Tired of the Virginia Flaggers?

You are not alone. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t make fun of them, as this little piece does.

I appreciate the allusion to performance art, although I still prefer seeing the Flaggers and an uunintentionally funny reality show. In either case, however, the act is getting old. Some of the characters have faded into the background (Tripp Lewis, Karen Cooper) or are shells of their former selves (Connie Chastain). No one invites them to community shad bakes anymore (no George Pickett/Fitz Lee flag, I guess). Oh, Susan Hathaway continues to use the group as a vehicle for self-promotion (catch her at Gettysburg on June 10, although you could learn some real history a few miles north that day) and Barry and Grayson do a great job of portraying angry old white men, but, really … it’s time to try something else instead of putting up another flag as if that means anything. That’s so old.

Some people see the Virginia Flaggers as the new face of Confederate heritage, an example of the movement’s future. That’s the same as suggesting that the movement has no future. Good enough.

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Another Opportunity for the Virginia Flaggers

I’m sure many readers of this blog are aware of the dispute in Charlottesville over whether to remove equestrian statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson from their namesake parks in the downtown area.

As someone who lived in Charlottesville for four years, I liked the statues, and frankly I wish they were not being moved (I think there are other ways to place them in context). But I don’t live in Charlottesville, and I think it’s up to the people who do (and not people who live outside Albemarle County) to decide what should be in their public parks.

Few people have noted, BTW, that the same sculptor who planned the Lee statue, Henry M. Shrady, executed the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington, DC. I happen to think that the Grant statue is a superior piece of work, although his Lee is nice enough.

But I digress … because the Charlottesville City Council has decided that the best way to dispose of the statue is to sell it, with the seller responsible for the costs of removal and relocation.

What an opportunity for the Virginia Flaggers.

This well-known Confederate heritage organization needs to do something new and different. No one really cares about their erratic and token presence outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (even Judy Smith seems tired of taking endless pictures of them parading about, one consequences of the emergence of digital photography). And then there are the flags along the interstates and clustered around several smaller cities.  No one cares much about that exercise, either, although the Flaggers suffered a recent setback outside Lexington, when, despite their bluster, a flag came down under pressure from local authorities.

So it’s time for something new, Susan Hathaway. Buy Charlottesville’s Lee (and Jackson, if you can afford it). Make a big fuss. Fly drones over the statues. Have planes pass overhead with banners to remind us of our Confederate “heros.” Do something creative with Tripp Lewis’s defense fund. Buy the statues, have Grayson Jennings rent a trailer, and take those statues to a place where Karen Cooper can appreciate them (if they can first find where Karen Cooper now is). Have Barry Isenhour open a hot dog stand to support the endeavor (make sure he doesn’t eat the product). Give Bobby Lee and Stonewall a new home. Don’t forget Traveller and Little Sorrel.

Restore the honor. Rescue the statues.

Become entertaining again.

 

Research Question: How Reliable is Richard Williams’s Old Virginia Blog?

Had it not been for Kevin Levin, I probably would never have heard of Richard Williams’s Old Virginia Blog, which over the years has become better known for its author’s rants about political correctness (as well as his distain for certain blogs, including this one) than for anything having to do with the study of the American past. During that time Williams has abdicated offering original commentary in favor of presenting his blog as a largely uncritical clipping service of conservative news sources supplimented by his own distinctive prose stylings. Readers of his blog (which will now most assuredly reach double digits) already know of his boasting that proclaim his subjectivity and bias is superior to everyone else’s (Williams believes that one’s political position explains nearly everything about them and how they see the world, although only he really knows what they think), as well as his assumption that people who don’t post about what he thinks they should post about are part of some left-wing (and usually Marxist) conspiracy to upend American values, which he thinks are best reflected through the experiment in Confederate independence.

Or so some might say.

So let’s test this proposition and in the process assess Mr. Williams’s blog by exploring his most recent post, reproduced below:

polston OVB

This is his only post on this news item. For the item to which he links, look here.

So, folks … let’s do a little research, and see whether this post is complete, sufficient, and accurate in understanding the incident it purports to highlight. Tell us what you find and how what you find might alter your understanding of the story as presented by Mr. Williams.

Oh, yes, and then be on the lookout for the whailing and whining that are sure to follow from Virginia Whine Country.

Enjoy.

Another Defeat for the Virginia Flaggers

Back on March 6, the Virginia Flaggers through their blog assured us that a flag they had helped erect in Rockbridge County outside Lexington was not coming down, desite the fact that local authorities had raised questions about the flagpole’s location.

The flag then came down. Now it appears it isn’t going back up anytime soon.

Not to worry, folks. The Flaggers claim they’ve made arrangements for many more flags to go up around Lexington, and they celebrate this as an act of defiance.

So much for honoring the service and sacrifice of the Confederate soldier in a dignified manner. But then it never was about that, was it?