Spinning Spelling and Heritage: Flaggers Flailing and Failing Again

As you might expect, yesterday’s airplane-borne message from the Virginia Flaggers–“Confederate Heros Matter”–got a lot of attention … although not quite for the reasons the Flaggers doubtless sought. A good number of online sources, including several Richmond media outlets (see here and here) as well as other websites (see here), let everyone know exactly what was being flown.

Even a cartoonist got into the act:
VF cartoonist

Susan Hathaway offered her take on the event:

So did the Flaggers’ FB page:

VF Spin 092015

As you can see, this really had nothing to do with honoring Confederate soldiers or heritage. Nor would I confuse explosions of laughter with heads exploding, but perhaps the Flaggers can’t tell the difference.

Oh, by the way … protesting in Richmond for four years without incident? Really?

I guess the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is no longer in Richmond.

Flagger photographer Judy Smith photoshopped the missing “e” in an effort to save face, perhaps because one report had her photographing the misspelled banner before the pilot took off:

VF Smith photoshop typo

I guess she forgot to Photoshop this:

VF Letters OneOops.

The Flaggers’ webmaster and erstwhile spokesperson decided to battle it out in the comments section of this blog before commencing another characteristically charming rant on her own blog, declaring that to report on this story was “proof positive” that I hate the Virginia Flaggers.

Sure. Apparently so do a lot of other people, judging from the widespread laughter. What a way for the Virginia Flaggers to mark the approach of their fourth anniversary gathering.

Someone in Florida doesn’t have a sensahuma … and that is fun-hun-hun-nee! 🙂

The Virginia Flaggers wanted publicity. They got it on CNN in a report on Lilly Baumann, when the Flaggers refused to help locate a missing child. They now have it again. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Mission accomplished.


26 thoughts on “Spinning Spelling and Heritage: Flaggers Flailing and Failing Again

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 20, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      Yup. Caught in another Flagger lie.

      Note: Chastain bleated: “Nope. It’s all right there in black and white, unless you’ve hacked WordPress and doctored my post.”

      Paranoid, Chastain? See folks, this will be her newest excuse: “I didn’t write that. That hater Simpson hacked my blog and doctored my post!”

      Talk about living rent-free in that empty room between your ears, Chastain … 🙂

  1. OhioGuy September 20, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    Can someone confirm (or correct) my memory that several years ago when a statue of Lincoln was unveiled in Richmond some Confederate Heritage group flew a plane overhead with a banner that implied that they didn’t want to remember Lincoln’s famous visit to Richmond after it had been liberated from the Confederate control.

      • OhioGuy September 20, 2015 / 9:22 pm

        Thanks for the link, MT. I’m actually a little sorry — and sad — that my memory proved correct in this instance. This quote from the article, though, is a little worse than what I remembered: “A small plane pulling a red ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ (Thus Always to Tyrants) banner flew over the stage as [Lt. Governor Timothy] Kaine spoke [at the statue dedication].” Could the meaning be any clearer if they had just said, “Thanks, J.W. Booth, job well done”? That Booth had such racist passions in 1865 is bad enough, but that anyone today would see him as a hero rather than a misguided evildoer is truly sick. I know a lot of southerners and i don’t know any who would not be totally ashamed of the message on this banner.

        • Rosieo September 21, 2015 / 3:07 pm

          I was shocked to run into John Booth lovers on a forum susposedly dedicated to honoring Pres. Lincoln. I would have been shocked to find any anywhere, but at a Lincoln site it was especially sad.
          I wrote the bit I’m including below if Brooks gives the okay because I had to put facts out there somewhere… This was about two months ago.. I didnt know then about the airplane banner at the Lincoln/Tad statue dedication. … Makes me mad.

          They say John Booth was fun.

          Well, except for the rage, narcissism, intractability, and drunkenness, he was fun. Did I mention political naiveté (aka stupidity)?

          There are people out there, right now, alive today, who love John Wilkes Booth. They wax poetical about him on the Internet.

          They say John Booth and his league of conspirators were NOT criminals. No. These people were “political zealots” – sort of independent-contractors, plain-clothes soldiers. (Loose cannons? — no no no.)

          John Booth, 26, had a great body. Muscles. Vigor. Hair, dark and thick and wavy. Dreamy eyes. At death, John Booth presented one bedraggled but freakin’ gorgeous corpse.

          And everybody liked him – even no-nonsense historians agree on this point.

          Toward the end, John Booth’s behavior often seemed strange. He quit the theatre, drank a lot, and was morose. Still, one made excuses for him. It was, after all, wartime and John Booth’s side was going down.


          Family, friends, and theatrical stage fans were shocked when John Booth upped and killed President Lincoln. Next, they heard he, himself, was killed. Amazing!

          One may surmise this was the end of news from John Booth.

          But, actually, no.

          The U.S. and Lincoln family aside, John Booth’s crime was very bad for his own family, friends, and co-workers.

          They never say anyone was angry with John Booth. They say everyone grieved.

          Sure. Loved ones regretted John Booth’s death —– because they wanted to wring his neck themselves! Well, maybe not his Mom.

