2014/07/23

Va Flaggers LEE Chapel Desecration Update #6/Call to Action!

We have been very busy over the past few days, with the SCV National Reunion in Charleston, continuing efforts here in Richmond as regards the Confederate Memorial Chapel, and even though we have not posted an update recently, we have also been working steadily on the situation at Washington & Lee University.
Last week, we were onsite at Washington & Lee to scout for future flagging operations, and were able to spend a large part of the day at the school's entrance, flagging the administration,  and drawing much needed attention to the desecration of the Chapel.

Our Flaggers reported that response was OVERWHELMINGLY positive.  VERY FEW negative comments and LOTS of honks and support.

Students and residents stopped to show their support and offer words of encouragement...

 
We are in the process of defining the boundaries for future flagging activities, and developing guidelines for participants, and literature to distribute to students, faculty, residents, and tourists.  There is also a local resident who has been protesting, as well.  It is our hope that others will join soon him, and we will be able to coordinate weekly, even daily protests!  
Meanwhile, our sources inside the University tell us that the emails, phone calls, and mail received since our first call to action have overwhelmed the administration and staff.  A recent media report is very telling, and further proof that we are outperforming the opposition:
"The recent removal of the flags, as well as other parts of Washington and Lee President Ken Ruscio's July 8 message to the University Community, continues to resonate with alumni and the "concerned public", said Brian Eckert, Washington & LEE Director of Communications and Public Affairs.  "The reaction has been mixed and plentiful", he reported.  He said his office was still receiving calls, e-mails, and letters yesterdayTuesday, a full two weeks after Ruscio's letter."
From the copies of letters, and reports received, we know that this is true.  The administration believes that if they just sit tight, this will all "blow over" and things will return to normal at the University.  We aim to make sure that does not happen until the flags are returned.  We will need your help!  PLEASE take this time this week to continue to contact the university, AGAIN! 

This week, we are asking you to email, call, or write a letter to the Site Director at the Chapel.  Please be polite, but be firm, and insist that the flags be returned to the Chapel chamber.
Contact information:
Ms. Lucy Wilkins
Lee Chapel & Museum
100 North Jefferson Street
Lexington, VA 24450
Phone:  (540) 458-8768
We have much more information to share, but wanted to get this brief update out right away.  Watch for more updates soon!.  PLEASE continue to forward these emails to ANYONE who you feel might be interested in helping, especially anyone with connections to the University. 
We know that University officials did not expect the backlash that they have so far received. Ruscio and others continue to offer new talking points and cover stories for their actions, NONE of which changes the truth, which is that this action was nothing more than a complete and total capitulation to the demands of 6 students, seeking publicity and determined to dishonor General Lee and the men who served under him.  Their spin and attempts to explain away their actions have taken some interesting turns:   

"As a private university, we are not bound by the same legal and constitutional First Amendment constraints as public universities, Ruscio said.

Only those who are fearful of the expression of truth call the Bill of Rights "constraints", and view freedom as "binding".
"We have not yet begun to fight."  Our hope and fervent prayer is that you will take up the banner and join us.
Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers

Saturday, July 26th 10:00 a.m., Confederate marker dedication ceremony for Private Samuel Dawson Bell, Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, VA

Saturday, July 26th:  Stonewall Brigade, SCV Lee Chapel Rally/Symposium, Lexington Virginia.  Rally at Noon at Hopkins Green, Symposium at 4:00.  Details here...  http://stonewallbrigade.webs.com/

Monday, July 28th:  6:30 p.m. Susan will be speaking at the July meeting of the Princess Anne Camp #484, SCV.  Gus & George's Spaghetti & Steak House, 4312 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Saturday, August 23rd:  2:00 p.m. Re-dedication of the Hanover County Confederate Monument, Hanover County Courthouse.
Sunday, September 28th 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Save the Date!  Va Flaggers' Third Anniversary Picnic. More details to follow.  Live music, good food, and great fellowship.   Silent auction throughout the afternoon. Live auction following supper.  Period artwork and 10 x 15 Battle Flag that flew at the Chester flag site location among many items to be auctioned to support the Va Flaggers.   Donations for auction/raffle items are welcome.  

