Friday, July 29, 2016

In The Wake of the Battle Flag - Answering the Critics in Danville

After Saturday's wildly successful flag raising ceremony in Danville, Va, where over 700 people gathered in the sweltering heat and red clay dust to dedicate and raise the largest battle flag ever flown in the Commonwealth, press reports quickly spread across the country. Over a half dozen news agencies came to record the event, most assuredly looking for any trace of the "hate" and "racism" that the media and leftists have tried to smear us with, especially over the last 12 months. Finding no indication of anything even close to these sentiments, the reports, while sometimes factually inaccurate, were almost universally positive in the portrayal of what the reporters witnessed that day.

Even so, some of the local Danville flag haters and faux "news agencies", frustrated by the fact that the event turned out to be one of the largest events in the Danville area this year, and that 700+ people came together, peacefully honored their ancestors, and left without incident or any display of hate or animosity, took to their blogs and social media to try and discredit the effort with the same old tired talking points.

My favorite is the one directed at me, personally, and is laughable. The reason, they say, that we (the Virginia Flaggers) have no business in Danville, is because we are not "from there". Sound familiar? It appears that these Neo-Yankees are sharing talking points. I have said it before and I will say it again. Danville is the Last Capital of the Confederacy. As a 9th generation Virginian and the Great Great Grandaughter of FOUR Confederate Veterans who fought from, and for, Virginia, I have not only the right, but the RESPONSIBILITY to stand up and speak out when her Confederate history and heritage is under attack"¦ in Danville, or WHEREVER it may occur across the Commonwealth and beyond. The double standard and hypocrisy is stunning. Civil Rights leaders are quick to travel across the country to any small town or big city where they perceive there has been injustice, and are welcomed with open arms and red carpet treatment, but Southerners are, apparently, only supposed to speak out about or protest injustice within the limits of the city or county in which they happen to reside....?

I even heard one "news reporter" comment that almost all the speakers at the event were from "out of town." Apparently, he has no clue as to how a typical Confederate Memorial or Flag Dedication services is held. This event was so big, so well supported, and so widely anticipated"¦ that we were able to have State and National leaders come and bring greetings on behalf of our heritage organizations. It was an HONOR to have the SCV National Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, under whose command the Danville SCV camps reside, come from his home in North Carolina. It was an HONOR to have the State President of the Order of Confederate Rose and the leader of the ANV Mechanized Cavalry travel from their home near Petersburg. It was an honor to have the SCV North Carolina Division Commander travel from his home. We had heritage leaders from South Carolina and North Carolina bring greetings, in addition to numerous LOCAL residents from the UDC, SCV Mechanized Cavalry, and the HPA. In addition, Danville residents led the Invocation, led the salutes, spoke about the life of General William Lewis Cabell, assisted in the Color, Honor, and Artillery Guards, and were given the honor of raising the flag. All 14 flag projects have been financed almost completely by contributions from Danville area residents, who also have done the lion's share of the work in constructing and maintaining the sites.

Finally, there is the sentiment by a few flag haters, that, when all is said and done, we are just mean spirited people trying to "get back" at City Council for what they did. They wouldn't really mind what we were doing (they say) if only we'd be "nicer" about it. Newly elected Danville Mayor Gilstrap echoed the sentiments of those who voted to remove the flag who continually tell us we all need to "move on", now that the decision was made. Apparently, those of us who refuse to do so, are held entirely responsible for any conflict that has arisen since the flag was ripped down almost a year ago. Curiously, the matter came up repeatedly over the last ten years or so, and every time it did, City Council voted to keep it flying... and yet the flag haters never "let it go" or "moved on", but kept continually pushing to have the flag removed.

Where were these council members and community leaders then? Why didn't they step up and tell everyone it was time to "move on" and leave the flag alone, when council voted to leave it alone as little as 9 months before the vote that FINALLY capitulated to the haters? As for the statements that we are "mean spirited" in our efforts...? Stuff and nonsense. Our behavior has been above reproach. If there were anything in our actions, words or deeds that was unacceptable or inappropriate, it would be front page news by now. There is nothing mean spirited about what we have done, but there is certainly, flowing within our veins, the same spirit of determination and refusal to back down that our ancestors carried into battle some 150 years ago.

I am utterly amazed at how our folks, who have a tendency to want to fuss and bicker among each other, have come together and stood shoulder to shoulder and pushed back to make all of this possible. I can't help but wonder" -- to those who criticize our actions", what would you do, if City Council voted to take down a symbol of, or monument to, YOUR history and heritage"?

