The Last Five Weeks of Confederate Heritage

Well, finally … some news worth reporting.

In Pensacola, Florida, the Escambia County Commissioners chose to revisit their previous decision and decided instead to replace the Confederate Battle Flag with the First National Flag, following the reasoning offered in several places, including this blog. We know not what this means for the struggling Confederate heritage flagging organization in Pensacola. Nor do we particularly care.

UPDATE: You can watch this meeting here, including a statement from someone we all know at the 30:00 mark.

Meanwhile, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city council decided that the city would no longer celebrate Lee-Jackson Day as a holiday.

This ended a debate lasting over a month, marked by a contentious city council meeting that featured some of our favorite Confederate heritage advocates (go to 1:25:00 to watch the exchange, with a special rant commencing at the 1:34:25 mark). It appears these speakers were not successful in changing any hearts or minds. Nor does it seem that friend of the blog Ben Jones, chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was any more successful.

Nothing changed in March. Apparently this impassioned plea, delivered in rushed fashion, was not enough:

The speaker made reference to this battle. The Confederates were successful in 1864, but Charlottesville marked the 150th anniversary of the occupation of the city by Union forces in 1865 to make its decision. Apparently that coincidence was lost on the Confederate heritage advocates.

You shouldn’t erase history, folks. Never forget … unless you can’t remember.

As one might expect, the Virginia Flaggers vowed to respond as only they can … by calling for the erection of more flag poles so that more Confederate battle flags can fly along the highways of the Old Dominion.

VF ad 2015

Perhaps all of these erections by old men will earn them the name of the Viagra Flaggers.

Somehow putting up more flags no longer makes an impact, but it seems to be harmless enough. Of course, the sight of that flag reminds other people of other things, but you knew that already.

Our Miss Connie

Since declaring on Valentine’s Day that she was taking a break from blogging on heritage issues, Connie Chastain has offered seven entries on the matter (nearly as many posts as have appeared during all of 2015 on this blog about Confederate heritage advocates). Given the results in Pensacola, we expect she can now return to her endeavors, for it did not appear that her one-person effort made much of an impact, with no media coverage and lagging blog and Facebook entries. After all, the commission’s decision was in line with this blog’s recommendation (as it was in the Danville case), so it’s evident that when this blog takes a stand in support of flying a Confederate flag, its position prevails. That’s not true of Confederate heritage groups. However, we note that Ms. Chastain has proclaimed her intolerance of other religions once more:


Apparently Chastain confuses the deplorable radical and violent extremism of ISIS with all believers of Islam. No word yet on whether she will repudiate Christianity because of people who killed in its name as well. Other terrorist groups have also used Christian symbols. After all, there were those folks with those burning crosses …

cross burning 1989 Stone Mountain

Either Connie Chastain demonstrates consistency by repudiating Christianity or she stands revealed as a religious bigot and hypocrite who does not value black lives.

That should be good for a few posts over at Backsass. 🙂

Meanwhile, as I’ve said before, Confederate heritage advocates seem to be running out of ways to draw attention to their cause. They continue to resort to the same approaches, and those approaches have lost their ability to do very much if anything. Other promises (recall Tripp Lewis’s declaration to file lawsuits against law enforcement in Richmond?) have gone nowhere. The appointment of Ben Jones as chief of heritage operations for the SCV seems to have made no difference. Oh, there will be minor victories in holding the line, but Confederate heritage advocates are failing to make any gains, and the defeats continue to mount up, especially in Virginia itself, home of the Virginia Flaggers. Even the squeals of outrage that will come in reaction to this post will be but momentary distractions that fail to conceal evidence of a growing number of setbacks.

And they’ve become boring. Take some advice … try some new tricks … entertain us.

Oh, well.

41 thoughts on “The Last Five Weeks of Confederate Heritage

  1. taxsanity March 6, 2015 / 5:45 am

    “History is this — who killed who, and why, all else is bullshit.”

    Sadly much of what passes for “history” of our own Civil War qualifies for BS.

    I walked the other day into a very special library at University I wont name, to save them embarrassment, where the resident “scholar” on LIncoln and CIvil War was at his desk.