Saturday, Nov. 1st Susan will be speaking at the 100th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Confederate Monument in Lebanon, VA.
Thursday, December 11th:  Susan will be speaking at the December meeting of the A.H. Belo Camp #49, SCV, Dallas Texas
Saturday, December 13th:  Susan will be speaking at the Christmas gathering of the Middleton Tate Johnson Camp #1648, SCV, Arlington, TX.
Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2014/07/15

Fwd: Va Flaggers Heritage Alert: Texas SCV Plate Poll

Please vote "Honorable", and share...

http://kissfm969.com/texas-confederate-flag-specialty-license-plate-honorable-or-offensive-poll/
"In 2011, the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans applied for a specialty Confederate Flag theme license plate.  The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board rejected the application for the specialty license plate, and the applicants in turn filed a lawsuit.  It lawsuit was dismissed in 2013.  Here in 2014, a federal appeals court has revived the lawsuit.

The group insists the design is to honor the memory of Confederate soldiers and is a representation of southern heritage.  However, the board concludes many residents will take offense to its design.
Pro News 7
“A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Monday the Texas board violated the group’s First Amendment rights by rejecting the license plate request.
The case was sent back to an Austin federal court.” "


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

2014/07/14

Fwd: Va Flaggers Alert: Heritage Victory in Texas!

“Hurrah for Texas! Texans always move them!”

Congratulations to the Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans!

http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/07/appeals-court-rules-in-favor-of-confederate-flag-license-plate.html/

Austin—The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Texas branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has the right to have the state issue license plates adorned with the Confederate battle flag.
In April last year, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled against the group, declaring that the state was allowed to pick and choose which messages and symbols appear on state-issued plates.
At issue in the Circuit Court was whether the state Department of Motor Vehicles Board had engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” and violated the group’s First Amendment right when it denied an application for a specialty plate.
The judges ruled that license plates are a form of “private speech,” and thus protected by the First Amendment. The court also ruled that the Board’s rejection of the plate “favored one speaker over another.”
Supporters of the plate argued that the flag honored Confederate soldiers and Southern heritage, while those opposed said the flag symbolized a racially-charged message and that distributing such a plate would be tantamount to the state memorializing slavery.
Texas could choose to appeal for a rehearing by the 5th Circuit judges or to the Supreme Court.

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

Washington & Lee, Lee Chapel photo, POST - DESECRATION. Obtained July 12, 2014...

Washington & Lee, Lee Chapel photo, POST -  DESECRATION.  Obtained July 12, 2014...

We find it completely unacceptable that the flags that have flown in honor and sacred memory of Robert E. Lee since 1930 were stripped from this chamber, for NO OTHER REASON than to cater to the extortion-like "demands" of a half dozen students. 

Once again, we want to thank each and every one of you who have made phone calls, sent emails, and mailed letters since we first forwarded the contact information last week.  We understand from our sources that phones were tied up and emails were filled with messages voicing disgust and outrage with the actions of officials at Washington & LEE University.
Starting tomorrow morning, we are going to ask you to switch gears and contact these folks:

Alumni Affairs Staff

Waller (Beau) T. Dudley 
Executive Director of Alumni Affairs
wdudley@wlu.edu

Thomas D. Lovell
tdlovell@wlu.edu
Associate Director of Alumni Affairs

Mary Webster
Assistant Director for Engagement
mwebster@wlu.edu

Washington and Lee University
Office of Alumni Affairs
Lexington, Virginia 24450
(540) 458-8468
Please contact these folks and let them know that the removal of the flags from the chamber of the Lee Chapel was unacceptable and must be corrected immediately.  These contacts are particularly important to share with anyone who is an alumnus or has alumni contacts.  We must let them know we will stand united and end ALL support until the flags are returned.

If, for some reason, you have yet to contact the President and staff, we have included the original contact request information at the bottom of this email.
Many of you have asked repeatedly about when we are going to "March on Washington & Lee" and start flagging them. Most people see this outward expression of what we do, and may not realize that it is a powerful tool, but one that is typically held in our arsenal and used when all other efforts are exhausted. We contacted the W&L administration in April, when news of "The Committee's" demands first surfaced, and have been collecting information and investigating the situation ever since.

Of course, the actual removal last week has kicked our efforts into overdrive. We have contacted W&L officials again, and our next communication will let them know that if the flags are not returned by our deadline, flaggings will begin. In the meantime, we are making trips to Lexington to scout the area, investigate all pertinent laws and regulations, and preparing literature and talking points so that our Flaggers, and those who join us, have everything needed to be successful. We never step onto the sidewalk until we have covered all of our bases and have all needed resources lined up and available. Everything from parking, to bathroom accessibility is covered.

