Friday, May 1, 2020

The South Mourns the Loss of Va Flagger Spokesman Barry Isenhour

This is the most difficult Va Flaggers update I have had to write, to date.  Even now, several days after his passing, I am having great difficulty putting down the words I need to share. 

Earlier this week, after a brief illness, Va Flagger Spokesman Barry Isenhour went home to be with his Lord and Savior.  To say we, his friends, family, and compatriots are devastated is a gross understatement.  Many of you know Barry as the public face of the Virginia Flaggers, a volunteer role he stepped into and filled without hesitation, and with eloquence and Southern charm, but there was so much more to Barry.

I met Barry in the few first few weeks of flagging in Richmond, back in 2011.  We became fast friends.  He said I reminded him of his sister, so I became "Sis" and he called me that ever since.  Barry was a Tar Heel and quick to tell you so, but he was also a proud defender of his adopted home, Virginia.  He was highly educated and knowledgeable in many areas, and had the unique gift of being able to talk to just about anyone about anything.  I can honestly say, that with the exception of our enemies, those "Heathen Yankees and Scalawags", as he called them, I never heard him say a harsh word about anyone.

Barry was, first and foremost, a Christian, and he reminded me, almost daily, that if we ever took our eyes of Christ and tried to move forward in our will instead of His, we were doomed to failure.  His trust and faith was in Christ alone and my faith was strengthened from the influence.

It is hard to list everything did for me, the Virginia Flaggers, and our Cause.  In addition to his duties as spokesperson, Barry headed up our Guardians of the Flags across the Commonwealth, organizing flag repairs, participating in almost every flag replacement, delivering flags from Lexington to Danville, and constantly reminding me when we needed more.  He also personally saw to the replacement of the Third National flags in Hollywood Cemetery.  His last communication to me before he died was to make sure we had received new flags for that purpose and to ask me to make sure they were replaced.  I honestly cannot remember a time that I asked something of Barry and he said "no".  He was ALWAYS willing to go and do whatever was needed.

He enjoyed a good cigar, a good hot dog, and spending time alone in cemeteries with "his boys", as he called our veterans.

He was ALWAYS an encourager.  If I ever got down or feeling a little defeated, he was quick to send encouragement, usually laced in scripture, and get me back on focus.

He also had the ability to produce, without argument, the loudest, most fierce rendition of the Rebel Yell of anyone I have EVER known.

The South has lost one of its most dedicated and devoted defenders.

Barry's political experience in the Tea Party and other groups made him a natural working behind the scenes in Virginia politics.  He was our point man in the General Assembly and attended almost every relative committee meeting and vote over the past several years.  He was a dedicated flagger, having logged thousands of hours flagging in Richmond, from 2011 to just a few weeks ago.  He was a key member of our monument patrols, helping to organize and always willing to fill a slot when needed. 

All of this and so much more than I can list here means that his passing has left a void in our organization that I honestly don't know how we will fill, but more painful to me is the loss of a dear, true, loyal friend, something that is not easy to find in these times.

Due to the current restrictions due to the flu outbreak, a memorial service will be held at a later date.  We are in discussions about several ways we want to honor Barry's memory, hopefully to include a flag site to be dedicated in his memory, among other tributes... but if I know Barry, I believe he would say that the best way to honor his memory is to pick up the flag he has now laid down and continue the work he began.

He never, ever quit, or backed down from a fight.

I wrote this down once, after he said it to me, and I'm so glad I did...

"The Va Flaggers run TO the Colors, not away from them, because we understand that the battle is won or lost there, beneath the cross of St Andrew."  ~ Barry Isenhour

In the midst of great grief, I rejoice today, knowing that Barry received his eternal reward on Tuesday, and I imagine the reunion in heaven was a joyous one, with throngs of our men in gray waiting to cheer him home.

Tell them we will not abandon the field of honor, bro, and we will join you soon.

God bless the eternal memory of Barry Isenhour, and God Save the South!

Susan Lee
Va Flaggers