And so we are down to the top six moments in Confederate heritage for 2014. Today’s the story of two towns and two flags.
Number 6: Dustup in Danville
Danville, Virginia, boasts that it was the last capital of the Confederacy, and the town has preserved the house where Jefferson Davis convened his cabinet for the last time. That residence now houses a local museum, with a Third National Flag flying outside of it, as per an agreement in 1994. The Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History wanted permission to overturn that agreement and remove the flag.
Crossroads took the position that the Third National Flag was appropriate to display, for it is not linked with the causes with which the Confederate Battle Flag/Navy Jack is linked. Needless to say, Confederate heritage advocates ignored this stand, because in many cases their minds simply can’t fathom a reasonable position that would mute their continuous ranting. A series of city council meetings failed to settle very much, although some outside agitators came to Danville because they needed more time in front of the media and cameras to profess their love for Confederate heritage. Virginia state law prohibits the removal of certain memorials and flags, and the flag outside the Sutherlin Mansion falls under that law. Confederate heritage advocates claimed victory, although they had nothing to do with it, which suggests that the best way for such groups to prevail may be to take a lower profile … as if that’s going to happen. However, this blog built traffic by asking a question about the Danville flag controversy and I thank heritage folks for that (you really are pretty easy, aren’t you? We’ll have to do that again some time).
Many people believe this was the high point of Confederate heritage triumphs in 2014. I agree. That Confederate heritage groups had nothing to do with that outcome offers an instructive lesson in their effectiveness, as we’ll see shortly …
Number 5: Panic in Pensacola
If Confederate heritage advocates rallied support to oversee what happened in Danville, they were caught by surprise in Pensacola when the Escambia County Commission decided it was time to take down the Confederate battle flag flying outside the Pensacola Bay Center. At last they were in line with the city of Pensacola, where the Confederate battle flag’s display on city property was discontinued in 2000 (a decision not effectively contested by Confederate heritage advocates living in the area, especially those who never emerge from their houses where they spend a great deal of time with a keyboard and “monitor” (pun intended). Indeed, it looked as if Pensacola’s most prominent advocate of Confederate heritage was simply asleep at the switch or too absorbed in flinging post after post at people she hates to oppose the action or to rally local allies. Other people knew what was going to be discussed. As this video of the December 11, 2014, certain familiar faces are nowhere to be found:
Embarrassed by this sign of sheer incompetence and stupidity, Pensacola’s most cyber-visible Confederate heritage advocate, putting aside her earlier equivocation, declared herself a “Flagger,” finally coming all the way out of her butternut closet. She declared that the
West Florida Flaggers Gulf Coast Flaggers West Florida Flaggers would rally to the cause, with a Twitter account, Facebook page, and a website/blog being erected once she washed the dishes for that week (that must be a very fragrant kitchen), although in the end it did not take the week or so she had predicted (I wonder why). However, as of now the WFF (known in some quarters as WTF) seem destined to do little more than to copy their Virginia cousins and look for places to fly flags (this is in fact a practice that is becoming old and a bit silly … these spots look like abandoned car dealerships). However, there’s no word that the WTF WFF will plan flagging demonstrations or in fact do anything else other than rant at people on their blog. The notion that they might push for the flying of one of the national flags (again, a reasonable counterproposal) would deprive them of the ability to screech and scream, carp and cry.
Still, we can expect that the WFF will be the source of much enjoyment and commentary in 2015, as it looks to become a spinoff of the Virginia Flaggers. I don’t think the cast of characters is nearly so engaging … but we can be sure that the people we expect will become involved will provide their own brand of entertainment.