2015/07/30

VA Flaggers: Roadside Memorial Battle Flag Updates

Fredericksburg I-95:  

The Virginia Flaggers are pleased to announce the raising of a new 20' x 20' Army of Northern Va Battle Flag at our I-95 Fredericksburg Memorial Battle Flag site!




This beautiful, custom made ANV was a gift from Lt Col John Zebelean, 1st Lieutenant Commander of the Major General Isaac Ridgeway Trimble SCV Camp#1836, Catonsville MD. Thank you, Sir, for your generosity and support!

The flag will fly in honor of all Confederate soldiers, and specifically to remember the nearly 246,000 Confederate soldiers who fought in separate battles in the vicinity of Fredericksburg (1862), Chancellorsville (1863), Spotsylvania (1864) and the Wilderness (1864).

The preservation of liberty and freedom guaranteed by our forefathers and embodied in the US Constitution of 1788, motivated these men to leave their loved ones and take up arms, and driven by duty and honor, they answered the call to defend their State from invasion. Their noble attributes are the underpinning of our republican society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built. These citizen-soldiers of all races, creeds, and faiths, who fought for the Confederacy, personified the best qualities of America.

As the sons and daughters of these gallant men, The Virginia Flaggers, along with the numerous benefactors and supporters of this flag, believe that it is our "...duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations." (Lieutenant General Stephen D. Lee, CSA)

Chester I-95:
At the Chester site, the 15x15 custom Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag has been returned  after repairs made by Mrs Judy Pierce of the Sally Tompkins Chapter #2, Va Society OCR.




Thank you, Judy, for sharing your time and talents for the Cause, and thank you to volunteers who have spent hours over the last few weeks doing work to improve the site. More improvements coming soon!

In Lexington, the flag on 20x30 flag at the I-81 site had begun to unravel on one edge, so we delivered a new 20x30 out to the site on Saturday, and it was changed out that evening. 
I captured this photo and video of the I-81 site on the way home from Chattanooga last month:



Thanks to many dedicated volunteers, we are able to lower the flags at all of our sites when high winds are expected, and repair flags as soon as we see any damage, which allows them to be reused.  This, along with the generous support of so many of you, has made it possible to  keep battle flags flying 24/7, continuously, at ALL 7 of our current flags sites.  We are also happy to report that there have been no issues of vandalism or disturbances at any of our sites during the past few weeks of "unrest". 
OUR NEXT PROJECTS:  We currently have three flag projects that are in various stages of development, in several locations in the Commonwealth, and  a waiting list of folks eager to have flags installed.  We are asking again that our supporters be on the lookout for used/reclaimed flag poles that we might be able to use.  A critical need is an 80' or taller pole for another I-95 installation.
Thank you for your continued support!

Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers

2015/07/23

Va Flaggers: Flagging the VMFA/Capitol Rally

Last week, the Sons of Confederate Veterans National Reunion was held in Richmond, and we scheduled flaggings at the VMFA Thursday and Friday to allow folks from out of town to join us on the Boulevard.  We were absolutely thrilled at the response, with over 35 folks joining us over the two days, with flaggers from TEXAS, ILLINOIS, TENNESSEE, MARYLAND, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA...and all the way from FRANCE raising their Battle Flags in protest of the forced removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the Confederate Memorial Chapel.



The weather was warm, but traffic was heavy, and there were many chances for good conversations.  This gentleman asked to pose for a photo after finding out why we were out on the Boulevard. 


It was a great couple of days, and those who joined us for the first time, came away with the knowledge that while there are some challenges... flagging is.. FUN!


MANY, MANY thanks to all who took time out to join us!



On Saturday, we teamed with the Army of Northern Virginia Mechanized Cavalry to sponsor the First Annual "Capital of the Confederacy Rally to Save Confederate History and Heritage", 

We were excited to have over 250 folks turn out to lift their voices in defense of our Confederate Veterans!



Rousing remarks from Richard Hines and Fred Taylor stirred the crowd and called everyone in attendance to action!



The Stafford Light Artillery, Camp # 2247 provided a color guard, and we were THRILLED to have Maryland Division SCV Commander Jay Barringer and Gen. Isaac Trimble Camp # 1836 Commander Terry Klima join us and share their talents with special music, including a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace that brought reverence and worship to the Capitol grounds.


Dan Coleman, Georgia Division Judge Advocate brought us an update on Stone Mountain, and  challenged those gathered to "take the offense" , and take the fight to the enemy.

