The Virginia Flaggers, the VMFA, and the War Memorial Chapel: Much Ado Over Nothing?

By now you all know about the decision of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts not to renew its lease agreement with a camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the use of the Confederate War Memorial Chapel on the grounds of the VMFA.

Here’s what the Virginia Flaggers announced on their Facebook page:


This account contradicts a claim offered by Billy Bearden in the comments section of this blog that the lease offered the SCV was a last-minute surprise: the above account suggests that both parties had been negotiating for quite some time. Perhaps the Flaggers need to get their stories straight. They’ve had years to do that.

The Flaggers’ own account also testifies to the organization’s inability to affect the stance of the VMFA. The Flaggers themselves claim that they have nothing to do with the position of the VMFA in 2015, because it was what the VMFA wanted to do in 2010; yet the 2015 agreement shows that matters have not improved, suggesting that the past four and a half years of protesting practiced by the Virginia Flaggers have amounted to nothing when it comes to the VMFA’s position. Other people have claimed that the behavior of the Virginia Flaggers has not helped matters: Susan Hathaway’s disappearance from the sidewalk can be traced to concern about repercussions should the VMFA complain to her employer, who has contracts with the VMFA, about her conduct.

In short, although the Virginia Flaggers like to talk about their importance to the cause of Confederate heritage, all they have done is to testify to their impotence when it comes to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. All the Flaggers have achieved during the past several weeks is to erect a third, rather small, flag in downtown Lexington. They claim that size doesn’t matter, but that location is everything.

As before, the blog “Southern Flaggers” offered the claim that the VMFA was in violation of Virginia state law when it acted as it did. Yet, although the Virginia Flaggers have been around for four and a half years, the organization has failed to fight for the rights of Confederate heritage by filing a lawsuit. They have raised money for more flagpoles and flags, and raised money to defend Tripp Lewis when Lewis ran afoul of the law, but they have failed to raise money to battle the VMFA in court. That is a clear demonstration of the group’s priorities: spectacle over substance. Nor have we seen either the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the Southern Legal Research Center, led by Kirk David Lyons, take legal action. This is a rather limp defense of Confederate heritage, suggesting that some folks don’t want to put their money where their mouth is. Perhaps all they want to do is to walk the sidewalks and run their mouths.

Confederate heritage deserves better … although critics of Confederate heritage smile when such tomfoolery is passed off as defending Confederate heritage. After all, isn’t it time for another prom dress lawsuit?

The failure of the Virginia Flaggers and other Confederate heritage groups to take effective action against the VMFA suggests that the real weakness in the movement is internal, not external. Kevin Levin has written that more and more people are turning their backs on a fading Confederate heritage. He may be right, although I don’t care to make such predictions. I’ve already offered my take on this issue. But what has happened at the Confederate War Memorial Chapel … and what has not happened … testifies to the ineffectiveness of Confederate heritage groups and their failure to take meaningful action to protect what they claim to prize so dearly.

There are those people who think that certain Confederate heritage groups are their own worst enemies. There are other critics who claim that they are the unwitting allies of their critics, almost as if they are a false flag operation (pun intended). What seems clear is that the case of the Confederate War Memorial Chapel clearly demonstrates the inability of certain people to effect meaningful and lasting change.

Nothing to see here, folks … just move along.


76 thoughts on “The Virginia Flaggers, the VMFA, and the War Memorial Chapel: Much Ado Over Nothing?

  1. Jimmy Dick May 2, 2015 / 12:47 pm

    The utter failure of the flaggers is hilarious. They put a flag up on the highway and accomplished nothing. Their protest has made them the butt of jokes. They can’t even sustain a boycott. Failure after failure.

    But hey, Tripp got a drone! Connie ranted on her FB page. Jerry wrote another nasty blog post. Susan wore a red shirt and vanished from sight. Judy took some pictures. Barry had a chili dog.

    And in the end, no one paid attention to the flaggers.

    No one sued the VMFA. No flagger provided any facts to support their opinions. No flagger provided any history to support their beliefs.

    No flagger accomplished anything except to show how ignorant and pointless they are.

  2. Connie Chastain May 3, 2015 / 1:25 pm

    “And in the end, no one paid attention to the flaggers…. No flagger provided any facts to support their opinions. No flagger provided any history to support their beliefs.”

    Jimmy Dick, in order to know this, you would have to know every conversation the VaFlaggers have had, everyone they talked to, every speech made, every piece of correspondence sent and received. I don’t think you do.

    And the increasing donations, increasing offers of land for flags, increasing requests for advice on putting up flags coming from other states, give just a tiny glimpse of their accomplishments. Of course, you wouldn’t know that. You’re not a Flagger. You’re an outsider looking in, and what you see doesn’t begin to be all there is….

    • Brooks D. Simpson May 3, 2015 / 2:18 pm

      As this post demonstrates, we already have your views on the importance of the Virginia Flaggers. You just can’t make up your mind as to whether you’re one of them.

