Virginia Flagger Overreach Revisited

It did not take long for several bloggers who have followed the Virginia Flaggers to respond to my post discussing whether the Flaggers may have overreached with their newest project. Kevin Levin answers the question I posed in the affirmative. Andy Hall suggested that, far from overreach, the I-95 flag project is a de facto admission of defeat, and that by embracing this project, the Flaggers shed any claim to being different than any other heritage group that chooses the well-worn alternative of having a Confederate flag flying along an interstate.

These positions are easily reconciled. This is a cry for attention in the aftermath of failure and, indeed, humiliation. The Flaggers have failed with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Confederacy, and the Lexington city council. Their involvement with Rob Walker backfired badly. Absent innovative ideas, the only way for the Flaggers to get attention was to resort to something already done, where the outcome is predictable. Just look at the media coverage, and tell me what surprises you. It’s the same types of people saying the same type of things, with the exception of those Virginians who have seized upon this opportunity to offer a more constructive response that transcends mere counter-protest.

Unlike Kevin, I think a flag will go up. I’m not as confident that it will stay up, and the reason won’t be vandalism … unless the Flaggers follow Rob Walker’s example and stage an incident, something they’ve been known to do when it comes to confrontations (see Tripp Lewis). People will respond, as they already have, with the intent of discrediting the message that many people associate with the particular flag chosen.

It will be interesting to see whether what the Flaggers foresee as their greatest triumph might just do them in altogether. Whether it’s through overreach or a simple lack of imagination, the result in either case is marginalization.

9 thoughts on “Virginia Flagger Overreach Revisited

  1. rortensie August 19, 2013 / 8:10 am

    When I first saw this and some of the follow on, I had the same thoughts that you had. That in fact it will not stay up and it won’t be due to vandalism. I believe that it will be made to look like vandalism by the Flaggers to try and bring more attention to their group while in the long run bringing more discredit to their already discredited group. I’m sure any ancestral pride that is left will be turning over in its grave… this what the Celts would have done?

      • Buck Buchanan August 19, 2013 / 12:52 pm

        **golf clap**

      • rortensie August 19, 2013 / 1:46 pm

        Now see, I don’t even follow the Thug League and get that. But wouldn’t that be grand if Bill Russell showed up at a Flagger event?

  2. Rob Baker August 19, 2013 / 8:23 am

    I am still attempting to figure out how a Virginia Flagger can consider this a “triumph.”

    • Brooks D. Simpson August 19, 2013 / 9:43 am

      It’s a limp attempt at spin, but consider who’s doing it.

  3. Charles Lovejoy August 19, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    Just a side point on flags flown, I fly the Italian flag. None of my neighbors have ever said anything

    • M.D. Blough August 20, 2013 / 9:21 am

      Oddly enough, although Mussolini allied Italy with Hitler during WW II that did not translate into animosity from Americans either after combat ended in Italy or even in the US. I think that had a lot to do with the very clear fact that the average Italian soldier did not really seem to have his heart in it. There was an Italian POW camp near where I grew up and people who remembered it said that there was never a group of soldiers happier to be POWs and out of the fighting than the Italians. The local Italian-American community embraced them, in one case literally. A local Italian-American girl fell in love with a POW. When he was repatriated after the war, she went to Italy with her family’s blessing, married him and brought him back. My brother went to school with their daughter.

      Also the Italian flag is not unique to the Fascist period.

  4. Corey Meyer August 19, 2013 / 7:03 pm

    Someone in the media needs to ask Susan and company once the flag is raised…”Now What?”

    Would love to hear the answer.

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