And so, here we are, observing the fallout on the day after the Flaggers’ big moment. Although, given the height of that flagpole, maybe not so big.
The Flaggers are frantically trying to press the reset button on this affair. Now we hear that this is just the first stage … that it was a dedication, not the finished product … that the lighting, fencing, and cameras designed to fend off vandals are still to come … that the Flaggers will sacrifice more trees as Grayson Jennings gets some work out of his machinery.
Here’s what we know. Nothing the Flaggers can do at this point will make the short flagpole grow taller. Nothing they can do will lift it out of the depression. Nothing they can do will address the matter of the overpass. Nothing they will do will stop the trees around the flag from overwhelming the site in due season, unless they are going to shave the whole place bald so that we can see the nearby trailer park.
And why, after all this “secrecy” about the location of the flagpole, would they reveal it without having put into place the measures designed to protect the site from vandals?
The Flaggers are a strange bunch. They went out of their way to conceal the location of the flagpole, although several of us had a fairly good idea where it was going to be located. David Tatum’s efforts to claim that he was only diverting attention from the location by giving information that confirmed it seem remarkably inept and inane, even for him. Then there’s talk that there will be a clash of protesters. How, pray tell, will the protesters find the location? I didn’t give it away. But the Flaggers need the protection of the police. Fair enough. Then they highlight the absence of protesters as something of note. Let me see … so protesters were supposed to gather at a location of which they were ignorant and trespass on private property to protest a perfectly legal exercise of free speech, however badly it was carried out?
What were you thinking, Flaggers? That the opposition was at least as stupid as you are? No, folks, you’re the trespassers on private property; you’re the folks who confront security guards and have run-ins with the police; you’re the ones who boast that one of your members got arrested in a staged confrontation.
And when it comes to video cameras, vandalism, and security, Flaggers, I have two words for you: Rob Walker.
Really, Flaggers? REALLY?
My guess is that we’ll hear more spin, more nasty retorts, and, of course, more screeching from Florida (my favorite post last week was a declaration that someone’s favorite targets weren’t posting on the forthcoming unveiling of an insufficient flagpole, which only convinced her that something really nefarious must be going on.
Letting the Flaggers be Flaggers, and watching another Flagger fail, was plan enough. In this case, however, it was covered by the media for all to see … which is more than we can say about the flag in question, which is hard to see.
Look here. And here, entitled “New Confederate Flag hardly visible along I-95.” And here, again demonstrating how hard it is to spot the flag in question. That’s right … look here, and fast, and carefully. I’m just trying to help out the Flaggers so that people will know where to look (they are obviously beyond help themselves).
In fact, protesters had no problem concealing their plans to fly a much larger flag in a far more visible place in downtown Richmond. That’s what competence will do for you.
In retrospect, the whole matter was remarkably funny in spite of itself, like a bad episode of South Park.
Nearly as amusing was the claim by Flagger Jimmy Jones that “the Confederate Flag, which brave Virginians carried into battle in defense of the Commonwealth, should be offered the same respect as the U.S. Flag.” Let’s put it this way, Jimmy, if that were true, you would have placed your flag on a tall pole in an open area for all to see. That you failed to do so was disrespectful.
In the weeks to come, I’m sure we’ll hear more explanations, more excuses, more taunts, maybe even more threats and harassment. Goodness knows, we may even hear from Susan Hathaway. But this effort to try to make an epic fail look like a victory is akin to saying that the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble charge was a resounding success because it eased Confederate supply problems by reducing the number of men who needed to be fed.
Then again, it is heritage, not history. But for the Virginia Flaggers, they leave behind a heritage of incompetence and foolishness that no amount of screaming or yelling can conceal.
For the residents of Richmond who united in opposition to this charade of heritage, it is now time to move forward to forge Richmond’s future.
For the rest of us, it is time to move on. Let the Flaggers stew in their own mess. Annoying one moment, amusing the next, I’m sure the Flaggers have some outrageous plans for the future, which they promise to implement with the same skill they have displayed in the past. For those of us looking for a chuckle, they will prove that they merit their well-earned title as The Gift That Keeps on Giving. But, for the most part, we have better things to do and discuss.
I hope the Flaggers enjoy today’s picnic.