      Perhaps someone at the Virginia Flaggers has told you that your extreme bigotry on other matters reflects poorly on them, but they don’t want to say so publicly. Or perhaps they agree with you. Either way, if the Virginia Flaggers are all that you say they are, Confederate heritage is in trouble.

      We are still waiting for the next act of the Gulf Coast Flaggers West Florida Flaggers. When are you going to put up your first flag?

      • Connie Chastain May 3, 2015 / 11:05 pm

        I haven’t shown any ambiguity about my affiliation with the VaFlaggers. I am an honorary member and an enthusiastic supporter, as I’ve made clear repeatedly.That involves uploading material they send me to their blog. Because of that, I know things Jimmy Dick doesn’t know; but I am not privy to all VaFlagger information.

        Nobody at the VaFlaggers has ever told me anything even remotely like what you suggest. We have noted to each other where we agree on things, and where we disagree. We just don’t run each other down over disagreements.

        The West Florida Flaggers is currently inactive; if they’re needed again, they will be re-activated. We’re not planning to put up any flags, but we stand ready to support and assist any organization that does.

        • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 1:00 am

          “The West Florida Flaggers is currently inactive; if they’re needed again, they will be re-activated. We’re not planning to put up any flags, but we stand ready to support and assist any organization that does.”

          And you claim to write for a living. Is … are … they … we …

          Thanks for admitting the Virginia Flaggers tolerate your bigotry. Why, they may even embrace it. That’s just another one of their “secrets.”

          • Connie Chastain May 4, 2015 / 5:34 am

            I don’t write for a living.

            I haven’t admitted anything. That’s just your usual attempt at manipulation. I would, however, point out that (1) you don’t know where the VaFlaggers and I agree and disagree, and (2) I am no more a bigot than you are.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 9:42 am

            You don’t write for a living? Well, I guess not.

            Of course you won’t admit anything. To admit something would be to reveal that you are lying or that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            At least you admit you’re a bigot. Nice try to claim that I’m one, too. It’s another example of your tendency to project your issues on others. But a bigot and a plagiarist such as yourself needs to say something, right?

            Now take care and try not to smother yourself in your own hatred.

          • Connie Chastain May 5, 2015 / 2:40 am

            I’m retired. I don’t do any kind of work “for a living” (i.e., to support myself). My writing income and author services income supplement my retirement income but they do not replace it.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 5, 2015 / 3:37 pm

            In short, what you do doesn’t pay the rent. Good enough.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 9:24 am

            I love how you are so forthcoming about your own financial situation, but skeered about questions about Flagger finances. In the former case you have concluded that you have nothing to hide. In the latter case, since you were the one who raised the issue of fraud, I can only conclude that you know something we don’t. Generally speaking, when one rejects a charge that has not even been made, one’s hiding something.

            After all, you’ve declared:

            “But we’ve never had an accounting of [VaFlagger] funds, have we?” Brooks D. Simpson

            Simp, do you imagine you are entitled to such an accounting? By what authority? (I’m confident that the people who are entitled to said accounting receive it.)

            Who are entitled to that accounting. Do you have evidence that they’ve received it? Are not the people who have contributed to the Flaggers entitled to that accounting? Maybe I should contribute $1 and then demand accountability. Would you have a problem with donors knowing specifically where their money goes? Is there a reason you don’t want that information to go public? And, since you claim you don’t speak for the Flaggers, can you explain why they are too skeered to be transparent? After all, it was you who raised the issue of fraud.

            We don’t know where the funds for Tripp’s legal defense went, do we?” Brooks D. Simpson

            Again, do you imagine you are entitled to such information? Frankly, I don’t think you’re entitled to know jack about it.

            As you are not a real Virginia Flagger, what you think doesn’t really matter, does it? What matters is that you have no problem with Tripp Lewis concealing from his contributors how their money was spent. So you can’t say that Tripp did not divert funds to start his new drone business, now, can you? Of course not … because you said you don’t know.

            You raised the issue of fraud in an effort to divert people from the thrust of my question, which was to ask why the Flaggers did not put their money where their mouth was and sue the VMFA. You haven’t answered that one, either, but as you’ve raised the issue of fraud, we’re simply following your suggestion. And, as you claim not to represent the Flaggers, your answers don’t have a lot of value compared to answers provided by the Flaggers themselves … answers they are unwilling to give and to support with documentation.

            Supporters of Confederate heritage and of these endeavors are entitled to answers to these questions. Don’t you agree? How much have you given to the Virginia Flaggers? How much did you donate to Tripp’s defense fund? Did you put your money where your mouth is? After all, you’ve been so forthcoming with answers to questions about your income, so it should be no trouble for you to offer these answers. Did you make any contributions, and did you write them off on your taxes as charitable contributions?

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 9:14 pm

            Saying my retirement pays the rent is financial disclosure to you? LOL!

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 9:56 pm

            You have shared various aspects of your finances, including the less than substantial income you make from your writing and “author services” activity as well as your retirement. That’s disclosing a lot of things (why you felt the need to do so is your issue).