We were pleased with the turnout, buoyed by the enthusiasm of those present, and hope this was the first of many such rallies to come. 
Great video here, courtesy of Eileen Zoellner:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmZW3Mq3Ngc 

One of the highlights was getting to meet many supporters, and make new connections with folks who are eager to join us in taking a stand.  We offer our sincere appreciation to all those who helped make the event possible.  It was TRULY a group effort, and we are thankful for all who stepped up to answer the call.
Grayson Jennings
Virginia Flaggers

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2015/07/22

Va Flaggers: Monument Guards Update

We are halfway through our fourth week of Monument Guards in Richmond, and are thrilled to report that things APPEAR to have quieted down in the Capital of the Confederacy.



The Va Flaggers have coordinated patrols of the city's monuments each night since June 26, when one of our folks surprised a vandal in the act of defacing the Jefferson Davis Monument.  Thanks to information they were able to provide, and evidence left at the scene, the perpetrator was subsequently arrested and convicted.

http://www.newsadvance.com/news/state/man-who-spray-painted-l-for-loser-on-jefferson-davis/article_c3e3aadc-1fed-11e5-9c20-5b7d84de39d5.html
Since that time, over three dozen volunteers, including a father-son duo from Pennsylvania, and a couple who traveled all the way from Chicago, Illinois, have stepped up to serve as Monument Guards.  During this time, we have seen increased security by both Richmond Police and State Capitol Police, both of whom have thanked us for our added patrols and cooperation.
Our good friend, David Tatum, wanted to do something to show the Monument Guards his appreciation, and made and sent these ribbons.


At a meeting last week, we were able to present them to a few of those who have taken part in the  patrols....



Thank you, David, for the gifts of appreciation, and many thanks  to each and every person who has volunteered to take a shift on monument patrol. 
We have also received confirmation from RPD this week that ads have been placed to promote the $1,500 reward that we set up for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the FIRST vandalizing of the Jefferson Davis Monument.  As soon as we have links we will share them, and plan on posting information throughout the museum district, in hopes of getting someone with information to come forward.
Thank you all for your continued prayers, and steadfast support.  

God bless the Monument Guards!

Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2015/06/28

Va Flaggers: 7th Roadside Memorial Battle Flag Raised - Rt. 460, Southerland, Dinwiddie County, VA

This afternoon, in support of "National Raise Your Battle Flag Day", the Virginia Flaggers and the Army of Northern Virginia Mechanized Cavalry raised a 10x15 Battle Flag on a 50' pole on Rt. 460 at Southerland, Dinwiddie County, Virginia. 


This was the 7th Roadside Memorial Battle Flag installed by the Virginia Flaggers since September, 2013...and the first joint venture for the organizations, involving many hours of volunteer work and support from both groups.  The flag was raised in a small, private ceremony on private property along the busy highway. The ceremony was interrupted constantly by the honks and shouts of approval as cars drove by.  Many motorists pulled over to take photos during the ceremony as well.





​  
The site is near the location of the Battle of Southerland Station, where 600 Confederate soldiers were killed and wounded, and 1,000 captured on April 2, 1865, the same day that Confederate General A.P. Hill was killed. 


The Battle Flag will fly as a living breathing memorial to those men, and all of our Confederate soldiers and Veterans, and was dedicated...
To the glory of God and in memory and honor of our Confederate heroes. 1861-1865.

"The world shall yet decide in truth's clear far- off light
That the soldiers who wore the gray, and died with Lee, were in the right."

June 28th, 2015


The Virginia Flaggers would like to thank Willie Wells and the men of the Army of Northern Virginia Mechanized Cavalry for their assistance, support, and co-operation with this project, and all of those whose generous gifts made it possible.  


#RaiseYourBattleFlag

Va Flaggers



Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

Va Flaggers: ARREST in Jefferson Davis Monument Vandalism!

Yesterday, we reported that late Friday night, citizens patrolling the Confederate Monuments in Richmond happened upon a man spray painting a finger on the Jefferson Davis monument. The perpetrator ran off, but they were able to give the police a description and collect evidence left behind.
We are THRILLED to report that there has been an arrest in this case!  DEO VINDICE!
http://m.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/article_33d604dc-4b6e-567c-92a5-8af7c1311bec.html?mode=jqm 
Also, the City had a crew out again on Saturday, continuing the cleanup of the "Black Lives Matter" vandalism, which occurred earlier in the week.


This was the result, late Saturday afternoon...



The graffiti is still visible, but very faint.  We will be following up with the city on Monday to make sure they are planning on finishing the job. We will keep you posted.