We stood in Council Chambers on August 6, 2015 and warned members that there would be serious consequences if they voted to desecrate our monument and break the agreement made with the HPA. Council members decided that pandering and capitulating to a few agitators was more important than honoring their word, the history and heritage of Danville and the wishes of the majority of her citizens. .

12 months and 14 massive roadside Battle Flags in Danville later, we have kept our promise -- and we have not yet begun to fight.

Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers

Thursday, July 28, 2016

700+ Gather to Dedicate Our Largest Confederate Battle Flag

General William Lewis Cabell Memorial Battle Flag dedicated and raised in Danville VA

The Virginia Flaggers are pleased to announce that the US 29 Bypass Gen William Lewis Cabell Memorial Battle Flag was dedicated and raised in a ceremony on leased property adjacent to the Rt. 29 bypass in Danville, VA on Saturday, July 23rd. The 30' x 50' Army of Tennessee Battle Flag was raised on a 119' pole, just north of Danville. 

We started the day with an early morning trial run at the flag site to set the rope up for the ceremony and test the flag and rope ahead of the ceremony.

Afterwards, we joined the Heritage Preservation Association, who had over 60 Flaggers join them at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, protesting the removal of the Third National from the Confederate Monument on the grounds of the Last Capital of the Confederacy. 

When the gates opened at the flag site, temperatures were hovering just under 100 degrees. The area set aside for parking filled up quickly, and cars lined the entire 1 mile route out to the paved road and folks were still waiting to get in as late as 4:30.  By the time the ceremony ended the headcount was over 700!


The ceremony began with the presentation of colors by the Stafford Light Artillery Camp #2247 Color Guard, Stafford, VA.  After an invocation and salutes to the Virginia and Confederate Flags, Les Updike led the crowd in a stirring rendition of our State Song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny".

Those bringing greetings to the crowd included:
James Bessinger, Chairman, The SC Secessionist Party
Gary Williamson, Founder, ActBac, NC
Teresa Wells, President, Va Society, OCR
Wayne Bird, President, Heritage Preservation Association
Robert McDaniel, 2st Lt., 2nd Bat Co. A, SCV Mechanized Cavalry
Sharon Jennings, President, Anne Eliza Johns Chapter 164, UDC
Willie Wells, Major, Army of Northern Va Mechanized Cavalry
Ronnie Roach, Commander, Army of Northern Va, SCV
Kevin Stone, Commander, NC Division, SCV;  General, Mechanized Cavalry, SCV;  Deputy Chief of Heritage Operations, SCV National

Commander Roach also brought greetings from the North Carolina M.O.S.& B. and the crowd cheered with news that newly elected SCV Commander-In-Chief Tom Strain had called him and asked him to bring greetings and congratulations on his behalf.

The fourteen flags that have been raised in Danville over the past year, and the representation of nearly EVERY heritage organization at the event on Saturday are proof of what can be accomplished when we come together and work as ONE SWORD to defend our heritage and advance the flags of Dixie!

After a moving rendition of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes by Luke McDonald, and a biographical sketch of General William Lewis Cabell by Danville native Dianne McMahon, NC Division Chaplain Rev. Dr. Herman White delivered a stirring keynote address, challenging all those present to raise our banners high and to never back down, using Isaiah 59:19 as our battle cry...
"So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him."


"The Bonnie Blue Flag" was played on the pipes as the flag was raised, and a gentle breeze appeared and lifter her high for all to see.  A musket salute by the honor guard led by the Campbell Guard Camp #2117 , and a magnificent artillery salute by the Orange Light Artillery 40th NC Troops, CSA Patterson's Battery echoed across the site to mark the occasion

A benediction and a chorus of Dixie brought the ceremony to an end.

There is really no way we can properly thank everyone who helped make the flag raising in Danville such an incredible, inspiring, and successful event. Temperatures were at 100 degrees and we had planned for a couple hundred attendees. Programs and shade under tents ran out an hour before the ceremony, and hundreds of folks stood in the hot sun for several hours, without complaint.

From the heritage organization leaders who came to bring greetings, to the thoughtful local residents who brought gallons of water and lemonade to share, to the men who stood in wool uniforms to serve in the color guard, honor guard, or artillery units, to the folks who jumped in to help with parking, etc when the expected 200-300 turned into 700+, the devotion and dedication of Southerners never ceases to amaze me.

