Another Controversy in Lexington, Virginia

It appears that we are on the verge of yet another controversy in Lexington, Virginia, and it may be of interest to regular readers of this blog.

On July 8, 2015, the following ad appeared in the Lexington (Va) News-Gazette:

Agnor Ad

The ad (and the paper’s decision to run the ad) has created a lot of controversy. The paper is hearing about it on its Facebook page, and it’s deciding how to respond.

Billboard Hill Lane is located northeast of Lexington, west of I-64/I-81. There are several billboards there … and there’s something else flying in the neighborhood. Care to guess what it is?

Are we to assume that Karen Cooper’s no longer welcome to go to Billboard Hill north of Lexington to look at her beloved Confederate flag while reminding us that “slavery’s a choice”? Hint: she’s not a Democrat, so that shouldn’t bother her.

Is This About Honoring Confederate Heritage?

The president of the United States came to Oklahoma yesterday, and this is what he encountered:

People wave Confederate flags outside the hotel that President Barack Obama is staying the night, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Oklahoma City.  Obama is traveling in Oklahoma to visit El Reno Federal Correctional Institution. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
People wave Confederate flags outside the hotel that President Barack Obama is staying the night, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Oklahoma City. Obama is traveling in Oklahoma to visit El Reno Federal Correctional Institution. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

We should note that the number of people involved in this particular welcome barely broke into double digits. so don’t let the picture deceive you. Here’s a more telling angle: Let’s take even a closer look … no Army of Northern Virginia battle flags are to be seen. In fact, we have four or five navy jacks … and three flags with messages on them that were not carried by Confederate soldiers. What might they be? Continue reading

It’s Comedy, Not Heritage: The SCV Meets in Richmond

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is meeting in Richmond at a time when many of its members believe that Confederate heritage is under attack.

How so? Well, listen to Ben “Cooter” Jones, the chief of heritage operations for the organization as well as an entrepreneur:

The nation has been wrestling with Confederate symbolism in the wake of a shooting that left nine people dead last month at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. After photos emerged of the accused shooter posing with the Confederate battle flag, elected officials have moved to end government-sanctioned displays of the Confederate emblem, and some have discussed the removal of Confederate monuments. Private retailers have also stripped Confederate flag merchandise from their shelves. Early this month, the TV Land network pulled “The Dukes of Hazzard” from its schedule.

On Thursday, Jones compared the decision to book burning by the Nazis.

“It’s the same kind of totalitarian and demagogic thinking that leads to things like that,” Jones said. “Don’t doubt it.”

Cancelling “The Dukes of Hazzard” is equivalent to book burning by the Nazis? What’s next? Is Daisy Duke going to be compared to Anne Frank?

But that’s not all …

During the convention’s opening ceremony Thursday morning, a J.E.B. Stuart impersonator said, “Richmond is once again the center of the Confederate way of life.”

“The days of Reconstruction are upon us again,” said Stuart, portrayed by Wayne Jones. “And this time, we must prevail.”

The days of Reconstruction were never upon Jeb Stuart, folks. He was mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern on May 11, 1864, and died the next day.

And who must prevail … the supporters of white supremacy? Again?

No word yet on whether Tripp Lewis plans to expose various misdeeds … or is that Anonymous CSA?

Does Ben Jones Respect the Confederate Flag?

Most people familiar with American popular culture as rendered through television know something about “The Dukes of Hazzard.” That show has been in the news in recent weeks, when a television network specializing in reruns decided not to air it any more.

That sparked some controversy. Leading the charge was someone near and dear to readers of this blog, Ben Jones, who played “Cooter” the mechanic in the show. Ben’s had a colorful career since then, including serving in the United Sates House of Representatives. He’s currently the chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, coming aboard just as the SCV had to confront the removal of replica Confederate flags from Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University.

Everything I know about Ben from personal contact suggests that he’s a fine fellow who knows his baseball, but when it comes to these issues, we disagree a great deal, and his appearance here on this blog several years ago did not go well for him (although he deserves credit for making the effort). I also know that he continues to be proud of his work on “The Dukes of Hazzard,” including lending the name of his character to a string of stores known as “Cooter’s Place.” These stores are owned by Ben and his wife, so he ought to know what they sell.

Thus it occurred to me to find out what sort of Confederate flags are sold by the store owned by the man who is the chief of heritage operations for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

rebel-indian-flag

I don’t recall that even Stand Waite or John Ross approved of this flag.

This one confuses me. Aren’t you supposed to shoot deer? Are you supposed to shoot the flag? Or is this a wildlife preservation message? I can’t tell.

Nor can I identify the unit that deer flag honors. Same here:
I’m supposed to hook the flag and reel it in?

Well, perhaps this is a tribute to Confederate logistics and what might have been. 10-4, good buddy.

This is a traditional favorite. But I’m puzzled as to the Civil War connection. Perhaps it’s an artillery flag (red being the color of the collar for artillerists’ uniforms, as seen here.)

So much for regulation headgear.

Really? Maybe this commemorates Burnside’s Mud March, but I wonder.