REMINDER: The Va Flaggers are  offering a $1500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever spray painted "Black Lives Matter" on the monument some time before Thursday morning. THIS vandal is still at large. We will be following up on Monday with RPD regarding that investigation and will keep you posted.
Finally, remember that today is National "Raise Your Battle Flag".  Check our FB page for the hundreds of photos that are pouring in of folks raising/flying flags all over the country!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Virginia-Flaggers/378823865585630 

A couple of great articles here:
http://www.nvdaily.com/opinion/2015/06/richard-hoover-we-need-to-cherish-our-history/
http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/06/black_veteran_a_son_of_the_sou.html#incart_email
#RaiseYourBattleFlag



Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2015/06/23

Va Flaggers: Gov. McAuliffe Wages War on Virginia SCV Tags

The Virginia Flaggers strongly condemn the announcement by Governor Terry McAuliffe that he plans to attempt to eliminate the Sons of Confederate Veterans state sponsored vanity license plate, because it includes an image of the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

The license plates were made available at the request of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and have been in use with no issues for twelve years.  The organization is made up of citizens of the Commonwealth who can trace their lineage directly to an ancestor who was a Veteran of the Confederate Armed Forces.  Members work, live, and worship every day alongside men and women of every race, creed, and color, and there have been no reported incidents of anyone being harmed by the license plates, or any disturbances caused by their use.

Sadly, is likely to change almost immediately with Governor McAuliffe’s decision to stir up this controversy, and his insistence on exploiting the tragedy in South Carolina for his own political aspirations, which will serve to divide the Commonwealth, and create strife and dissension where none existed.  The governor's pandering follows a wave of similar attacks against the history and heritage of the Confederacy that have cropped up across the South in the wake of the announcement by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to completely reverse her pre-election position, and suddenly support removal of the Battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia from the soldiers’ memorial in Columbia.

Since that announcement, emails, phone calls, and messages of support for the Virginia Flaggers, along with offers of assistance and have been pouring in, and we are in the process of mobilizing to meet what looks like will be a huge demand for flag installations in the coming days, weeks, and months.  Across the South, her citizens see these continued attacks as an organized attempt to eradicate our history and heritage, and we are ready to stand and defend the honor of our Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

We call on the Governor to retract this divisive proposal, end the discriminatory assault against Virginia’s rich Confederate history and heritage, and allow all of the Commonwealth’s citizens the opportunity to honor their ancestors, heritage, and celebrate their culture without prejudice.  


Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers



Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2015/06/18

Va Flaggers: Response to the Va Division SCV DEC Resolution

Va Flaggers Response to the Va Division DEC SCV Resolution Condemning the Virginia Flaggers and the ANV/Mechanized Cavalry



As many of you can imagine, we have been flooded with phone calls, emails, and messages since the Va Division SCV Executive Council released a resolution condemning the Virginia Flaggers, the ANV-Mechanized Cavalry, and “all other organizations purporting to represent Southern History and the Confederate Soldier” late Monday afternoon. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of encouragement, kindness and affirmation we have received, and want to share that we are humbled and thankful for the steadfast support of so many good folks.
It has been suggested that there is something akin to another “civil war” occurring in Virginia, or that the Va Flaggers are constantly at odds with the SCV and other heritage groups. This could not be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is that we enjoy widespread support across the Commonwealth, and work closely with many SCV Camps and members on heritage defense and Interstate Battle Flag projects, memorials, ceremonies, and educational efforts. The victory last fall in Danville and the 6 roadside flags that have been raised in the Commonwealth over the past 18 months are evidence of successful collaborations with many heritage organizations, and there are many, many more examples... and with God’s grace and protection, many more to come.
This condemnation was the act of a handful of men, and as far as we have been able to ascertain, without any sort of consensus or approval from the general membership.
How are we going to respond? The same way we respond to any other unwarranted attack…by pressing forward and staying focused on what we see as our calling… standing for our Confederate ancestors, and against those who would dishonor their memory and desecrate their flags, memorials and monuments. As far as we are concerned, the condemnation by the Va Division DEC has no effect on us or our work.
The Va Division, SCV leadership has not supported us since we began protesting the Museum of the Confederacy in the spring of 2012. This very public announcement served to let others know what we have known for quite some time, but will otherwise change very little as regards our day to day operations, and does not change our focus or direction. We remain resolute in our determination to continue the good work started, without reference to those who seem intent on creating public strife and division.
We welcome like-minded individuals who wish to join us and/or support our efforts, regardless of other affiliations, and hold no ill will toward those who choose not to. 
God bless ALL who, with humble and pure hearts, seek to honor the Confederate soldier, in whatever manner they so choose, and GOD SAVE THE SOUTH!
Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers

2015/06/14

Va Flaggers: Old Soldiers Home Confederate Veteran Profile-Richard Elam

The Virginia Flaggers are pleased to announce the latest release in a series of profiles of Confederate Veterans with connections to the Old Soldiers’ Home, on the grounds of Confederate Memorial Park in Richmond, VA. 