A message sent Sunday morning by a Danville resident spoke volumes...

"Hats off to all of you and each and every attendee. 2 prior commitments kept me away, but I had family in attendance. One of the best results was that unlike other groups that come together to protest, you folks didn't block roads, and didn't participate in hateful chants. You had a huge turnout, made your point, left the place better than you found it and moved on to the next. I was totally comfortable with my children being there, not something I can say about the other protests I've witnessed on TV lately."

Media coverage was plentiful and although not always accurate, VERY positive in its coverage, like this piece, which was on the front page of Sunday's morning edition:

We will have more video and coverage to share later in the week.

The Virginia Flaggers wish to express our sincere gratitude to Tommy Goddard of Sky High Poles and his crew for their dedication and hard the citizens of Danville for their generous support which makes these projects possible...and to the City Council of Danville Virginia, whose discriminatory flag ban spurred so many to rise up and work together for our Cause, and was the catalyst that led to the erection of 14 beautiful Confederate Battle Flags across Danville.


Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers

Friday, July 22, 2016


 On August 6, 2015, the City Council of Danville, Virginia voted to pander to the PC demands of a handful of agitators and passed an ordinance that prohibited the flying of any flags on city property, other than the Va State Flag, US Flag, Danville City Flag, and POW/MIA flag. Minutes after the ordinance was passed, and under cover of darkness, city workers cut down the Third National flag from the soldier’s monument on the grounds of the Sutherlin Mansion, the Last Capitol of the Confederacy, where CSA President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet met for the last time. The tiny 3x5 flag had flown at the historical site for years, without incident.

One year later, to mark the anniversary of the cowardly decision, the Virginia Flaggers, with the generous support of Danville area residents, will raise our largest Battle Flag to date THIS SATURDAY, July 23rd on private land adjacent to the 29 Bypass in Danville. It will be the 14th massive roadside Battle Flag raised in Danville in the 12 months since the tiny 3x5 flag was ripped down, and the 27th raised in the Commonwealth since the fall of 2013.

Sky High Poles of Danville installed the 119’ pole this afternoon, which will fly a massive 30’ x 50’ Confederate Battle Flag.       

The 4:00 p.m. ceremony Saturday will include a Confederate Color Guard, Confederate Honor Guard and rifle salute, artillery fire, bagpipe music, and heritage speakers. The gates will open at 3:00 p.m. and guests are encouraged to bring a chair and plan to stay for supper/social time after the ceremony, with food vendors on site to serve BBQ and all the fixins. See below for site address/directions.

Photo: View today from the 29 Bypass,
 Danville, shortly after installation    
The flag site will be dedicated in honor of William Lewis Cabell, a Confederate Brigadier General born in Danville, who served the Confederacy with distinction and helped design the Confederate Battle Flag. After the war, he moved west and served three terms as the Mayor of Dallas, TX and was active and influential in the United Confederate Veterans. He oversaw several large veterans reunions, assisted in establishing pensions, veterans homes, and Confederate cemeteries in Texas, and served as commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the UCV.

While in Dallas at the National SCV National Reunion last week, I was honored to have the opportunity to visit General Cabell’s grave, and place a flag on behalf of the Va Flaggers and the citizens of Danville.  

The Danville 29 Bypass Gen. W. L. Cabell Memorial Battle Flag will fly as a living, breathing memorial to General Cabell and all of our Confederate soldiers and Veterans, and will serve as a 24/7 reminder that there are those of us who will never forget the dedication, sacrifice, and honor of our Confederate heroes, and NEVER forget the despicable action taken by Danville City Council on August 6, 2015.

DIRECTIONS TO FLAG SITE: 29 North Business, Right on State Route 719 (Lawless Creek Road) Go approximately ¼ mile and turn left at 333 Compton Road (gravel road), then go about 1 mile. Address for GPS: 333 Compton Road, Blairs, VA 24527

Please join us for this historic event, LEST WE FORGET!

Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Respect and Honor Where Due

For the record, and so there is no misunderstanding our position, the Virginia Flaggers stand unreservedly and and firmly with the brave men and women who serve in law enforcement across the Commonwealth and beyond.

While we absolutely advocate justice in the isolated cases of wrongdoing, we must not tolerate nor condone an all-out war on those who put their lives at risk every day to protect us. The violence and hate directed at our men and women in blue must end.

We are committed to showing you the respect and honor you deserve. We thank you for all that you have done to protect us and assist us when needed. We appreciate you. We are behind you 100%. May God bless and protect all those who serve and protect.