Whatever floats your boat … but I don’t think smiley faces were placed on real Confederate battle flags. Rather, it sends the message that someone’s day is a brighter one if he offends others. Send one to Connie Chastain now.

There are more, but you get the idea. Or maybe you don’t. Want a Confederate flag bikini, for example? Click here. Swim trunks? Click here. Want to sleep under the flag? Click here. Want to go formal? Click here. Want to be the Confederate answer to David Cassidy? Click here.

And to you want to try your wet, sweaty body with the Confederate flag? Click here.

I was unhappy not to find this for sale.

And that, folks, is how to honor Confederate heritage and the service and sacrifice of the Confederate soldier and sailor. Tell ’em Cooter said so.

Note: Not all the images offered here are the images presented on the website in question … because some of them really weren’t very good. I wanted you to enjoy what was there with the best images of the merchandise possible. Upgrade your site, Ben.

Nick Saban Comes Out Against the Confederate Flag

That’s right … the coach of the University of Alabama’s football team, Nick Saban, comes out against the display of the Confederate Battle Flag.

The same University of Alabama where there was this governor named George Wallace who tried to prevent African Americans from attending that university. Governor Wallace was fond of that flag.

Funny, isn’t it, that passionate supporters of both the University of Alabama’s football program and the Confederate flag don’t put those things together? I wonder why they don’t call for a return to the old days of an all-white football team. Even Bear Bryant thought otherwise in his own deliberate way.

But there will always be some people who put bigotry and their mindless embrace of what they pretend is “heritage” above common sens and human decency.

Like this Alabama fan:

CC roll tide

Oh, yes, I’m sure this is all about heritage, not hate. Riiiight.

On Moving and Returning Bodies: The Case of Nathan Bedford and Mary Ann Forrest

By now most readers of this blog have heard about the continuing discussions in Memphis and elsewhere on the fate of the bodies of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife Mary Ann. Debate over the Forrests, a monument commemorating the general, and the park in which they are currently buried commenced before the Charleston murders, with the name of the park being changed to “Health Sciences Park” (really?) on Union Avenue (that should bring a smile to some faces). In the wake of those murders and the discussions that have ensued, the Memphis City Council took the next step, proposing to remove the Forrests’ bodies and return them to where they were originally buried, a place Forrest himself chose–a Confederate cemetery.

Continue reading

On Moving and Removing Monuments (and a poll!)

Just because the Confederate Battle Flag no longer flies on the grounds of the South Carolina state house does not mean that the debate over the display of Confederate flags, icons, and symbols is over … including monuments to Confederate leaders and soldiers. Today we consider the last category.

Monuments are creatures of the place and time when they are erected (and where) just as much as they are ways of paying tribute to a person, event, cause, soldiers … whatever the subject of the monument. They tell us as much about the people who erected those monuments as they do about the subject of the monument. One need only recall the history of the major monuments in Washington, DC, as well as the debates over more recent monuments placed in the nation’s capital to understand this point. Even ugly monuments (see here) have their own special message, although in some cases I believe the monument may actually mock or denigrate its subject (see there).

Continue reading

Who’s an American Veteran?

People like to point out that Confederate veterans are American veterans (although they clearly are not United States veterans). After all, Congress says so (these same people distrust and dismiss what Congress says whenever it pleases them so I take this at face value).

So let me ask …

Are Native Americans who battled the United States for far longer than did the Confederate Native Americans? Should their descendants benefit in like manner?

Are those Americans who remained loyal to the Crown during the uprising of 1775-1783 American veterans? How about Benedict Arnold? He covered both bases.

Are those Americans who joined various terrorist groups (and apparently continue to do so) American veterans?

Whatever your answers, explain them. Surely you don’t want to rely upon the answer that simply because Congress says it, it’s true. You don’t always offer that answer, do you?

Always Remember

Watch this tape …

Recall Pat Hines? This guy? The guy who advocated the murder of schoolchildren is now whining about cultural genocide?

Never tell me that Confederate heritage advocates never have anything to do with such people … and the same goes for the League of the South.

Let’s call people by their right names. Let’s ask Michael Hill why he trusts this person to do his bidding.

Let’s not confuse first steps with final steps. There’s still work to do.

Susan Hathaway’s Favorite Confederate: Nathan Bedford Forrest

It struck me as interesting that Susan Hathaway once told her followers to emulate Nathan Bedford Forrest. After all, Forrest didn’t care about what happened in Virginia.

That didn’t bother Hathaway. She even travelled to Alabama to express her support for Forrest supporters. She embraces other Forrest supporters, too, much as she likes Michael Hill of the League of the South

Yes, this Michael Hill. You know, the one who would not define wither Karen “slavery is a choice” Cooper or rent-a-Reb H. K. Edgerton as a real southerner. Yup, this Michael Hill.

Now comes a rather pointed essay on the man Hathaway, Hill, and others like … and Hathaway thinks we should emulate.

Go, Susan, go!

PS: Don’t you love the choices Karen Cooper makes? :)