St. Paul’s Church: Another Challenge for the Virginia Flaggers?

St. Paul’s Church in Richmond is just a block away from the Virginia State Capitol. It is but a short distance from where Robert E. Lee returned to Richmond after Appomattox and from the Confederate White House, where Jefferson Davis and his family lived.

Students of the Civil War and Reconstruction will recall that the church was the site of two events in 1865 that have made it into the history books. It was while attending St. Paul’s that Davis received word from Lee of the need to evacuate Richmond and Petersburg. Later that year Lee attended services. So did an African American, and someone who claimed to be there reported what happened next:

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In years to come this story would undergo a transformation, to the point that Lee was presented as a tolerant fellow who set an example for welcoming a new worshipper. As Andy Hall has reminded us, the original story was far different.

Now St. Paul’s is in the crosshairs of a new controversy about Confederate heritage.  As Kevin Levin has reported (here and here and here … with useful links to other discussions), the church’s vestry, after much discussion over several months, has decided to remove some of the Confederate iconography present in the church. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, which reported on these deliberations, has also endorsed the church’s decision.

Needless to say, this decision was greeted with controversy. Among those who protested were some familiar names.

In August, one notes among the commenters the following observation:

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Now, in November, guess who appears again?

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As Kevin notes, it remains to be seen whether the Virginia Flaggers will take their objections to the streets … and whether the always outspoken Susan Hathaway will be among them. There’s no evidence that the reasons that deter her from showing up once more at her old stomping groups by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are in play at St. Paul’s. And, as Kevin suggests, this is a heaven-sent opportunity to give the cause of Confederate heritage some much needed publicity.

But the recent track record of the Virginia Flaggers suggests that they are not so committed to their cause as they might once have been. The effort to protest the InLight display at the VMFA fell far short of previous efforts to draw attention to Confederate heritage, and of course Hathaway did not act on her own call to action. This time Hathaway has no excuses not to heed her own advice.

Or perhaps they’ll just put up another flag at Danville and declare victory. After all, Jefferson Davis abandoned Richmond for Danville as well.

Susan Hathaway Tells Us That She Doesn’t Pay Attention

It’s always interesting when someone tells you at great length and in great detail how they aren’t listening to you in a communication that betrays precisely the opposite. It’s even better when they do this time after time after time.

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What … no red?

So it is with Susan Hathaway, the most visible member of the Virginia Flaggers (well, except outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), who took time this week to tell us all once more that she doesn’t listen to what her critics have to say. She pays them no heed and they don’t bother her.

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I am glad to see that Susan can go into so much detail about how she does not pay attention to what is said about her. I only wish she had taken the opportunity to tell her fanbase why she does not feel it is important enough to protest in person at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

We understand that her celebration of white supremacists as members of the Virginia Flaggers, her willingness to be photographed with white nationalists, her refusal to express her unhappiness that antisemitic white nationalists newsletters freely reprint her material, and so on, are not topics that she wants to address. So we can now safely assume that in light of this public statement that these things are acceptable and may even carry her tacit approval. After all, if Susan Hathaway can break her silence to chide her critics, one can assume that she’d break her silence to chide those who misuse their association with her and the Virginia Flaggers.

That is, unless they aren’t misusing it at all.

Note that Hathaway, unlike her sidekick Norwood “Tripp[y]” Lewis, doesn’t threaten to sue people. Perhaps she doesn’t want to be known as “Sue-’em” Hathaway.

But we do wish we had this statement on video. Think of the possibilities. But at least she checked her spelling this time.

So we thank Susan Hathaway for reminding us that she doesn’t mind having her reports reprinted in white supremacist antisemitic newsletters, for example, and that we should draw no adverse conclusions from her willingness to be photographed with white nationalists and to march with such folks. Otherwise, she’d say something, right? She’s just shown us that she’s selective with her silence.

And, of course, we await word as to whether Hathaway and the Flaggers are mad enough yet about the decision of Richmond’s famous St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to reconsider and in some cases to remove Confederate iconography from the church. After all, if you are going to shower Confederate flags all over the place where Jefferson Davis received word of Robert E. Lee’s surrender, you should also shower them all over the place where Davis opened a message from Lee announcing his decision to evacuate Richmond and Petersburg. It’s rather nice of the Flaggers to mark such places of Confederate defeat and humiliation in that fashion–even if it means obtaining sites from suspected racists (not that the Flaggers would have anything to do with such people, right?).

I’m so glad Susan Hathaway was thinking of me this Thanksgiving. She is to Confederate heritage what the Philadelphia Eagles were to football yesterday. While the rest of us gathered with friends to give thanks and enjoy each other’s company, it appears Susan was seething as she passed the stuffing.

As for the illustration accompanying the declarations … nice period dress. 🙂

Note: We are not alone in our appreciation of Susan’s message. Oh … gee … more links to white nationalists/supremacists? Oh my. Time not to pay attention again, Susan.