Va Flaggers Update: Robert E Lee Memorial Bridge Signs
It is often misunderstood that all we do as Flaggers is stand out in public “waving” a Confederate Battle Flag. Although there are many times that we do forward the colors (whether it be in protest of a heritage violation, or in honor of our ancestors at a Memorial Service or event), a large part of the work we do is behind the scenes. The story of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge signs here in Richmond is one example of such work.
Several months ago, Va Flagger Grayson Jennings noticed that the signs designating the memorial were missing from the bridge. He recalled that during construction 5-6 years ago, the signs had disappeared, and then re appeared after some inquiry, only to (apparently) disappear again.
His first request to VDOT was answered with the information that “The Lee Bridge across the James River in Richmond, while constructed by VDOT in the late 1980’s, was turned over to the City of Richmond for operation and maintenance upon completion. Any signing for that bridge is the responsibility of the City to keep up. VDOT would have no involvement in the replacement of signs designating the Lee Bridge.” It was suggested we contact the City Public Works Department.
The Richmond Public Works Department responded that they did not realize the signs were missing and would check into it. After many follow up communications, we received word on March 26th that new signs had been fabricated, and that we should look for them to be installed in approx. 2 weeks.
This was followed with a few more follow up emails and periodic drive-by sign checks. Finally, on Tuesday, May 21st, we were THRILLED to drive up to the bridge and find that the SIGNS HAD BEEN INSTALLED!!! Four signs now mark the bridge and are a visible reminder each day, to thousands of motorists, of the man for whom the bridge is named.
We share this story to encourage everyone to keep your eyes and ears open for these kinds of “quiet” heritage violations, which happen every day across the United States. Take time to find the appropriate people to contact and “keep the skeer on” (in this case, weekly, polite email inquiries) until they follow through, and the honor due our Confederate heroes is restored!
In this case, victory was won without a single flag being waved, and we never even got to try out our new slogan… “RETURN the signs! RESTORE the honor!” J
Special thanks to Grayson for his diligence, and to the folks at the Richmond Public Works for stepping up and making this right.
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Friday, May 24th: 6:30 p.m. - Evensong & Blessing of the Flags. This year the service will be at the Anglican Catholic Church of St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland, 402 E. Monroe Avenue, Alexandria, VA,m 22301. The rector, Rev. LTC John Lewis Roddy USAR (Ret) is a member of the SCV and strongly encourages us to display our Confederate flags, uniforms, and regalia. Of course we will have our usual Southron BBQ feed after the service in the undercroft. The cost of the BBQ will be $25.00. However, one does not need to attend the supper. If you plan to attend, please contact Richard Abell directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, May 25th: 11:00 a.m. – Confederate Memorial Day Service, Greenlawn Memorial Park, 1700 Parrish Ave., Newport News, VA, Sponsored by the Magruder-Ewell Camp #99, SCV
Monday, May 27th: 2:00 p.m. Thirty-Third Annual Huguenot Springs Cemetery Memorial Day Service, Co-sponsored by the J. E. B. Stuart Camp #1343 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Huguenot Springs Cemetery Foundation and Knibb’s Battery. Includes bagpipe music by Virginia Scots Guards and address by Ronnie S. Roach, who will speak about the Confederate Memorial Day for each of the Southern states. There will be a Presentation of Wreaths, followed by an artillery salute and refreshments. Huguenot Springs Road south of Robious Road and west of State Route 288 in Powhatan County. Free. 804-356-8868 or 804-740-1405.
Monday, May 27th: 3:00 p.m. The Dearing - Beauregard Camp # 1813 will be presenting the 15th Annual Memorial Day Service at historic Blandford Cemetery on Memorial Hill in Petersburg, VA. Special guest speaker is award winning writer and historian Michael C. Hardy. Music will be provided by noted Southern singer, songwriter and actor Stan Clardy. The service is dedicated to Sgt. Daniel A. McIntosh, CO I, 26th NC Regiment and Pvt William A. Vickers, CO H, 49th NC Regiment.
Sunday, June 2nd: 11:00 a.m. – Memorial Service in honor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The Confederate Memorial, Jackson Circle, Arlington National Cemetery*. Sponsored by the District of Columbia Div. of UDC.
Saturday, June 8th: 9:00 a.m. Annual birthday ceremony for Jefferson F. Davis, at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. Keynote speaker will be Mr. Bert Hayes-Davis, great great grandson of Jeff Davis.
Saturday, June 22nd: Two Confederate grave marker ceremonies. 3495 Davis Mill Road, Thurston Family Cemetery, Goochland, VA. Contact is James Waldrop, cell 804-513-9747. Honor Guard will be provided by Mr Frank Yates, and the William Latane SCV camp. Many relatives expected, should be a nice turnout. Plenty of parking.
Monday, June 24th: 6:30 p.m. - Susan and Barry will be traveling to Va Beach to speak to the Princess Anne Camp #484, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Gus and George's Spaghetti and Steakhouse, 4312 Virginia Beach, VA
Saturday, June 29th: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 22nd Annual Point Lookout Pilgrimage, Confederate Memorial Park, Point Lookout, MD.
Saturday, August 17th: Susan will travel to Tampa, FL to speak to the August meeting of the Gen. Jubal A. Early SCV Camp #556, Sons of Confederate Veterans.