security personnel were visibly angry, and frustrated that we had outmaneuvered and outflanked them.  Flaggers who walked up the hill called it one of the most satisfying moments of the weekend as they walked right past those who less than an hour before had denied them access.

Once on the parade grounds, we were free to pay our respects to the General, and has become our custom, we unfurled a 10x15 flag that were going to raise on the Jackson Farm Flag site later that afternoon, and posed for a photo. 


There were absolutely no attempts by anyone at VMI to impede our commemoration.  In fact, communications with VMI officials were cordial and professional.  As we turned to sing "Dixie's Land", Cadets were seen opening windows and shouting down approval at the sight of General Jackson on the grounds of VMI once again. 

Spirits soared among those who gathered at the end of the triumphant march, led by one woman, who, if you ask her why she did it, will answer. "I  just got GOOD AND MAD at what those people are doing...and wasn't going to take it anymore!".

General Jackson, in his 1861 VMI uniform, posed for photos on the parade grounds with participants, and our own Judy Smith captured this stunning  shot as we were leaving. 


We would like to take this moment to reiterate that, as has been our experience in Lexington each time we visit, law enforcement personnel from both the Lexington Police and Sheriff's Departments treated us with the utmost respect and courtesy, not only in this situation, but throughout our entire stay. We have nothing but praise for their professionalism and sincere efforts to provide for our protection and safety. 
Officials at Washington and LEE University tried to stop us from walking past their campus on our way to pay our respects to General Jackson.

They failed. 

When you've got 75-100 people out there...things go your is called an army.

TriPp Lewis
Virginia Flaggers

P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150