While we expect to begin scheduling flaggings within the next few weeks, IF the flags are not returned, our main push will come in September, once students are back on campus.  We realize full well that the announcement of the flag removal in July, while students were on summer break, was very much by design. We have been contacted by and are in communication with students who are ready to join us in these protests, and whose presence will be a huge boost to our efforts.  Student move-in dates, Parents' weekends, home football games, and other high profile events will be the targets of our activity.  We are organizing now and are looking for anyone who is willing to join us, especially those in the Lexington area,  to contact us for more details. 

Misc: 

University officials are deleting any and all comments about the flags from their FaceBook page, but you can leave a "rating" here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-and-Lee-University-School-of-Law/103129179727624

And it appears that comments are allowed and posted on their blog site:
http://alumni.blogs.wlu.edu/president-ruscio-responds-to-concerns-raised-by-law-student-group/

Stay tuned for more updates and information, as we have much more to share... and please continue to forward these emails to everyone on your contact list.  We must keep the skeer on through phone calls, emails, and letters...and have flags ready for the call...it's coming soon!

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!
Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers 
Virginia Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com


UPCOMING EVENTS:  


Monday, July 28th:  6:30 p.m. Susan will be speaking at the July meeting of the Princess Anne Camp #484, SCV.  Gus & George's Spaghetti & Steak House, 4312 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Saturday, August 23rd:  2:00 p.m. Re-dedication of the Hanover County Confederate Monument, Hanover County Courthouse.
Sunday, September 28th 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Save the Date!  Va Flaggers Third Anniversary Picnic. More details to follow.  Live music, good food, and great fellowship.   Silent auction throughout the afternoon. Live auction following supper.  Period artwork and 10 x 15 Battle Flag that flew at the Chester flag site location among many items to be auctioned to support the Va Flaggers.   Donations for auction/raffle items are welcome.  

Saturday, Nov. 1st Susan will be speaking at the 100th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Confederate Monument in Lebanon, VA.
Thursday, December 11th:  Susan will be speaking at the December meeting of the A.H. Belo Camp #49, SCV, Dallas Texas
Saturday, December 13th:  Susan will be speaking at the Christmas gathering of the Middleton Tate Johnson Camp #1648, SCV, Arlington, TX.

Original contact request information:
President
Mr. Kenneth Ruscio
Washington and Lee University
204 West Washington Street
Lexington,Virginia 24450
 
Provost
Daniel Wubah
Washington and Lee University
Washington Hall 214
Lexington,Virginia 24450
 
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
 
Secretary of the University:
James D. Farrar, Jr.
Washington & Lee University
203 Washington Hall
Lexington,VA 24450
 
Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees:
Katherine Brinkley
Washington & Lee University
202 Washington Hall
Lexington,VA 24450

2014/07/12

Va Flaggers: W&L Lee Chapel Desecration Update 7-12-2014

Many thanks to the hundreds of you who have called, written, or emailed officials at Washington & Lee regarding the removal of the Battle Flags from the Lee Chapel.  We have received copies of many excellent letters, and have had reports of very interesting conversations held with, and responses received from school officials.

It seems that the staff is doing their very best to draw attention away from the fact that this decision was a surrender to the extortion-like threats of the member of "The Committee", who promised "civil disobedience" if the flags were not removed bySeptember 1st.  Their spin and propaganda is hard to swallow, especially in light of some new information that the Va Flaggers have discovered. 
The members of "The Committee" posed for this photo for the press back in April, shortly after their letter of "demands" was sent to University officials...


Other than the letter itself (attached) we heard very little from the students, until the announcement Tuesday by W&L President Ruscio that the school had caved to the demands and stripped the flags from the memorial.
Since then, the leader of the Committee, Brandon Hicks, spoke openly to the press, telling CNN:"It's about creating a climate on campus that everyone feels welcome," Hicks told CNN on why he sought the changes. He said some students felt uncomfortable with the flags at Lee Chapel.  "These are huge steps. We are ecstatic," Hicks said of Ruscio's announcement.
"Huge steps"?  As in just the beginning...?  What will these students demand next?  Now that they have won an easy victory, there is little doubt that they will stop their campaign of hate and discrimination, and will not be satisfied until every mention of Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy is removed from the school which he personally saved from extinction and which owes much to the Confederate veterans who helped build it into the University we know today.
“Students don’t have to sit in the same room as the flags anymore. I feel like we made a tremendous difference.” Brandon Hicks
Now, I have had the pleasure and honor of worshiping in the LEE Chapel on several occasions, and I can testify that this statement is a flat out lie.  First of all, the flags were in a chamber, behind the pulpit, at the rear of the Chapel.  There is no seating in that room.  The photo below depicts the view from the seating in the Chapel, itself.  Clearly, students NEVER sat"in the same room as the flags", although I would argue that they SHOULD be made to sit there, and taught the TRUTH of what they stand for.  Nevertheless,  this is further proof of the distortion of truth and outright lies these students are using, in their efforts to eliminate our heritage.  