For over nearly four years, the Virginia Flaggers have forwarded the colors, twice a week, on the sidewalk outside of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) after museum officials forced the removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel.   

One cannot truly appreciate the history and significance of the Chapel, nor the degree of desecration committed when museum leadership, driven by their own misguided prejudice and ignorance, removed the flags, without knowing the (personal) stories of the men who built the Chapel, worshiped in it every Sunday, and gathered each time the bell tolled, to pay their respects to and honor their comrades, as one by one, the Veterans passed over to eternity.  

For many of our Flaggers, this fight is about more than just defending our Heritage against yet another unwarranted and unprovoked attack.  For those whose veins course with the blood of the men who actually had a connection to the Old Soldiers’ Home, it is personal:
Richard J. Elam was born in 1848 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, and grew up on the family plantation in the Skinquarter section of that county. On May 24, 1861, at the tender age of 12 years old, he joined the Confederate Army along with his older cousin Joseph A. Elam. He was mustered into the 6th Virginia Infantry's Co. K (the "Alstadt Grays," "Alstadt" being German for "Old Town"). Richard's muster roll cards say he was 18 at the time, but, like many other recruits before and since the War Between the States, he likely lied about his age so he could join. It is worth noting that since the Elams were neighbors of the family of 6th VA Captain E.H. Flournoy, Richard's fellow soldiers probably knew about his age.

Young Richard would see a lot of action during this great conflict. He was there on edge of the Crater with the rest of Co. K, 6th VA on July 30,1864 when the Union Army attempted to break the Confederate line in Petersburg, Virginia.  On October 28, 1864 he was captured by the Union Army at Petersburg.  His Prisoner of War card reads, "Got lost in the woods and ran into our lines." 


He was transported to City Point and, from there, to the infamous prison at Point Lookout, Maryland, where he remained until he was paroled March 28, 1865 at Aikens Landing, Virginia, in a rather rare late-war prisoner exchange. 

Being just 12 years old at the beginning of the war and just 16 when it ended, Richard was never educated. He would never see the inside of the school building.  He would never marry, and 1874-1881 records show that he was a bed keeper/manager of a boarding house at 612 Byrd Street in the former Confederate capital city of Richmond.  

The discrepancies that followed Richard through the war seem to have continued into his later life. He was accepted into the Soldiers' Home of R.E. Lee Camp No. 1, Confederate Veterans, on January 12, 1903 at age 62.  He stated at the time that he'd enlisted in the Confederate army at the age of 48—or, at least, that's what his Soldiers' Home papers say.  It is more likely that, given his lack of education, he didn't understand the difference between his age and the year he was born (1848) when being interviewed.  

Richard was dismissed from the home on August 14, 1903, possibly because they thought he was lying about his service. However, he was readmitted on August 8, 1905 at age 68. By that time, he was partially blind. He lived on the property for 18 years and died on May 8, 1924 at 8:30 p.m. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.



Over 150 years after a 12 year old boy went off to war to defend the Commonwealth , his cousin , TriPp Lewis, is determined that his sacrifice, courage and devotion to God and country will not be forgotten, as he forwards the Colors in his memory, and in protest of those who have desecrated the Confederate Memorial Chapel and the hallowed ground on which it rests, and dishonored our gallant Confederate Veterans.

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!
Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers


Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2015/06/12

Va Flaggers Update: Jeff-Davis Memorial/Flagging the VMFA/Shockoe Cemetery Marker Dedication


On Saturday, the Virginia Flaggers started the day by attending the Jefferson Davis Memorial Service at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.  We handed out stick flags to attendees, and joined others in presenting a wreath to honor the Confederacy's only President on the anniversary of his birth.

  

Those in attendance reported beautiful weather, and enjoyed an inspiring and spirit-filled keynote address by Rev. Dr. Herman White.


  
A cannon salute from Knibb's Battery closed the service...



​Enjoy this video of a drone's eye view of the salute, courtesy of our friends at Tredegar DroneWorks...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQZ097VfR5w


Following the ceremony, we continued the commemoration by gathering on the Boulevard to protest the desecration of the Confederate Memorial Chapel by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA).

 
Pedestrian and auto traffic were heavy and there were many opportunities for conversations with residents, museum visitors, and tourists. 