        • Rob Baker May 4, 2015 / 10:16 am

          but I am not privy to all VaFlagger information.

          Interesting, you address Jimmy claiming he doesn’t know “everything” that transpires in the VAFlagger organization establishing yourself as an authority. Then you come back and say that you don’t know everything.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 6, 2015 / 12:26 am

            She’s played this game before. Meanwhile the Virginia Flaggers embrace her posts. Guess they don’t mind being associated with an admitted bigot. I wonder why. Let’s ask Matthew Heimbach.

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 2:17 am

            It was ludicrous of Jimmy Dick to say no one paid attention to the VaFlaggers when his post demonstrates that HE certainly does. Of course, what it also demonstrates is that he distorts what he sees. Saying that he doesn’t know what the Flaggers themselves know isn’t establishing myself as an authority. I just know more about them than he does.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 9:22 am

            Observing and commenting on the Virginia Flaggers is not the same as taking them seriously. You are the one who claims they are the most important Confederate heritage organization, so you take them seriously.

            I believe that the best way to discredit Confederate heritage is to endorse your assessment. I also believe that the best way to document the erosion of Confederate heritage is to repeat your statement, and suggest that you must know what you are talking about. Certainly you would not assist people you viewed as failures or as a disgrace to the movement.

          • Rob Baker May 7, 2015 / 9:28 am

            Yes, Heaven forbid if generalizations are not taken as generalizations (He says sarcastically).

        • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 11:45 pm

          This all started with you false statement, “And you claim to write for a living.” I’ve never claimed that. I may have joked about it on a writers’ group, but I haven’t CLAIMED it as factual.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 11:51 pm

            Bye bye, Connie. It’s nearly 3 AM where you are. Get some sleep.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 8, 2015 / 11:00 am

            So do vampires. Time to put out a call for …

      • Connie Chastain May 4, 2015 / 5:37 am

        XRoads reminds me of those crazy, right-wing conspiracy blogs — you know, the ones about FEMA camps and Jade Helm and Obamacare microchipping…. Links to such blogs get posted to Facebook from time to time, usually accompanied by hysterical comments. A quick visit to the blog usually shows there is no objective, third-party, independently verifiable sources for their claims; and frequently, these blogs cite their own earlier posts (which also cite no objective, third-party, independently verifiable sources) as “proof.”

        You do that a lot, and you’ve done it here. If I may point out … what the, ah, “demonstrating” post demonstrates is how you (1) cite your blog as proof of your blog and (2) distort things.

        • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 9:38 am

          You seem to be very familiar with “crazy, right-wing conspiracy blogs.” I wonder why.

          Meanwhile, once more, you’ve failed to prove me wrong on a number of matters. Moreover, since you claim that you really aren’t privy to what the Virginia Flaggers say, do, and think, what you say really doesn’t matter very much. By your own admission, you are not in a position to defend them in a capable, knowledgeable fashion, because you admit you don’t really know what you are talking about. That explains why your blog is just a series of denigrating rants …. what some call a “crazy, right-wing conspiracy blog.”

        • Eek-A-Mouse May 4, 2015 / 10:41 am

          This comment is just too rich. How can she have such a complete lack of self-awareness.
          My favorite all time is still: ‘I’m not the flagger web master, I just do all the things a webmaster does for them. ‘

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 11:14 am

            See this is what people don’t understand. Connie Chastain amuses me. That’s her primary role in my life: cheap entertainment. Her claptrap about hate is all about her. She isn’t important enough to hate.

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 2:37 am

            Well, Mouse, I don’t do ALL the things a webmaster does for them. I simply post the content they email me. Maybe the confusion can be explained by my concept of “web master.” I don’t consider merely uploading someone else’s content to their blog as web mastering because, to me, that means designing the web pages, working with html, creating and testing the links between the pages, finding & acquiring stock images, creating the graphics, doing extras like slide shows and editing video. What I do at my author website is what I consider to be webmastering.

            I also created and maintain my sister’s website. It’s very simple, but it involves more than just uploading text like a blog.

            Since my blogs Backsass, Old Florida Meets MCM and Connie Chastain Author involve more than uploading content I receive in email, they do require some minor web mastering, but not a lot. And the VaFlaggers’ blog requires even less. This is not trying to distance myself from them. It’s just a matter of not taking credit for something I don’t do. I’m certainly not trying to hide it. My name is on every post I upload.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 9:18 am

            Do you also write your sister’s reviews of your books? Or does she write them on her own?

            Maybe it’s the Virginia Flaggers who are trying to distance themselves from you. Oh, they circulate your attack posts every once in a while, but that’s because Susan Hathaway and company lack the integrity, courage, and intelligence to take on their critics directly, so they have to settle for what you say. After all, you tried to distance the Flaggers from Matthew Heimbach, but it was Tripp Lewis who said Heimbach was a good guy, and they are all Facebook buddies. They don’t distance themselves from him. One wonders why they are so silent on the other positions you advocate. Those are questions only they can answer … but they’re too skeered to do so.