    He could tell me the name of Robert E Lee’s pet chicken, but for the life of him, he had no clue who Charles Summer was talking about by name in the speech he was beaten almost to death for.

    Furthermore, he had no idea what that man’s role was in Kansas, nor did he know of the speech, bragging about killing to spread slavery, by that same man.,

    But he knew the name of Lee’s pet chicken.

    That’s a “scholar”.

    And unforgivable, he had little clue what happened in Kansas. This was a “Lincoln scholar”. If he had read the speeches by the man leading the killing sprees there, he would have known. Or read Lincoln’s letter to speed. Or any of hundreds of newspapers at the time in Kansas.

    Or even Charles Sumner’s speech.

    But, he knew the name of Lee’s pet chicken.

    That is about the state of affairs in Civil War Scholarship.

    By the way, this “Lincoln scholars” insight into Kansas was this “Oh, there was plenty of blame to go around out there”.

    So maybe he should have learned a bit, what Lincoln might have been talking about in House Divided Speech.

    If a high school teacher was that clueless about Kansas and who killed who, and why, it would be embarrassing. But Ive yet to meet anyone in person who even knows what David Rice Atchison did, and who he was paid by, and who his business partners were.

    Florida?Maybe they could take a minute and learn from their own former Governor, who made it very clear the South expected the white race to be exterminated — “burned to death slowly” if slavery was not spread. Robert Toombs didn’t give a time line, just that the white race would be exterminated if slavery was not spread.

    Jefferson Davis wrote proudly in his own book that the resistance to slavery in Kansas was the “intolerable grievance”. If you need any better authority than those gentlemen, for what rhetoric the South was using to excite the hate and fear, let me know.

    It’s a travesty that we have not yet taught the basic truth about history of slavery, the violent men who bragged they were killing to spread slavery, and even kill to stop those who dared speak against slavery.

    If you don’t know about Southern leaders bragging of killing to spread slavery — blame your history books. David Rice Atichson, the guy who got Kansas Nebraska Act passed, is a great example. In the most bombastic and proud terms possible, he boasted he was killing to spread slavery, and terrorize those, kill those even, who dared even to SPEAK against slavery.

    By the way, Joshua Speed — Lincoln’s bed partner for four years — wanted Atchison killed, according to LIncoln’s letter. Speed, by the way, was a slave owner. No one yet has pointed out Lincoln literally slept with a slave owner for four years. (Yes it was fairly common for men to sleep together then, asexually). Im convinced Lincoln’s understanding of slave owner mentality came from his nightly discussions with Speed. Lincoln’s letter to speed reflects Speed’s opinion, LIncoln happened to mention Speeds opinion, in his letter to SPeed.

    Of course the “Lincoln scholar” was not up to snuff on that. But he knew the name of Lee’s pet chcken.

    Speed wanted those characters killed — in Kansas — who were killing to spread slavery, according to LIncoln’s letter. So Lincoln was acutely aware of what was going on in Kansas.

    Lincoln knew who was killing who and why.

    But I doubt Lincoln knew the name of Lee’s pet chicken.

    Why — tell me, anyone, please, why — do we not show what Southern leaders, including Jefferson Davis, David Rice Atchison, and others bragged about? It is illegal? Is it bad taste.

    Why do “Lincoln scholars” not know who Charles Sumner was talking about?

    Seems ironic. Just like some people in the North were complicit for slavery, many now seem complicit to not mention who killed who, and why.

    It’s a sad state of “scholarship” when Lincoln scholars know the name of Lee’s pet chicken, but have little understanding of who killed who, and why, leading up to the Civil War. Im convinced Southern apologist scholars know more, and just wisely avoid mentioning it

    • Jarret Ruminski March 6, 2015 / 11:58 am

      This is literally the greatest comment ever offered on the internet. You can’t fake that kind of derangement, you gotta’ be born with it. Brooks, you’re obviously doing something right…

      • taxsanity March 8, 2015 / 12:17 pm

        Jarret, so Im deranged? I didn’t see any explanation, so I can only guess, you didnt know any of the facts I presented? I could be wrong.