 
Those on the Boulevard reported overwhelming support from those who stopped to chat, and many positive honks and waves from motorists.
The Massing of the Flags at the UDC, just next door to the VMFA, offered the opportunity to speak to many Confederate friends...and flag a few scalawags, including the Director of the Museum FORMERLY known as the Museum of the Confederacy...


 
A GREAT afternoon on the Boulevard...forwarding the colors, protesting those who have dishonored our Confederate Veterans, and changing hearts and minds in the Capital of the Confederacy!

 

On Sunday, we joined the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery for their summer Military Marker Dedication Day. 

 


Over the past 6 months, and with the support of many individuals and groups, they have worked hard to obtain and install markers for the following soldiers:

Lt. Col. James W. Spalding, Commander, 60th Virginia Infantry
Captain Asa R. Smith, Co. D. 41st Virginia Infantry
2nd Sergeant Edward W. Jones, Co. H, 15th Virginia Infantry
Private Virginius S. Smith, Co. G, 4th Alabama Infantry
Corporal John T. Sizer, Sr., Co. A, 1st Va. State Reserves
Sergeant Robert H. Thackston, Co. F, 1st Battalion Va. Inf., Loc. Def.
Sergeant George Howard, 2nd Regiment (Ballowe's), Va. Militia (War of 1812)
Lieutenant Frederick S. Gibbon, United States Navy (War of 1812)
The new markers were dedicated in a moving service, in which we were honored to participate.




Congratulations to Clayton Shepherd and all those who worked so hard to make these headstones a reality, and for organizing and hosting this memorial service. Make plans to attend the fall ceremony, October 24th, and contact Clayton Shepherd atcshepherd@shockoehillcemetery.org for more information on how you can help sponsor a marker.  
​RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!
Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers

2015/06/10

Va Flaggers Update: Florida Division Reunion

Hello, friends!

I want to begin by apologizing for the absence of reports and updates of late.  Like many of you, April and May have been busy ones for us, with Confederate History and Heritage month in April, Memorial Day activities in May, and our ongoing Heritage Defense and roadside Battle Flag projects.  Typically, we like to send 1 or 2 updates a week.  I have received several requests for and inquiries about missing reports and updates, so I will be getting those out over the next few days, and ask for your patience as we play “catch up”.
  
This weekend, I had the pleasure and honor of attending the 45th annual Florida Division, SCV Reunion in Ocala, Florida.  I was thrilled to see many old friends, and enjoyed meeting and making new ones!  It was my privilege, in 2012, to attend the raising of the World’s Largest Third National Confederate Flag in Tampa.  That experience was one of the catalysts that inspired me to begin the flag raising efforts that led to the 6 new Battle Flags that have been raised in Virginia since, so I was very excited to receive the invitation to attend and address the assembly.   



I got to see and learn about this battle flag from the Old Soldiers Home in Jacksonville! It hung over the mantle in the parlor, and is believed to have been used to drape the coffins of the old soldiers for their funerals.  Many thanks to Commander Hart of the Kirby-Smith Camp #1209http://www.scv-kirby-smith.org/confederateHOME.htm

I would like to offer my special thanks to Ms. Sylvia Darby, and all of the ladies of the Florida Society, Order of Confederate Rose for their invitation to join them for their meeting.  What a wonderful group of ladies!  It was a real privilege to meet so many of my sister Roses and get a chance to be a part of your convention.  These ladies adjourned their meeting early, and special provisions were made so that they could join the SCV Reunion and offer their support when I was scheduled to speak.




I delivered my remarks on Saturday and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of encouragement and appreciation from the members of the Florida Division, SCV.  I spent much of the day chatting with folks, discussing heritage defense issues, BIG flags, catching up with old friends and getting to know some new ones.




I wish to thank Florida Division Commander Jim Davis, Michael Herring of the Jubal Early Camp, and all those involved for the kind invitation, warm hospitality, and generous support!

While in the area, I was able to pay my respects at the Confederate monument in Ocala...


"The South reveres her Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Andrew Jackson and others who laid the foundations of our grand republic. She honors her Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Stuart, Johnston, Forrest, and every brave son who fought to preserve OUR LIBERTIES, guaranteed by the fathers, under the constitution." Marion County Confederate Monument, Ocala, FL


...the Confederate Monument in Gainesville...


...and had the opportunity to visit the graves of some of our Veterans in Evergreen Cemetery in Gainesville, and plant flags and leave remembrance coins in their memory and honor.


Many thanks to David Tatum for supplying the remembrance coins, and to the Augusta Jane Evans Wilson Chapter #2063, UDC for the gift of
the battle flags for placement!  ​​

Sincerely,
Susan Hathaway


Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com