Once he spoke to the press and posed for the photo, we were able to find out much more about Mr. Hicks.  Mr. Hicks, it turns out, is quite the activist, having been a speaker at "Race for the Ballot," a forum against a proposed family marriage act in NC.  Reports Pam's House Blend, "One of the kickoff sites is North Carolina Central University’s Student Union and Law School, which hosted a forum moderated by student leader of NCCU’s LGBT group COLORS, Brandon Hicks..."




We can only hope that this new information will serve to motivate alumni, students, and citizens to realize that this effort was nothing more than the manipulative work of "professional activists", attempting to force their views and intolerance on the rest of the University, AND the rest of us.  The Chapel in which Lee's remains are interred may be deeded to the University, but it BELONGS to all of us who love General Lee, the South, and freedom.
PLEASE continue to share our updates, and continue to make phone calls, write letters, and send emails.  We will have some new contact information tomorrow, so that we will start a new round of "mortar fire" on Monday morning.

Please stay tuned, and please STAY MAD!  We need EVERYONE to get involved and help turn this around!
RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!
Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
info@vaflaggers.com

2014/07/11

Va Flaggers VMFA Update 7-11-2014

The last few months have been very busy for the Va Flaggers, as it has for many of you.  We have several updates coming over the next few days, which will cover a variety of topics. 
While temperatures have soared over 100 degrees in the Capital of the Confederacy, and our Flaggers have often pulled double duty in fulfilling obligations in other heritage organizations, the Virginia Flaggers have remained vigilant in our stand against the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and their forced removal of Confederate flags from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel. 
Twice a week, EVERY week, our Flaggers gather to forward the colors, and educate museum visitors, residents, and tourists about the honor of our Confederate ancestors and the flags they fought and died under.  



These folks were visiting from out of town, and once we explained why we were out on the sidewalk with flags, they offered their full support, and posed for a photo.
Despite the hot and humid weather over the last month, we have had MANY such great conversations, and opportunities to educate, while at the same time, maintaining a constant, visual display of Confederate flags.  Before the Confederate Battle flags were forcibly removed from the portico of the Confederate Memorial Chapel by the VMFA, 2 3x5 flags flew for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Thanks to the VMFA, dozens of flags now fly in RVA...and more folks than ever are hearing about the honor and sacrifice of the Confederate Veterans who lived on the grounds of the Old Soldiers Home.


We are visited occasionally by a lone agitator, who has taken to stalking our Flaggers, following them closely on his tricycle, and blasting filthy music with lyrics that include vile profanity, racial slurs, and graphic sexual references.

We greatly appreciate that he carries a sign which reads "NOT MY FLAG", as we would not one anyone to associate his antics with our honored banner.  ;)
​While he has been unable to get any reaction from our Flaggers, we are hearing from more and more upset museum visitors, tourists, and residents, who are disturbed by his rude, uncivil behavior. 

The gentleman pictured below, and his wife, witnessed the agitator's antics, and pulled over and offered to help hold the line if any of our Flaggers needed a break from the filth. He also left a gift to help fund our efforts, and in appreciation for what the Flaggers are doing.


God bless this couple, and all those who support our Flaggers in their noble efforts...and God bless the agitator, for HELPING us by bringing even more attention to the desecration of the Confederate Memorial Chapel and dishonoring of Veterans by theVMFA Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!
TriPp Lewis​

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

UPCOMING EVENTS:  


Monday, July 28th:  6:30 p.m. Susan will be speaking at the July meeting of the Princess Anne Camp #484, SCV.  Gus & George's Spaghetti & Steak House, 4312 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Saturday, August 23rd:  2:00 p.m. Re-dedication of the Hanover County Confederate Monument, Hanover County Courthouse.
Sunday, September 28th 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Save the Date!  Va Flaggers Third Anniversary Picnic. More details to follow.  Live music, good food, and great fellowship.   Silent auction throughout the afternoon. Live auction following supper.  Period artwork and 10 x 15 Battle Flag that flew at the Chester flag site location among many items to be auctioned to support the Va Flaggers.   Donations for auction/raffle items are welcome.  