        Did you know — yes or no — that the guy who got Kansas Nebraska Act passed, immediately left the Senate, became officially the “General of Law and Order of Kansas Territories” named and paid by Jefferson Davis?

        In that role David Rice Atchison killed, tortured, and terrorized. You may want to read his speech to his Texas men, recently arrived. He boasts they are their to kill, boast that the reason they are to kill is to spread slavery, and boast who pays them all — the “present administration”.

        Of course you knew that right? YOu knew about his speech, you knew about his relationship with Jefferson Davis, who paid him and forever supported him, calling his actions constitutionally required.

        You knew, too, right, that he was close friends of Stephen A Douglas, who bragged about it. calling Atchison, even after the killing sprees, the “kindest and bravest man I have even known” or something to that effect.

        In fact, Atchison was behind the debacle and forced Lecompton bogus legislature, as well as the terror, in Kansas. Is that something you didn’t know? Or maybe I “deluded” that from his speech, and other speeches by his cohorts.

        Im a little confused, Did you not know Atchison was the guy who got Kansas Act passed?

        It was ATchison–by name, and at great length — that Charles Sumner was talking about, in his Crimes against Kansas speech. Did you read it? Or did I delude that?

        ATchison own speech to his Texas killers — hired killers as you will see — came the next day. Sumner was in a coma at the time, of course, as Atchison was having what he called “the most joyous day of my life” leading the killers he and Davis hired.

        Nice touch — Atchison told the killers they could supplement their pay — ample pay he said – by stealing whatever they found. Yeah, this is the guy who got Kansas Act passed. He was bragging — seven times — in his speech that he “worked for the entire South” and he even bragged he would never ride under the US flag (he was paid by US at the time) but he rode under a red flag to denote the blood they would spill.

        WHy spill blood? David Rice was so nice, he explained why — to spread slavery and silence all opposition to slavery.

        Maybe that’s why Speed, a slave owner himself, wanted Atchison’s men killed, per Lincoln’s letter. Seems even slave owners thought guy like Atchison was giving torture, rape, and slavery a bad name.

        Now, maybe you mean Im deluded because this is well known? And I only imagine it’s not part of the general meme and narrative of what led to the Civil War? Hard to know. But you would be hard pressed to find anything mentioned in any US text book about Atchison’s role in Kansas Act, his immediate flight to KS, and his subsequent killing sprees, and bragging of killing to spread slavery. If you find any such text book, that even refers to that in any specificity whatsoever, please let me know

        There is much more — much much more. Southern leaders at the time were not coy or shy about this, some bragged in the most amazing terms. Some were Orwellian. But apparently almost all were focused on killing to spread slavery.

        Im sure you know — or did I delude this too — of the Southern Ultimatums in Richmond newspapers in March of 1861? Got them handy, we can look at them. All five were about the same thing — one way or another — the spread of slavery. Kansas must accept and respect slavery. Never mind that Kansas had already been admitted as a free state. Never mind that Kansas had already fought a four year war against Atchison and his paid killers (virtually everyone Atchison used to kill others, were hired, and not from Kansas). Never mind that Kansas voters, in one case 95+% voted against slavery. The “TRUE ISSUE” shouted the Richmond papers, was the spread of slavery into KANSAS.

        Not one person, in any paper of that time, that I know, even bothered to ask “What are you talking about?” In fact, New York papers the next day suggested Lincoln allow them to have slavery in Kansas, even though that meant helping Atchison and his killers to kill and silence all opposition to slavery. Lincoln was not about to help killers in Kansas — he was not about to help those men even slave owner Speed wanted killed. If there was ever an ISIS group in US history, Atchison and his paid killers come close.

        But you know all that. Right? YOu know about Richmond newspaper headlines. YOu know about Jeff Davis boasting in his own book that the resistance to slavery in Kansas was the “intolerable grievance”. YOu know that Southern states made it a crime to speak or even own a book, which suggested slavery was wrong. And in Kansas, as Charles Sumner pointed out, Atchison was killing to stop speech. Funny, cause Atchison was bragging about that very thing to his men. Hilarious, no?

