Last Friday and Saturday folks traveled to Lexington, Virginia, to celebrate Lee-Jackson Day. Having attended a university in Virginia where monuments to Lee and Jackson stand in the downtown area, I’m more than familiar with the holiday. However, I left it to other interested parties to hold forth on the holiday, from suggesting that calls to boycott the town’s businesses had failed to questioning whether the holiday would persist in the future. Oh, yes, someone did notice the usual outburst of historical ignorance, but what’s new about that? Even a long-time chronicler of such missteps decided that it wasn’t worth following up on what he speculated might happen.
Me? I didn’t really care … aside from asking what happened to Matthew Fontaine Maury. You would think that people who are really interested in Confederate heritage, especially in Virginia, would ask the same question.
Otherwise, I figured there would be marching and singing and pictures and videos of people marching and singing and meeting old friends. Just like last year. I was not disappointed. However, apparently I was on the minds of some of the participants. As Susan Hathaway, leader of the Virginia Flaggers, declared, “I imagine the great press coverage, turnout, and that inspiring VMI photo and narrative has him twisted ALL up in knots.”
Nice to know that I’m living rent-free in your head, Susan.
Oh, those in attendance said there was a big crowd, “the best turnout they’d seen in years.” But I’m not so sure I’d brag too much about this … although Brandon Dorsey declared: “The nuts at Civil War Memory will hate this headline.”
Guess Kevin Levin lives rent-free in Brandon Dorsey’s head.
Here’s a video of the event held at Stonewall Jackson’s gravesite:
That isn’t a very deep crowd, folks … it struggles to reach toward two deep at best in a few places.
Nor do I see much of a crowd lining the streets during the parade:
You know you’re in trouble when there are more people marching than watching. At least there are a good number of people with cameras to record the sparse attendance.
The Flaggers are featured in this video, singing (well, we’ll call it singing) in front of the mayor’s house, but no one else is there:
You tell me whether their rendition of “Dixie” was any better than the one from 2013:
It’s a close call.
I don’t recall any blogger protesting the celebration of Lee-Jackson Day. I certainly don’t mind if that’s what the commonwealth of Virginia was to celebrate. Nor does it make any difference to me whether people want to travel to Lexington to commemorate the day. Heck, knock yourself silly.
But what hasn’t changed is the result of the efforts of various Confederate heritage groups to reverse Lexington’s decision not to fly various flags, including Confederate flags, on city lamp posts. That effort continues to fail. So does the suppose economic boycott. So does the effort to oust the mayor. Failure, failure, failure.
All that’s left is to engage in the same old rituals year after year. I hope the participants enjoyed themselves. Next year they might worry less about what they think I must be thinking. But if that’s how they spend their time at Lexington … thinking about me … well, I can’t stop them.