Saturday, Nov. 1st Susan will be speaking at the 100th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Confederate Monument in Lebanon, VA.
Thursday, December 11th:  Susan will be speaking at the December meeting of the A.H. Belo Camp #49, SCV, Dallas Texas
Saturday, December 13th:  Susan will be speaking at the Christmas gathering of the Middleton Tate Johnson Camp #1648, SCV, Arlington, TX.

Va Flaggers W&L Update/Call To Action 7-10-14

W&L Lee Chapel flag removal update:


We have received copies of dozens of emails, and had reports of hundreds of phone calls that were made today.  We cannot emphasize enough how much each phone call and email helps to keep the pressure on as we continue to work on this issue from several angles, and develop detailed plans for protests and further action. 
Some of you were kind enough of to share the canned reply that you received.  It seems that the administration believes that they can explain away the flag removal, and that folks will take them at their word and give up the fight. 

One of the main issues that President Ruscio and others use as a defense for the removal is the agreement between the UDC, The Museum formerly known as the Museum of the Confederacy, and the University.   We have been able to secure a copy of this agreement, and while it does call for the removal of the original battle flags for restoration, and for the flags to be properly displayed in glass cases in the museum in the basement of the Chapel, it in NO WAY dictates that the reproduction flags, provided by the SCV as a replacement for the originals, must be removed from the Chapel.  The referenced agreement was made in 1997, and yet they expect us to believe that it just so happens that they decided to take the reproduction flags out of the Chapel in July of 2014, as part of a new agreement with the Museum formerly known as the Museum of the Confederacy, not to appease "The Committee".  Do not be fooled by this smokescreen. 
Please stay tuned for more updates and more contact information, as we need to "keep the skeer on" through the coming days and weeks, and plese continue to share these updates and calls to action with as many others as possible.   
FYI:  W&L has a FaceBook page.  They do not allow photos or posts from others, but you can comment on their photos and posts, here...  https://www.facebook.com/washingtonandlee 

We wanted to leave you with one of the MANY fine communications on which we were copied on today, this one from Mr. Bill Dennison, of Bristol, Virginia.  God bless Mr. Dennison, and God bless each and every one of you who has stepped up to join us in this battle.
Sincerely,
Grayson Jennings

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


Mr. Kenneth Ruscio, President
Washington and Lee University
Mr. Daniel Wubah, Provost
Washington and Lee University

Mr. James D. Farrar, Jr., Secretary of the University
Washington & Lee University

Ms. Katherine Brinkley, Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees
Washington & Lee University