        So this is all delusional? Lincoln was delusional? Jeff Davis too. Atchison – wow, that guy was tripping, right? That fool Charles Sumner, how would he know what Atchison did? Right. Sumner made that whole thing up.

        You may know that the survivors of Atchison’s killing sprees got together once in a while, you should check that out. They were delusional too.

        Kansas, Atchison, Davis, Douglas. All proof that LIncoln’s House Divided speech was right. And his letter to Speed was correct. Slave power was run by violent men, who tortured women, who sold children, who hated states rights, when states rejected slavery, and who had every intention, or bragged they did, to spread slavery to the entire west, by means foul, and more foul, including torture and killing.

        Yeah, it’s all delusional. Never happened. It was probably a episode of Twilight Zone. I should contact my cable service and see what’s wrong.

  2. John Heiser March 6, 2015 / 8:07 am

    With spokesman like those, the “Confederate Heritage Movement” is doomed- at least in Virginia, which may not be such a bad thing. We’ll certainly miss the comedy these people provide.

  3. Eek-A-Mouse March 6, 2015 / 8:15 am

    Were I a psychiatrist, or played one on TV, I would find Chastain’s enthusiasm for ISIS snuff films very interesting. As we are often attracted to what repulses us, her own Islamophobia is mirrored by her obsession with radical violence, like she has an unconscious “lust for the scimitar?” Makes you wonder if, given the choice, she might go out by beheading just to say “told you so.”

    • Mousy Tongue March 8, 2015 / 11:09 am

      Note her cut ‘n’ paste work — to the head and neck — in her flagger photo above, and also her Facebook profile pic.

  4. Jimmy Dick March 6, 2015 / 8:37 am

    Connie is now too busy demanding an apology for saying that she didn’t say slavery was the cause of the Civil War, that confederate soldiers were fighting for the right to own slaves, and that the secession conventions were about slavery.

    So either she now believes slavery was the cause of the Civil War, that confederate soldiers were fighting for the right to own slaves, and that the secession conventions were about slavery or she just wants an apology for calling her a liar. I haven’t seen a winged pig fly by me yet.

    As for Confederate heritage nuts, they’re idiots. When they ignore experts and facts and claim that they and only they are correct after having been proved wrong so many times, they have no credibility. Take the poster of multiple names and genders. Repeatedly proven wrong, repeatedly makes the same claims. Recently it has branched out to mangle Revolutionary history in a futile attempt to conflate it with the Civil War. No wonder no one takes them seriously. They are incapable of learning. The heritage crew is doomed to extinction and no one mourns their loss.

    The only thing they have done is erect symbols of treason, racism, and tyranny on flag poles with nothing to explain why the symbol is there. The very act demonstrates their ignorance of history and how to communicate. No one is surprised at that based on their appearance in Charlottesville and Lexington. But then what do you expect from a group of people with little education and not a historian in the bunch?

  5. Lyle Smith March 6, 2015 / 8:39 am

    It is undeniable Connie is bigoted against Muslims. That fact is ugly and sad. Nevertheless, at least she understands that ISIS is Islamic (Sunni), just like you and I understand that the Klan was, and still is, made up of white Christian men and women (WASPs to be more accurate).

    Maybe she’ll respond and we can all have a nice discussion about this.

    • Brooks D. Simpson March 6, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      Oh, she’s responded. Just not here.

      Apparently Chastain believes that ISIS acts in compliance with Islam, and so Muslims are bad, while the KKK, she claims, acts against Christian teachings (although the KKK would say otherwise).

      Of course, slaveholders such as Chastain’s own ancestors justified slavery as sanctioned by the Bible. This puts Chastain in the position of saying her ancestors (the ones she want us to honor) were hypocrites who distorted the Bible (just like the KKK) to commit evil or that since the Bible sanctioned slavery, it was okay, and they were good Christians (which is the same reasoning she used to denounce Muslims by saying ISIS simply acted on Islamic principles).

