Museums, History, Politics, and “Heritage”

You would think from all we’ve heard about the impending opening of the Museum of the Confederacy’s new branch at Appomattox that it consisted solely of fifteen flag poles on a plaza, with none of them flying a Confederate flag.  That the new museum will display many Confederate flags as well as a display about the flag’s history seems to have gone unnoticed by critics who claim the museum doesn’t honor Confederate heritage … although the purpose of this museum (as with other museums) is to share an understanding of Confederate history with a broad audience.

Nor has all of the criticism come from certain Confederate heritage advocates (I await the first “Flagging” of the facility by the usual suspects).  In an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch brought to my attention by Kevin Levin, King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia State Conference NAACP, declared that he had no plans to visit the museum, but that didn’t prevent him from passing judgment on it: “These people are still fighting the Civil War. They’re just not honest about the history and the story.”

Oh goodness.  That second sentence sounds just like a Virginia Flagger.  And the whole quote sounds like Ed Sebesta. Continue reading

Hunter Wallace Versus Connie Chastain, Contined

Well, it seems as if there’s something of a battle among advocates of Confederate heritage nowadays, as Hunter Wallace continues to badger Connie Chastain.  The latest engagement apparently happened on a Facebook group affiliated with the League of the South.  The thread has since been pulled.  Wallace offers his take here; Chastain has a more concise perspective here.

Apparently what we have here is a failure to communicate. Continue reading

Flummoxed Flaggers?

It appears that the Virginia Flaggers continue to encounter one obstacle after another in their neverending efforts to “return the flags/restore the honor,” as they put it.  Overshadowed at the Lexington, Virginia protest by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Flaggers continue to be foiled in their efforts to force the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to display Confederate flags at Pelham the Confederate Memorial Chapel and frustrated in their attempt to force the Museum of the Confederacy to fly a Confederate flag outside its new Appomattox facility.   Now comes word that the United Daughters of the Confederacy wishes to be left alone by the persistent Flaggers.  According to this statement from the UDC, the Flaggers infringed upon the private property of the UDC after repeated failures to gain that organization’s support for their endeavors (I thought the Confederacy was all about the protection of private property, so this seems to me to be a betrayal of Confederate heritage).

As the following video suggests, the Flaggers are not always welcome where they protest:

Seems to me they are challenging state rights … namely the right of a state to protect its property (there goes that notion of protecting property again).

And here’s another discussion, this time with a police officer …

And, as I’ve pointed out before, Flaggers object to a community’s right to determine its own policies, something real Confederates upheld (at least when it came to protecting certain aspects of their society … they had no problem trying to impose their preferences upon others when they felt it was important).  In short, Flaggers meddle in the affairs of others, violate state rights, and trample upon private property … which calls into question their commitment to Confederate values.

The Flaggers seem rather well-organized when it comes to these confrontations, with cameras running and participants wearing microphones (as Eric Jacobson noticed).  They seem far less successful when it comes to accomplishing anything, although I’m sure flagging provides exercise to its exercised participants, bless their hearts.

Over the past several months several bloggers have commented on the Flaggers (who have their own blog).  Kevin Levin enjoys pride of place here, just as he enjoys a certain privileged place of honor in the hearts of some of these folks.  Here’s his comment on the UDC controversy; here’s his post on that unpleasant little confrontation.  Corey Meyer’s chimed in as well, while Andy Hall has looked at other Flagger-related concerns.  I’ve highlighted some of the folks who support the Flaggers, although on the whole it has been Kevin who has provided continuing coverage (and his blog brought those videos to my attention).

I don’t think the Flaggers mean any harm, and it does no harm if they continue to protest, provided they follow the law.  However, it remains to be seen whether they will achieve any of their objectives.