Re: Restriction and Removal of Southern Confederacy Related Items, Action and Speech
Dear Sirs and Madam:
The purpose of this letter is to express my concern regarding action(s) announced by President Ruscio relative to the Army of Northern Virginia regimental flag replicas surrounding the Edward Valentine sculpture, "The Recumbent Lee", the Lee-Jackson Day parade entering onto the Washington & Lee campus and the censorship of presentations made by private groups in Lee Chapel.
Straying a bit from the heart of the matter at hand, I would point out two things that I would have thought would have been obvious. First, because of the location in Lexington of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s home, his burial place and the presence of the Virginia Military Institute where Jackson taught and which produced many renowned Confederate leaders, coupled with the fact that the final resting place of Gen. Robert E. Lee is on the campus of Washington and Lee University that many credit Lee with saving from extinction because of his efforts there, people throughout the South, the nation and the world hold the City of Lexington as an almost iconic place and travel great distances to visit.
With that thought in mind, I would submit that while the physical location of the flags and the others symbols of the Confederacy may be situate on the Washington & Lee campus, in a larger sense they belong to the people of this country, particularly those of us who happen to be Southern and especially we Virginians.
I know that "The Committee" claims, that the flags symbolize slavery and because of that they find them “offensive”. I would submit to you that a thorough review of Confederate history will demonstrate conclusively that the issues were, and are, far more complex than that simplistic viewpoint and that these people are “offended” primarily because they choose to be. In fact, one of them, at least, was in his third year of law school before the "offense" became intolerable. Contrary to current "progressive" thought, no one has an unalienable right not to be offended. To paraphrase a comment from another who opined on the matter, for a student holding sentiments such as those of "The Committee" to apply to and attend a university named Washington and Lee is akin to someone enlisting in the Navy when they know they are prone to seasickness.
I included this observation in an earlier letter, but I think it bears repeating. The targeted flags are regimental battle flags representing some of the regiments that Lee commanded in the Army of Northern Virginia. They are soldiers' flags, not, as many would have you believe, symbolic of anything other than the brotherhood of valor that comprised that gallant body of men, Lee's "boys". Those flags are there representing the devotion and respect of those veterans for their old commander, "Marse Robert".
President Ruscio's statement that, " “The purpose of historic flags in a university setting is to educate. They are not to be displayed for decoration, which would diminish their significance, or for glorification, or to make a statement about past conflicts . The reproductions are not genuinely historic, nor are they displayed with any information or background about what they are. The absence of such explanation allows those who either ‘oppose’ or ‘support’ them to assert their own subjective and frequently incorrect interpretations.”, is disingenuous at best and a bald-faced distortion of the true history of how the flags came to be there in the first place, and why. They were not placed there to be "in a university setting" at all. They were placed there to honor the man who led those regiments and the fact that the current flags are reproductions and have no information or background regarding them is moot . . . neither did the originals and the reason there are reproductions there at all is because the originals were deteriorating. The entire statement is pure spin, and amateurishly done at that.
Finally we get to the "marching" and the addresses in the Chapel. The only "marching" that transpires is a single event on a single day out of an entire calendar year and is by people who gather in Lexington for the Lee-Jackson Day parade and memorial service in Lee Chapel. This is done solely to honor the memory and service of two great Virginians, not to espouse or advance any agenda. Whether "The Committee" likes it or not, Lee Chapel is an icon, a beacon that draws people from all walks of life and from all parts of the country for this one hour service, once a year. To deny them this privilege for the sake of the demands of .4 of 1% of the total enrollment of the institution is outrageous.
The final restriction on what may or may not be said during lectures or presentations in Lee Chapel is pure, unadulterated censorship, completely out-of-place in a venue where freedom of thought and expression should be encouraged and defended.
This entire exercise in nothing but a thinly veiled effort by the university administration to kowtow to the racially charged demands of a vocal minority and relegate salient portions of the true history of the university to the dustbin of history. It is unfair, unwarranted, based largely on fallacy and is, above all, cowardly.
Very truly yours,
W. A. Dennison, Jr.


2014/07/10

Va Flaggers: Lee Chapel Desecration Update & Call to Action

Washington and Lee University Update:



In response to the recent removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the Lee Chapel, The Va Flaggers have followed up with a letter to W&L President Kenneth Ruscio and other key W&L personnel.  In our communication, we make the following key points: 
*Experience has proven that compromise with those who make such demands is always fatal.  If these 6 students are “offended” by the presence of 8 historically significant Confederate Battle Flags, displayed for over 83 years in the sepulcher, who is to say they won’t be “offended” when they visit the museum in the basement, where the flags are to be displayed, or even by a portrait of Lee hanging in the Chapel?  What will be their next demand, now that they were able to easily manipulate the administration? 

*Even so, the removal of the flags and desecration of the Chapel was a direct violation of Virginia State Law, which states that it is “unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same…”  We intend to pursue the prosecution of this violation to the fullest extent of the law.  https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+15.2-1812

*Further, from the W&L By-Laws. Section 2 designates the building as the “Lee Memorial Chapel”:  2. “The Lee Memorial Chapel. The chapel on the University grounds, erected during the presidency of General Robert E. Lee and under his direction, shall be known as "The Lee Memorial Chapel." This chapel may be used for the commencement and other University exercises and meetings, but it shall not be used for any meetings or purposes not in keeping with its consecrated character and the memorial and sacred purposes to which it is dedicated.”  We believe that displaying the honored battle flags of the men who fought and died under General Robert E. Lee is certainly “in keeping with its consecrated character and the memorial and sacred purposes to which it is dedicated”.  Removing them to appease a half dozen agitators, on the other hand, is not.  http://www2.wlu.edu/x35926.xml

We let them know, in no uncertain terms, that we expected the reproduction flags, originally donated by the SCV, to be returned to the sepulcher immediately, and that there would most certainly be demonstrations and protests if the flags are not returned.

Hundreds of you have contacted us about your desire to gather and protest at the University.  We are actively planning and coordinating these efforts, and will have all details in place and plans ready in the event that the flags are not returned.