            No one forced Susan to publish with white supremacists or to pose with white supremacists. She certainly has not distanced herself from those acts. She’s just too skeered to speak for herself.

          • Eek-A-Mouse May 7, 2015 / 10:43 am

            Look at you using a subjective definition! You go, gurl! Well, that old standby states that webmaster means: “noun 1. a person who designs or maintains a website.” OR maintains. I’m not looking up “maintain.” You are a webmaster. also has a definition for webmistress if you want to try that on and see how it feels.
            When will flaggers learn to upload the content? Do you read their emails to them over the phone?

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 11:03 am

            Chastain uses the dictionary all the time. What goes around comes around, I guess.

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 8:26 pm

            Eekamouse, I still don’t think of uploading a file to a blog as webmastering because I don’t think of a blog as a website. But your mileage may vary.

      • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 8:05 pm

        Well, I have no suspicions re: the VaFlaggers. From the contact and communications I’ve had with them, I’m confident of their integrity. Unlike you, I’m not interested in smearing, harassing, persecuting them and drumming up animosity for them in people who don’t even know them.

        I didn’t bring up fraud. You implied it. You went back and covered your implication, but you initially implied it.

        • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 10:09 pm

          We here understand the worth of your word. The fact remains that as you admit you are not kept fully informed, it is left to the Virginia Flaggers to defend themselves … or to choose to remain silent. That’s their choice, and they can deal with the consequences. You presume to know my motivations: by the same logic, I know that you protect bigots and racists because you embrace their beliefs, and you hate anyone who doesn’t share your hatred of others. In short, two can play at that game.

          You brought up fraud. I never implied it. Clearly your reading comprehension suffers, which may contribute to your subpar prose stylings. Now that you mentioned the word fraud, we can move ahead and ask people to follow the money. Thanks for making the suggestion that fraud might exist in Flagger fundraising operations and legal defense funds.

          • Eek-A-Mouse May 8, 2015 / 7:00 am

            Follow the money indeed. When flaggers “ask” Tripps Tredegar Droneworks to film a pole raising is that in a professional capacity or just a boy and his toys? Who pays for Grayson’s construction equipment and employees (pictures on Facebook) to spend their time planting flagpoles? What a racket!

    • Jimmy Dick May 3, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      Yah yah yah. Donations that are used to put up symbols of ignorance, tyranny, and oppression with absolutely nothing to explain them. Advice? From you? That’s a laugh.

      Let’s see those protests and boycotts accomplish something. So far they have accomplished nothing. Who are the flaggers? The same people over and over again who don’t know history, wave flags, look stupid, and get laughed at by thousands of people.

      You can keep your correspondence because it is as useless as the flaggers and their flags. Actions speak for themselves and the actions of the flaggers have accomplished nothing. In the process your group supplied no facts to anyone. If you have, then show them. No one has seen facts from you, just the continued lies as you try to support the lost cause myth.

      • Brooks D. Simpson May 3, 2015 / 4:09 pm

        “And the increasing donations, increasing offers of land for flags, increasing requests for advice on putting up flags coming from other states, give just a tiny glimpse of their accomplishments.”

        This should read:

        “And the increasing donations, increasing offers of land for flags, increasing requests for advice on putting up flags coming from other states, give just a glimpse of their tiny accomplishments.”

        • Connie Chastain May 3, 2015 / 11:40 pm

          It looks tiny to you because, as an extreme outsider and critic like Mr. Dick, you are on the outside looking in, and there is much you cannot see from that vantage point, very, very much you don’t know about. It’s also likely because you have your binoculars turned backward on purpose, to create the illusion of distance and smallness. Of course, if you just want to foist that kind of illusion off on yourself, who am I to object?

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 12:57 am

            You just keep telling yourself that. The Virginia Flaggers have always kept their achievements a secret. That’s why no one knows about them.

          • Jimmy Dick May 4, 2015 / 11:15 am

            Meanwhile, I was busy teaching Civil War History today using primary sources. While you whine a lot and fly a flag I was busy using facts. The confederacy succeeded over slavery, fought a war over slavery, lost because of several reasons with one of them being slavery, and ended up becoming a backwards section of the country because they couldn’t handle racial equality.

            So that’s a whole class of students who know truth. I even pointed out antics of the lost cause people like you and they laughed. Enjoy that? You’re the butt of jokes because of your actions. Until you stop believing in a myth you always will.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 11:20 am

            You’re wrong. The Confederacy “succeeded over slavery”? Seems to me that was a massive fail. 🙂

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 9:02 pm

            Mr. Dick, it’s going to be very enjoyable to clear the heads of your indoctrinated students when t hey become adults.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 10:11 pm

            I gather you propose to do that by promising to write more novels and turning out more dust jackets.

      • Brooks D. Simpson May 3, 2015 / 4:16 pm

        It’s tough for the Flaggers to propose a boycott they openly fail to observe. So much for the worth of their word. Note they have yet to sue the VMFA. Guess why? Tripp needs the $ for his drone, and Susan needs new clothes for her speaking.