          What did his people get for love and friendship of John Booth?

          Here’s a list. Several got to double dip.
          ##Arrest. Imprisonment. Interrogation.
          ##Repeated arrest, imprisonment, interrogation.
          ##Fear of arrest, imprisonment, interrogation, and of being hanged.
          ##Being hanged.
          ##Years of imprisonment.
          ##Job loss.
          ##Financial hardship and/or catastrophe.
          ##Shame. Indignity.
          ##Questions without answers.
          ##Questions. Questions.
          ##Never-healed marital strife for a sister and outraged brother-in-law.
          ##Post traumatic stress.


          What manner of man wrought all this?


          John Booth had a fiancée and supposedly a favorite prostitute. For sure he had pics of five women in his pocket when he killed the President. One was of the fiancée, Lucy. Don’t know about the prostitute.

          Whatever. President Lincoln’s murder prevented the marriage and this was the only good thing that came from the awful thing.

          Lucy lucked out.

          (Historical research sources available upon request)
          originally posted at https://voicesofthevalleys.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/john-wilkes-booth/

          • OhioGuy September 21, 2015 / 10:04 pm

            Thanks for the little essay. All very true and sad.

      • Andy Hall September 20, 2015 / 9:36 pm

        Yeah, that one upset the SCV so much that they commissioned one of Jefferson Davis with one of his sons and James Henry Brooks (aka, “Jim Limber”) and demanded it be placed there, too. It eventually ended up at Beauvoir in Biloxi.

  2. fundrums September 21, 2015 / 7:00 am

    Every single time they find a way to embarrass themselves. There’s no getting around this one. Regardless if is their fault or not someone should have approved the sign. Its called quality assurance. If something like this was so important they should not have left anything to chance. I actually feel sorry for them this time. – Michael

  3. Eek-A-Mouse September 21, 2015 / 5:56 pm

    Now they (a group that worships a failed republic built around slavery) are joking publicly about a “lashing” for someone they say messed up. On the surface the comment seems in jest, but c’mon…The flaggers’ complete ineptitude at activism, or even basic public relations, is getting to be nearly as offensive as the rest of their schtick. For some reason they think they are good at this?


    • Andy Hall September 22, 2015 / 11:00 am

      The flaggers’ complete ineptitude at activism, or even basic public relations, is getting to be nearly as offensive as the rest of their schtick. For some reason they think they are good at this?

      The Virginia Flaggers effectively abandoned all pretense at trying to persuade the public on the merits when they started putting up used-car-lot-style flags on the highway a couple of years ago. As I wrote then:

      This is not about education or encouraging a dialogue about history; it is not about what Susan Hathaway once referred to as “civil discourse and education.” In this project, the Flaggers have tossed aside such high-minded goals in favor of simply marking their territory, as surely as a dog pissing on the curb. Of all the historic flags associated with the Confederacy and Virginia (e.g., that of the Commonwealth, or the First National), the Virginia Flaggers have chosen the one they know to carry the most ugly historical baggage, the one irrevocably associated over the last three generations with segregation, bigotry, and white nationalism.

      So yeah — for these folks, offensive or outrageous rhetoric is not only not a problem, it’s actively encouraged and rewarded.

  4. Billy Bearden September 22, 2015 / 3:59 am
    • OhioGuy September 22, 2015 / 9:58 am

      Do you understand the difference between spelling, syntax and grammar? The flagger error was spelling; this billboard error was syntax. In fact, the syntactical error in the ASU billboard is not universally agreed upon as wrong. The misspelling of the word in your banner has no such ambiguity. It’s simply consider wrong by all competent authorities.

      • Brooks D. Simpson September 22, 2015 / 10:22 am

        That’s okay. Gave us all a chance to refresh our memories on what Billy Bearden believes (recall Chastain defended him, too, which gives you a glimpse into her mind, heart, and soul).

        • OhioGuy September 22, 2015 / 12:34 pm

          My comment was directed to, Billy, not to you, Brooks.

  5. M. E. Martin September 22, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    Susie’s indignation is rich: “We’ve come to a point where we are no longer willing to sit quietly by to allow folks to attack our heritage and our history to further their agenda.” Simple google research reveals that in order to further her agenda these past several years, it has been perfectly fine for her and her minions to LOUDLY harass, misrepresent, lie about, wage online war against, AND belittle the heritage and history of anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their point of view or cave to their ugly tactics to mount Confed battle flags wherever they demand. Quite a double standard. But with some consistency: the online rants of flaggers arrive regularly with misspelled words and mangled syntax.

  6. bob carey September 22, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Dr. Simpson;
    How many meetings were you or, anyone from the ASU History Department, involved in concerning the billboard? I am going out on a limb here, but I will venture to say none.
    The question being is, how many meetings was Hathaway involved in regarding the Confederate Air Farce? I will venture to say all.

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 22, 2015 / 3:00 pm

      Your guess as to my involvement is correct. Indeed, I never knew of this until Billy Bearden brought this to my attention. Now that I’ve brought his behavior to the attention of the Twitterverse, he’s changed his name on his Twitter account to “S.”

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