At the same time, we are developing several other points of attack, including organizing alumni and student groups to have the flags returned and having those responsible for removing them removed from office, as well as several additional avenues that are currently in research.


CALL TO ACTION:

1)  We need to make sure the University hears from AS MANY PEOPLE as possible over the next few days and weeks.  PLEASE take the time to contact every person listed below.  Use telephone, email, and mail to convey to them your feelings about the desecration of Robert E. Lee's final resting place.  If you are an alumni or donor, make sure you let them know that your donations will cease until the flags are restored to their rightful place.

Light up the W&L switchboard...call early, and often!

2)  Please forward this email to EVERYONE on your email list, especially to and W&L alumni or students you may know.  It is imperative that we spread the word QUICKLY.



Washington & Lee University Contact Information:

President
Mr. Kenneth Ruscio
Washington and Lee University
204 West Washington Street
Lexington,Virginia 24450
(540) 458-8700
president@wlu.edu

Provost
Daniel Wubah
Washington and Lee University
Washington Hall 214
Lexington,Virginia 24450
(540)458-8418
dwubah@wlu.edu

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Secretary of the University:
James D. Farrar, Jr.
Washington & Lee University
203 Washington Hall
Lexington,VA 24450
(540)458-8465
jdfarrar@wlu.edu

Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees:
Katherine Brinkley
Washington & Lee University
202 Washington Hall
Lexington,VA 24450
(540)458-8417
kbrinkley@wlu.edu


Thank you, in advance, for your diligence in this matter. 

Please watch for more emails, as we have much more information to share in the coming days.  


Sincerely,
Grayson Jennings

Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston, VA 23150






2014/07/08

W&L Will Remove Flags from Lee Chapel

Washington & Lee University President Kenneth P. Ruscio announced today that the University will ignore the will of countless alumni, students, and citizens, and bow to the demands of 6 agitators, and desecrate the Lee Chapel by removing the Confederate Battle Flags from the mausoleum of Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

"Washington and Lee University will remove Confederate flags from its Lee Chapel after a group of black students led protests arguing that the Virginia school was unwelcoming to minorities."

2014/07/06

Va Flaggers: I-95 Memorial Battle Flag Projects Update

We have been busy preparing both the Chester and Fredericksburg sites for lighting! The Chester flag illumination is almost complete, and Fredericksburg will follow shortly thereafter.


​  ​

We are thankful for the generous gifts that have allowed us to purchase the necessary supplies, and for the many, many volunteers who have donated the needed labor to get the work done, including a supporter who has recently volunteered his services as an electrician! THANK YOU ALL!

We are still looking for some help with tree trimming in Chester, and appreciate any and all gifts which will help us finish up at these two sites and get started on the next project. We are excited at the prospect of these flags being illuminated, which will greatly increase their visibility and influence.

We want to again offer our sincere appreciation to each and every one of you who have supported our efforts thus far. These projects, and all of our heritage defense initiatives, have been made possible by hundreds of you, and we are touched by each gift and note of support.

Gifts* to the I-95 Memorial Battle Flag projects may be mailed to:

Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150

Payable to Va Flaggers
or through PayPal:
http://www.vaflaggers.com/i95flagdonate.html

*Although we are NOT a registered 501c3 entity, we are absolutely a "not for profit" organization, and every gift goes directly toward expenses for our Interstate Battle Flag and Heritage Defense projects. There are no salaries or benefits paid to any member(s) of our organization, most of whom work full-time jobs, and give freely of their time, talents, and resources to further the Cause for which we stand.

Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers

Sunday, July 6th:  1:30 p.m., Headstone and Iron Cross Dedication Ceremony for Patrick Noah Newton, Nelson Baptist Church1837 Nelson Church Rd, Nelson, Virginia https://www.facebook.com/events/1411845402398834/
Monday, July 28th:  6:30 p.m. Susan will be speaking at the July meeting of the Princess Anne Camp #484, SCV.  Gus & George's Spaghetti & Steak House, 4312 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Saturday, August 23rd:  2:00 p.m. Re-dedication of the Hanover County Confederate Monument, Hanover County Courthouse.
Sunday, September 28th 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Save the Date!  Va Flaggers Third Anniversary Picnic. More details to follow.  Live music, good food, and great fellowship.   Silent auction throughout the afternoon. Live auction following supper.  Period artwork and 10 x 15 Battle Flag that flew at the Chester flag site location among many items to be auctioned to support the Va Flaggers.   Donations for auction/raffle items are welcome.  