        • Connie Chastain May 4, 2015 / 5:40 am

          From what I know of it, “they” didn’t fail to observe the boycott. One guy is not “they.” Besides, nobody seems upset about it but you because most people understand it’s not that big a deal. In heritage circles, your carping about this has made you a knee-slapping joke.

          Besides, the subject of the “worth of their word” would better be brought up by somebody who has not violated his own recent word that he would post on Confederate heritage only once weekly and who has not claimed to not take the VaFlaggers seriously — but who has posted blog entries or comments about them 250+ times, many of those posts containing accusations of a very serious nature, and others constituting distortions, lies, harassment and persecution….

          Can you provide proof that Virginia Flagger funds have paid for Tripp’s drones, or anything connect with them, and clothing for Susan?

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 9:33 am

            I have already highlighted the fact that all of the Flaggers went for ice cream in downtown Lexington by their own admission. For someone who claims to “monitor” this blog, you seem determined to overlook that. Are you incompetent or simply covering up for Susan and her friends?

            Read my post on what I would post about and why carefully. Again, are you incompetent or simply a liar determined to misrepresent? Perhaps the best way for me to observe your interpretation is to cut off your comments, which prolong these discussions … but your responses offer an excellent opportunity to show how many of Confederate heritage’s wounds are self-inflicted.

            Accusations of a very serious nature? Prove me wrong. Better yet, since you can’t make up your mind whether you are a Virginia Flagger or whether you do their “heavy hitting,” let them prove me wrong. Prove me wrong about why Susan Hathaway no longer flags the VMFA. Prove me wrong about Matthew Heimbach. Prove me wrong about Tripp’s failure to act on his claims of suing people. Prove me wrong about the failure of the group to take legal action against the VMFA. Prove me wrong about their own violation of their Lexington boycott. Note they are too skeered to respond, which is why they use you. It’s part of the circus known as the Virginia Flaggers.

            In short, you want to talk about the worth of their word? Prove me wrong. Now. No more endless mindlessness from you. You want your comments to appear here? Prove me wrong.

            I’m simply pointing out where members of the Virginia Flaggers invest their money. As for the source of that money, you know better than I where it came from. But we’ve never had an accounting of funds, have we? We don’t know where the funds for Tripp’s legal defense went, do we? Now … either you know, or you don’t. If you don’t know, you are in no better place than anyone else to make a claim as to who’s funding what. If you do know, you seem reluctant to tell us, and we have a pretty good idea why.

            Again, I’ve asked specific questions. You can either respond to them or not … but if you don’t, then take your show elsewhere. It won’t be playing here.

          • Connie Chastain May 4, 2015 / 4:30 pm

            Can you provide proof that Virginia Flagger funds have paid for Tripp’s drones, or anything connect with them, and clothing for Susan?

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 7:37 pm

            Asked and answered. Can you prove that the Flaggers have handled funds properly? Otherwise, your guess is as good as mine.

            Remember that when you rant that I’ve made an accusation that I have done no such thing … and perhaps you should hire a lawyer. After all, this is what I said:

            “Note they have yet to sue the VMFA. Guess why? Tripp needs the $ for his drone, and Susan needs new clothes for her speaking.” This simply means that members of the Virginia Flaggers are not willing to put their money where their mouth is. That you are thinking of financial fraud from fundraising is curious. Perhaps you know something after all, and have unwittingly revealed it. Guess the only way to clear up the issues you have raised is to have a public accounting of funds raised and expenditures. Why not … if they have nothing to hide.

            Remember, you brought up this issue of fraud. Not very bright, if you ask me.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 6, 2015 / 12:28 am

            Note Chastain’s complete silence when it comes to answering direct questions. She’s skeered.

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 3:01 am

            “Prove me wrong about why Susan Hathaway no longer flags the VMFA. Prove me wrong about Matthew Heimbach. Prove me wrong about Tripp’s failure to act on his claims of suing people. Prove me wrong about the failure of the group to take legal action…”

            Sure. Just as soon as you tell me why it’s any of your business.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 9:12 am

            It’s everyone’s business, because the Virginia Flaggers have asked people for money without telling them how they spend it, while leaving the impression that the money is spent to promote Confederate heritage. How? What money was raised for Tripp Lewis’s defense fund, and how was it spent. Was there a surplus that was then expended elsewhere?

            The fact that you don’t want to answer these questions and that the Virginia Flaggers are less than transparent about what they do with the money they raise presents questions. However, as you claim you’re not really a Virginia Flagger and that you really don’t know what they think or do, you can’t be treated as an authoritative source.

            You can, however, attempt to prove me wrong about the issues listed. I’ve answered your question. It’s time for you to start answering questions. You continue to duck and evade, so people are free to conclude that you’re skeered, and that you’re hiding something. Maybe you realize that you can’t defend what they do. Maybe you’re tired of taking hits for Hathaway … because we know she’s too skeered to be honest. Otherwise she would have answered these questions a long time ago.