The Virginia Flaggers

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shaking Off the Haters...

...and Keepin' the Skeer On

In the (almost) five years since the Va Flaggers burst onto the Heritage scene, I have, sadly, come to expect a steady stream of slander, baseless personal attacks, defamation and libel from several leftist, amateur historian bloggers who just can’t stand the fact that we won’t sit down, shut up, and believe exactly as they say we should. Shamed by their own repeatedly incorrect predictions, childish accusations, immature posts, and utter failure to accomplish anything other than drive more and more folks to our side with their antics, they had, for a period of time, retreated and attempted to refocus their blogs on their twisted view of “history”.

In recent months, a new crop of bloggers has made their presence known. These folks are made of leftist extremists of the “social justice warrior” nature. Their hate blogs, (or at least the ones we know of) are written anonymously, so there is absolutely no accountability, and are apparently authored by folks who have nothing else to do all day besides sit in their parents’ basements and look for “gotcha” moments on social media… and finding none…choose to fabricate their own, all the while hiding behind a fake identity.

I have been accused of aiding and abetting kidnapping, of equipment theft,  Klan membership,  and planting flag poles on top of dead soldiers. All of the accusations, of course, proved to be false and none were based on our actions, words, or deeds, but rather on some 7th degree of separation connection to someone they believe is a BAD person (i.e. doesn’t think like them). This new outlet has given the so-called “history” bloggers a way of continuing their assaults, without it having to come from THEM, which was, as you can imagine, causing them a lot of trouble in their “academic circle”. Who wants to invite a speaker for an historical lecture, whose most recent post concerned the color of the dress of the head of the Virginia Flaggers? Now they can work WITH these “anonymous” bloggers and share the information they gather, without any direct liability. “I didn’t say it, HE did…but here’s the link. *Wink, wink.”

The latest brouhaha involves the arrest of a man from northern Virginia on child pornography charges. Although this individual was never a Virginia Flagger, never organized any events for the Virginia Flaggers, nor was ever a “regular fixture” at our events, this is exactly what was “reported” in one of their faux news stories. By my calculations, in 2015, the Virginia Flaggers, organized and held over 150 events, including the bi-weekly flaggings in Richmond. Multiply this by the almost five years that we have been in existence and that’s over 750 events, attended by thousands of people and documented by thousands of photos posted online. The man accused of this heinous crime, by our best guess, and by a cursory glance at these photos, attended maybe 3 of those events, at most. We knew him, but certainly knew nothing of his illegal activity until someone alerted us of his arrest a few days ago. To try and somehow link him and his criminal activity to our organization and the good folks who forward the colors every week as Virginia Flaggers is laughable…and that’s exactly how we react to every new attempt to “get us”. We laugh out loud. Literally.

I stopped reading any of the blogs over a year ago. Every now and then a friend, or (God forbid) family member will stumble upon one of the posts, is shocked by the garbage they find, and will send me a link, wanting to notify me and warn me. I appreciate the concern very much, but even then I do not even click the link. We have folks who monitor the hate, and if there is something that I need to know about, that concerns the safety of me, my family, or any of our Flaggers, I am alerted, as are the proper authorities. Otherwise, I refuse to waste my time and attention on folks who deserve neither.

One year after Nikki Haley THOUGHT she was going to pander her way into the White House, and lead her party and the country in a cultural cleansing of our history and heritage, there are more flags flying now than ever before and more folks waking up to the TRUTH about our Cause and the flags under which our ancestors fought and died. So…when I’m asked what am I going to “do” about these people who continue to publish their filthy lies…the answer is NOTHING. Don’t get me wrong, we are looking into hiring private investigators to unmask the cowards and allow us to properly serve them with applicable lawsuits, but I won’t waste a minute of our time making statements about or reacting to their garbage. Our words, deeds, and actions speak for themselves. We will continue to press forward, not waste time looking back or losing focus on why God called us to stand up and step out in the first place. These people hate us…not because they believe we are “racists”…they know for a fact that is not true…but because we are the living, breathing embodiment of the righteous and Godly Cause for which our forefathers fought, bled, and died.

We refuse to go away quietly or stand down when threatened…and THAT scares them to death.

Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers
“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” Psalm 144:1

Photo: Florida Division SCV First Annual Confederate Flag Day Ceremony, Confederate Memorial Park, Tampa, FL, March 5, 2016