Saturday, Nov. 1st Susan will be speaking at the 100th Anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Confederate Monument in Lebanon, VA.
Thursday, December 11th:  Susan will be speaking at the December meeting of the A.H. Belo Camp #49, SCV, Dallas Texas
Saturday, December 13th:  Susan will be speaking at the Christmas gathering of the Middleton Tate Johnson Camp #1648, SCV, Arlington, TX.

2014/06/24

Va Flaggers: Confederate Veteran Spotlight - Howard Malcolm Walthall Co. D, 1st VA Infantry

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

For over 140 weeks, 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 lived and died at the Old Soldiers’ Home, it is personal...


Veteran Profile: Howard Malcolm Walthall, Co. D, 1st VA Infantry
By Laurel Kathryn Scott

On April 21, 1861, without consulting his parents, 19-year-old Howard Malcolm Walthall—a clerk in Richmond, Virginia—stepped into a vacant store and enlisted to defend his home. Like his younger brother Robert Ryland Walthall and other locals, he became a private in the 1st Virginia Regiment just days after that state's secession from the Union. "I was in my teens then, and with crude ideas of what going to war meant," he later wrote. But he knew that the Southern states refused to submit to oppressive legislation. He also knew that attempts to prevent secession by military force "fired the southern spirit, and they made ready to resist the invasion." 

Photo:  Howard (on the left) with his younger brother Robert (“Ryland”) in their uniforms, 1861
Courtesy of Grace Walthall Turner Karish
 
Co. D, 1st VA entered the fray July 18, 1861 at Blackburn's Ford. In his post-war memoir, Howard vividly described his involvement in the battles of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Frayser's Farm and Second Manassas, not to mention Gettysburg (where he survived Pickett's Charge), Plymouth, Drewry's Bluff and Five Forks. He was captured at Second Manassas and imprisoned briefly in Alexandria's Slave Pen and Washington's Old Capitol Prison. In May, 1864, he saw his brother shot at Drewry's Bluff after "standing [and] shouting to the Yanks to come on." Ryland died in Howard's arms. He had fought his last fight, but Howard faced quite an ordeal getting his body out of the swamp and to Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery. 

The following spring, after the desperate clash at Five Forks, capture seemed imminent and the men of Howard's company were told to fend for themselves. Howard commandeered a horse and rode to Richmond. There he said goodbye to his family, escaping as the enemy poured into the city and the evacuation fires started. Toting bags of Confederate money for sons of families left in Richmond, he sold the horse and rejoined the remnants of his company at Amelia Court House. During the army's chaotic retreat—possibly from Sayler's Creek—Howard was struck in the arm by a stray bullet. He distributed the money as promised, but as his wound needed tending and he dared not risk capture, he pressed on toward Lynchburg to see a cousin who was a doctor. Soon after his arrival, Howard learned of Lee's surrender. He was paroled at Lynchburg on April 15and walked back to Richmond, where he found his neighborhood destroyed by fire and his family homeless.

After the war, Walthall rebuilt his life in Richmond and went to work in the tobacco manufacturing business. He married and raised four children, becoming a deacon of the First Baptist Church and traveling around the world. He was also active with R.E. Lee Camp No. 1, Confederate Veterans.

Photo:  ​Howard Malcolm Walthall, circa 1909
Courtesy of Grace Walthall Turner Karish

In 1923, at the age of 82, Howard—by then a blind, feeble widower—applied for residency at the Lee Camp's Soldiers' Home. In a touching letter to the home's superintendant, he asked for a first-floor room because of his difficulty negotiating stairs, and said he looked forward to living among his old comrades-in-arms. "With the care and pleasant surroundings at the home, I hope to be out of doors a great deal," he wrote. "I am well acquainted with several men in cottages ... If Mr. Chamberlin's [old] room is unoccupied next to Mr. Bachelor, it would be very agreeable to have it, as then some of my friends might be of service in my blindness in telling me the time, etc."
Howard left the Soldiers' Home on Jan. 13, 1924 and died two days later at Grace Hospital, his daughters by his side.




Photo by Jimmy Creech
90 years after Howard Malcolm Walthall left this earth, his cousin, Laurel Kathryn Scott, is determined that his sacrifice, courage and devotion to God and country will not be forgotten, as she 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.  

God bless the Walthall brothers, and God bless those who stand and speak for those who no longer have a voice!

RETURN the flags!
RESTORE the honor!

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