          • Connie Chastain May 8, 2015 / 12:18 am

            “Remember, you brought up this issue of fraud. Not very bright, if you ask me.”

            Ah, no. YOU did, by implication. Let’s go through it again.

            You said, “Note they have yet to sue the VMFA. Guess why? Tripp needs the $ for his drone, and Susan needs new clothes for her speaking.”

            This suggests that they would use their personal income — $ — to sue the VMFA (instead of organization funds). Really? Did you seriously think (or at least mean to suggest) they couldn’t sue the VMFA because they were spending their personal income on drones and clothes?

            Because nobody would take such a claim seriously. The notion that they would spend personal income on a lawsuit by the organization, instead of organization funds, is ludicrous. Therefore, I did not take it seriously, so what it meant to me was that you were implying they were spending organizational funds on personal expenses.

            Your mentioning it in the same comment where you question their integrity (i.e., “…. the worth of their word”) suggests misuse of organizational funds, since there is absolutely nothing illegal or immoral about spending one’s personal money on personal expenses.

            So I called you on it.

            And then you come back with: “This simply means that members of the Virginia Flaggers are not willing to put their money where their mouth is.”

            Utter ludicrousness. I may not know everything that goes on with them, but I know they put their own money, time, effort, work, prayers and more where their mouth is.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 8, 2015 / 11:10 am

            Good try. Just not good enough. The Virginia Flaggers and other Confederate heritage apologists … including you … simply won’t put your money where your mouth is.

            Nor will you commence a fundraising effort to take legal action against the VMFA. Surely if you believe in the rightness of your cause, you would.

            The Virginia Flaggers and Tripp Lewis’s Defense fund have never offered a public accounting of funds. Moreover, Tripp pledged to commence legal actions, yet we’ve seen no such action. Why is that?

            You mentioned the word fraud. Now you seem skeered to pursue the issue. Given your previous confessions of ignorance about the business of the Virginia Flaggers (hey, did YOU ever contribute to Tripp’s defense fund?), excuse us if we choose not to take you at what you call your “word.” Donors are entitled to know how their funds were expended, and you might reflect on the various implications of charitable contributions. After all, H. K. Edgerton allegedly engages in what some have found to be fraudulent financial practices, so this wouldn’t be the first time people have raised these issues about Confederate heritage apologists.

            But thanks for reminding us that you jump to unwarranted conclusions that reflect your preexisting prejudices. In this case, I thought you might tripp (pun intended), and you did.

            You many now return to your blog. You are done here. Thanks for playing, and take care.

    • C. Meyer May 3, 2015 / 6:02 pm


      It is not that hard to put a flag up as you have shown…hell even a person in my town in Illinois can raise a flag…

      But the VF’s have failed to achieve any of their stated goals when the wider public is involved.

      • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 9:20 am

        When Confederate heritage is reduced to simply putting up flags as acts of defiance and expressions of irritation, Confederate heritage is in trouble.

        • C. Meyer May 4, 2015 / 5:10 pm

          The flaggers have not succeeded in one of their stated goals. Flag raisings are not the goals of the Virginia Flaggers. What they are doing is tantamount to extortion…when a city or museum does not do as they say, they bully them by raising a flag.

          What Connie and the flaggers are celebrating is not Southern Pride but utter failure.

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 10:36 pm

            Look, let’s say the VMFA gave in to the Flaggers’ demands tomorrow. Would they then take down the flags they have raised around Richmond? I think not. Let them raise their flags. Let Virginians wrestle with the consequences.

          • Eek-A-Mouse May 6, 2015 / 12:16 pm

            I think the fifth or sixth most offensive things about the flaggers is that they are just SO BAD at “activism.” And they are not learning. Connie is carping that they are on the short end of a long learning curve, but it’s like they liked westboro baptist church’s moxie and didn’t bother to read up on any successful campaigns. If Susan is still pulling the strings it’s a shame, because she is proving to be less than the Able organizer. Also Connie’s late attempt to cast flaggers as activists for “political and social change” is a hoot. Maybe why they struggle is that Flaggers are just a bitter rearguard action lamenting an antiquated and bigoted worldview. Tools of activists just don’t work for reactionary posturing.

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 3:05 am

            Eekamouse, the VaFlaggers probably will never be as effective as leftist at activism because they would never stoop to Alinsky methods.

          • C. Meyer May 7, 2015 / 9:08 am

            Right Connie, they only protest alongside known and avowed racists like Matt Heimbach, Kirk Lyons, Michael Cushman and Shane Long.

          • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 9:13 pm

            Corey: Heimbach, Cushman and Long don’t use Alinsky methods, either, so far as I can determine by their protest reports. The number of times they’ve demonstrated where the VaFlaggers were also demonstrating is vanishingly small, and in any case, it doesn’t mean the VaFlaggers agree with them on anything but Confederate heritage preservation. There is absolutely nothing to indicate otherwise.