      We’ll let the daughter of a preacher man who attended a church-affiliated school figure this one out on her own now that she no longer has to walk the streets of Pensacola.

      • Lyle Smith March 6, 2015 / 8:44 pm

        Yeah, I checked her blog after I posted and saw her post. The argument she’s making about the KKK disobeying their own religious beliefs is nonsensical.

      • Rob Baker March 7, 2015 / 2:24 pm

        Interesting that she would argue that the KKK acts in a way defiant of Christian teachings. She pretty much agrees with everything they have to say. I believe they call that the pot calling the kettle black.

      • Rosemary March 9, 2015 / 3:05 pm

        ISIS holds slaves, so I read… just sayin’…..

  6. Pat Young March 6, 2015 / 10:16 am

    Telling the city’s leaders that they live in a “backwater” was likely not a good strategy for getting their votes in
    Charlottesville. We offer a training on how to speak effectively at public hearings that Susan Hathaway might profit from. As long as she does not share Ms. Chastain’s aversion to immigrants, Ms. Hathaway is welcome to attend.

    • Mousy Tongue March 6, 2015 / 12:57 pm

      “Backwater tyranny”? Where’d she get that one?

  7. Al Mackey March 6, 2015 / 10:19 am

    The flaggers have a fool-proof method for not forgetting history. You can’t forget what you never knew in the first place. 🙂

  8. Al Mackey March 6, 2015 / 12:44 pm

    Interesting that most of the people speaking for keeping the Lee-Jackson Day were outside agitators who didn’t live in Charlottesville. Also, the views presented at the hearing show once again you will never get any accurate history from the SCV. They rely on fabricated quotations, misstatements, and outright lies.

  9. Mousy Tongue March 6, 2015 / 12:57 pm

    Wait, they’re panhandling? “Land handout, plz?” What did Karen say about that?

  10. Leo March 6, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    Let us not forget these fools.

    • Leo March 6, 2015 / 2:11 pm

      looks as if the link didn’t take from my phone.

      Go check the MidSouth Flagger facebook page. HK is posting fake letters again.

    • Brooks D. Simpson March 6, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      I would love to see how the federal government took the vote from blacks during Reconstruction. Next: HK as a black Klansman.

      • Leo March 6, 2015 / 6:22 pm

        It should be noted Chancellor Jones is undergoing Chemotherapy and isn’t “out and about” on campus for “chance encounters”, so I know this post from HK is total BS.

  11. Mousy Tongue March 6, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    “No word yet on whether she will repudiate Christianity because of people who killed in its name as well. Other terrorist groups have also used Christian symbols. After all, there were those folks with those burning crosses …”

    She will not. Connie Chastain has long expressed her preference for white supremacy:

    I do believe floggers feel more outrage over white supremacists wishing to associate together than they do over Islamic barbarism, savagery, torture and murder….

    (Backsass Notices, Updates & Quickies, 2/3/2015)

    She also does not want white supremacists to cease being civic leaders and teachers:

    You anti-racists have a massive flaw. When you percieve someone to be racist or a white supremacist, that becomes the totality of them in your view. They cease to be anything else — employee, employer, civic leader, teacher, student, husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister … human being. All of those roles disappear and to you they are nothing but a hate-puppet, with no feelings, no soul, no love, no loyalty. They no longer have any redeeming human qualities. That is not just wrong, it is massively wrong. There are actually worst things than a “white supremacist.” Jihadist beheaders, for example. Late term abortionists. False rape accusers. Many others. I don’t support racism (regardless of what the liar Brooks Simpson says) but neither do I define someone who holds racist views as a no-longer-human mannequin stuffed with race-hatred. Now, stop trying to create race-hatred where none exists.

    (Backsass Chat, 1/9/2015)

    Yes, says Connie, we could certainly do a lot worse than white supremacy. “Acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion for racists,” she says. “A little empathy for the racists, please.” “ISIS!” she says, pretending ISIS to be consistent with Islam in a way that the KKK is not consistent with Christianity. Note that, for Connie, white supremacy is not inconsistent with Christianity, and also doesn’t involve doing anything particularly bad.