            Kirk Lyons accounted for and explained things in his past and I am satisfied enough with his explanation to believe he is no longer a racist. (Also, even before his account, I suspected that a lot of the crap online about him was fabricated and embellished and I disregarded it.)

          • Brooks D. Simpson May 7, 2015 / 9:59 pm

            However, as you’ve admitted, you aren’t fully informed about such matters. We note the continued silence from the Virginia Flaggers. However, we note that you are familiar with the “protest reports” of white supremacists.

            We thank you for sharing your opinion, and we will give it the respect that it is due.

        • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 3:02 am

          But that’s not what it’s reduced to. I understand why you’d want to see it that way, but you’re mistaken.

  3. bob carey May 4, 2015 / 5:32 am

    I am new to your blog and I want to catch up. What is Confederate Heritage and what is the legacy that it leaves us? Perhaps Connie Chastain can answer this.

    • Brooks D. Simpson May 4, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Perhaps. I thought it was revealing that her own activism on this matter was limited to a debate over a flag in Pensacola. You would think someone truly committed to preserving Confederate heritage would go beyond that.

    • Connie Chastain May 5, 2015 / 2:43 am

      I can answer it for myself, Mr. Carey. I would suggest you not rely on Mr. Simpson for any information whatever about me.

      • Brooks D. Simpson May 5, 2015 / 3:36 pm

        Note she fails to answer it. Indeed, she’s retreating to her own blog to rant away anew … because she really doesn’t want to answer my questions here.

    • Connie Chastain May 7, 2015 / 3:25 am

      Mr. Carey, heritage is an inheritance. I could not begin to define what our Confederate ancestors handed down to us. There are the material things — military artifacts, cannons, ships, uniforms, weapons, flags… there are records, letters, newspapers, books, and other written documents; there are drawn, painted and photographed images of themselves, their places, their battles…. also their tombstones and grave markers… and their blood and DNA. Heritage is also non-material — the example they set, the courage in the face of overwhelming odds, endurance through unbelievable suffering and hardship; belief in their cause (not slavery); the refusal to grovel in defeat (which is what the victor wanted). As I said, this doesn’t even begin to cover it all… but you asked.

  4. Jimmy Dick May 4, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Seceded! LOL! I was eating chili trying to make up for time spent working on a project with my geography class. I was distracted by the good rich flavor.

    Secession/succession is always a fun thing to point out.

  5. Spelunker May 5, 2015 / 6:00 am

    I’d love to know how much money the Flaggers have diverted into Kyle Rogers grubby little hands with his flag company.

  6. Jimmy Dick May 8, 2015 / 7:58 am

    Connie, you can’t clear a head if you don’t know how to do it. That is what is known as teaching. See, there is this thing called pedagogy. Those of us who know how to use it within a framework can select from a variety of models to construct classrooms where we deliver content within an organized format. In doing so we educate people and supply them with the means to advance their minds to employ critical thinking methods.

    At that point we’ve surpassed anything you are capable of so you cannot clear their minds. Saying something accomplishes nothing. You have to be able to back it up with facts. You and the heritage crew fail to do that every time. Using facts to build historical interpretations is the first lesson in my classroom. So I teach them how to sort your lies from the facts. They think you and the heritage crew are hilarious. You are more like entertainment to them.

    • Billy Flaghead May 8, 2015 / 9:35 am

      Our plan is to talk louder than you and make silly pictures on the internet. That’s what gets results. Meme-o Vindice.

  7. Spelunker May 18, 2015 / 5:52 pm

    I think a proper accounting of these funds is desperately needed! Anyone know how Trippy fared in his legal challenge? That’s a lot of cash. I bet they were able to buy a lot of hot dogs and ice cream with all that dosh.

    Va Flagger: TriPp Lewis Legal Defense Update 3-10-13


    We are thrilled to report that thanks to MANY generous donations, we were able to quickly raise enough money to write a check to the attorney for the retainer and allow preparation to begin for his defense in the criminal proceedings.

    On March 21st, Mr. Lewis will appear before a judge in Richmond to inform the court of his choice of legal counsel. At that time, a trial date will be set.

    In the meantime, attorneys have also been engaged to begin research and preparation for pursuing the Civil issues involved in the arrest, and TriPp has returned to his vigil, standing with the Va Flaggers. Our numbers and support continue to grow, and news of this gross injustice has had quite the opposite effect of what the VMFA might have hoped, as more and more Patriots are joining in our efforts

    We hope to have more news to report after the March 21 court appearance, including the trial date, so that we can invite all to come and show support for TriPp in court.

    The following is a list of those who have so generously donated to the TriPp Lewis Legal Defense Fund. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring and will never be able to adequately express our appreciation and thanks for your generosity.

    God bless you, each and every one!

    $250 Donors

    Alabama Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
    Edmund Ruffin Fire Eaters Camp #3000, Mechanicsville, VA
    J. Rudd, Chattahoochee, FL

    $125 Donors

    Judah P. Benjamin Camp #2210, SCV, Tampa, FL
    Powhatan Troop Camp #1382, Powhatan, VA

    $100 Donors

    G. Jennings, Mechanicsville, VA
    G. Wittstadt, Elkton, MD
    T. Fyock, Cape Coral, FL
    M. Sipes, MD Trimble Camp #1836, SCV, Hanover, PA
    G. Burnett, South Boston, VA
    D. Coleman, Winston, GA
    H. Merridew, Richmond, VA
    Anonymous, Richmond, VA
    J. Taylor, Richmond, VA
    B. Isenhour, Richmond, VA
    Herrera Family, Arsenal Camp #168, SCV, Fayetteville, NC
    Dillard Judd Camp #1828 SCV, Cookeville, TN
    William Henry Harris, Camp #1395, SCV, Hollywood, FL
    4th Virginia Cavalry, Gordonsville, VA
    D. Cross, Richmond, VA
    D. Baker, Richmond, VA
    J. Austin, Charlotte, NC
    Anonymous, from the State of Georgia
    P. Dore’, UK
    G. Green, Timberon, NM
    K. Cooper, Richmond, VA
    T. Rundles, Benton, KY
    W. Whatley, Sylacauga, AL
    S. Edmondson, Prince George, VA
    W. Sirakos, San Antonio, TX
    B. Leathers, Lakeland, FL
    J. Fleming, Florissant, MO
    C. Troutman, Richmond, VA

    $75 Donor

    W. Law, Powhatan, VA

    $50 and Under

    A Hartwell, Chesapeake Beach, MD
    D. Ware, Yorktown, VA
    Kevin Shiflet, Ellettsville, IN
    E. Williams, Leroy, AL
    N. Fowler, Southport, FL
    E. Ellis, Richmond, VA
    S. Brown, Edisto Island, SC
    R. Moss, Richmond, VA
    T. Morris, Crewe, VA
    D. Duncan, Murray, KY
    W. Jervey, Powhatan, VA
    R. S. Foster, Saxe, VA
    J. Perkins, Mechanicsville, VA
    D. Blankenshp, Bucyrus, OH
    P. Miller, Salisbury, NC
    W. Brown, Sandston, VA
    J. Guill, Nashville, TN
    E. Kennedy, New Market, AL
    C. Bowling, Dunlap, TN
    C. McMichael, Shreveport, LA
    E. Inman, Martinsville, VA
    P. Williams, Spanish Fort, AL
    R. Harris, Summerdale, AL
    F. Wilhite, Calhoun, KY
    B. Huffman, Muncie, IN
    R. Major, Richmond VA
    P. Houser, Chesterfield, VA
    W. Ford, Hawkinsville, GA
    A. Lubkans, Herndon, VA
    K. Wilde, Trimble, MO
    R. Farmer, Inland Empire Camp #1742, SCV Mech Cav 2st BN, Co C, 3rd Pit #1674, Victorville, CA
    M. Wilson, Mechanicsville, VA
    S. Cockrell, Kansas City, MO
    R. Ammons, Columbia, SC
    JC Cranfill, Lakeland, FL
    B. Gilmmore, Wilmauma, FL
    Anonymous, Benton, KY
    H. Russ, Jacksonville, FL
    J. Martin, 1st Lt. Cmdr Camp #1860, Blue Ridge Rifles, Dahlonega, GA
    Anonymous, Kerrville, TX
    B Wilkins, Bellhaven, NC
    EJ Ward, Ft. Smith, AR
    A Lewis, St. Louis, MO
    D. Oliver, Richmond, VA
    I. Judy, Arthur, WV
    V. Busby, Summerville, SC
    Anonymous, Metairie, LA
    C. Carlson, Allendale, SC
    R. Hale, St. Louis, MO
    T. Hobbs, Titus, AL
    H. Fleming, Springville, UT
    Tennessee Flaggers, Elizabethton, TN
    J. Ogburne, Athens, TX
    A Myers, Damascus, MD
    M. Gordon, Benton, KY

    Tripp Lewis Legal Defense Fund
    P.O.Box 7938
    Richmond,Virginia 23223

    or PayPal:

    Grayson Jennings
    Va Flaggers — with Thomas Strain Jr, Jimmy Creech, Tim Hobbes and 19 others.

    • Spelunker May 18, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      Correct me if I miscounted, but that’s $6,675? Wowza!

      • Andy Hall May 19, 2015 / 8:38 am

        I had seen something a long while back that Lewis had raised over $6K for this effort, so your estimate is probably in the ballpark.

        Neither Lewis nor the Flaggers are obligated to reveal that information publicly, but given that they continued to solicit funds “to challenge the arbitrary and ever-changing restrictions placed on the Flaggers by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and allow a court of law to decide the constitutionality of restricting the display of a Confederate Flag on Virginia State Property, specifically designated as ‘Confederate Memorial Park,’ ” I do imagine that there are a lot of folks wondering where their money went.

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