    • msb March 7, 2015 / 7:08 am

      Sounds like she’d fit right in in Ferguson, MO.

  12. Goad Gatsby March 6, 2015 / 4:11 pm

    Here is a little food for thought. Connie never answers my questions directed at her but still blasts me whenever it is convenient to her. I’m just going to put this here and wait for her spew more misdirection my way.

    The Virginia Flaggers tell us that Confederate displays are a good thing but then they use them as a negative toward people who disagree with them. This much is true toward Charlottesville, Lexington, and Richmond.

    Speaking of Richmond, the city got rid of Lee-Jackson Day a long time ago. But I’ve never seen the Virginia Flaggers show up to city council and make a plea to bring back the holiday. In fact, I’ve never seen them at any city council meetings and that includes the times I’ve gone to Richmond City Council to oppose a plan that would build over slave burial grounds. I’d love to be wrong and see a video of Susan speaking against it, but I doubt she has been to a Richmond City Council based on her testimony on how she thought Charlottesville City Council was chaotic.

    • Eek-A-Mouse March 7, 2015 / 12:51 pm

      Technically speaking, Susan is not a resident of the City of Richmond either.

      • Goad Gatsby March 7, 2015 / 2:54 pm

        Correct, she lives in a town adjacent to Richmond and could easily sign up the citizen comment if she was passionate on Richmond honoring Lee-Jackson Day and not just jumping on a political bandwagon when an issue gets a little media attention.

        • Eek-a-Mouse March 8, 2015 / 6:51 am

          Professional Outside Agitator!

      • Brooks D. Simpson March 7, 2015 / 3:26 pm

        Susan Hathaway’s a fraud. We know that. She does what she does because she wants to draw attention to herself … but we all know why she’s no longer flagging at the VMFA. She’s skeered.

  13. Mousy Tongue March 6, 2015 / 8:05 pm

    Connie Ward addresses the Escambia County Commission at 30:00 in the video below.

    She makes light of plantation slavery conditions and incorporates MKUltra into her argument. Good talk all around. Lots of finger-pointing. Later, one of the commissioners expresses his dismay.

    • Rob Baker March 7, 2015 / 1:22 pm

      How great. She spends the majority of her time complaining about something else. Then spends time attempting to white wash the Confederate History of slavery; without taking into account the desperation the Confederacy found themselves in. What a joke.

      • Brooks D. Simpson March 7, 2015 / 3:27 pm

        She’s not a great public speaker. But now I understand why she uses outdated images of herself. She’s vain.

  14. Leo March 10, 2015 / 9:05 am

    I watched Connie three times, and I am at a loss for why she chose to give the board a “history Lesson” rather than explain why the battle flag, in her opinion, should be flown as part of the display. Her presentation was a public relations car crash and did more to hurt her position than promote it.

    I have worked in advertising and public relations and must say she is a disaster. Her best option, in my opinion, would have been to request the return of the First National to the display along with a historical marker explaining the significance of each flag to the history of the county. She may also have included information about the original intent of the display as a tourist draw.

    Her only hope is there are people knowledgeable about actual history working behind the scenes because she is pathetic.

    • Mousy Tongue March 21, 2015 / 4:29 pm

      Wow. Snickering at the mention of plantation slavery. That’s some mighty contempt right there.

  15. Brooks D. Simpson March 16, 2015 / 10:57 am

    “Although, indeed, there were people working behind the scenes to bring back the flags… the late Earl Bowden of the Pensacola News Journal …”

    So a dead man was working behind the scenes …Pensacola’s an interesting place.

    • Brooks D. Simpson March 16, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      Chastain now admits that “I have no proof he worked behind the scenes on this issue ….” Not that this minor fact would stop her from claiming otherwise.

  16. Brooks D. Simpson March 18, 2015 / 5:50 pm

    “BTW, I predict dead, ringing silence from Levin, Simpson, Hall, Mackey, etc. I don’t think any of ’em will touch this with an 80-foot flagpole….” So said you-know-who.

    Oops. 🙂

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