Virginia Flagger Arrested

It was just a matter of time.  After months of protesting outside of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts over the removal of Confederate flags from the grounds of the “Old Soldier’s Home”/Pelham Chapel the Virginia Flaggers have little to show for their efforts.  All attempts to branch out and get involved in other causes – most notably with the opening of the MOC in Appomattox [and here] – have failed to generate support.

Individual Flaggers have challenged VMFA authorities in the past so there should have been little doubt as to how this situation would turn out.

A few months ago I was contacted by someone at the VMFA to talk about how they might handle this protest.  I didn’t have much to offer beyond suggesting that they wait it out, but I did jokingly suggest that they put together an exhibit on the Confederate flag that utilized the Flaggers as a modernist interpretation/performance.    I believe this more than ever after watching the above video. You gotta love those jeans, jacket and sunglasses.

The Flaggers and associated groups will likely milk this for all it’s worth, but it is nothing more than a sign of the organization’s lack of direction and inability to garner support around the substantive issues.

Print Friendly
 

24 thoughts on “Virginia Flagger Arrested

  1. EricWelch

    I think your approach is absolutely correct. Just wait it out. They’ll get tired of the lack of attention sooner or later. Confrontation merely provides a platform, not to mention a martyr for his kid (at least I assume that’s his daughter in the audio.) The exhibit is a great idea.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin

      It’s his son. The father clearly wanted a conflict and at one point even looked in his son’s direction to ensure that he was getting all of it on video. He apparently failed to consider how such a conflict and arrest would effect his child. Nice work, dad.

      Reply
      1. VMFA

        Hey, loser, Tripp Lewis may have a son, but according to what I read and heard it was his DAUGHTER that was there and crying. pay attention next time kike.

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin

          Thanks for the comment. There is a widely distributed photograph from that day, which shows Mr. Lewis and his son, who apparently is playing a drum. A video that was released later includes his daughter. So, I must assume both were present.

          p.s., I may be a “loser” but at least I have the courage to post under my name.

          Reply
  2. bummer

    Bummer has no patience with parents that inflict any sort of physical or mental distress on their children. This father ought to face more stringent charges than trespassing or resisting arrest, he should be horse whipped. “Old Guy” losing his cool!
    Bummer

    Reply
  3. Pat Young

    If you are doing civil disobedience, you don’t tell the cops that you will “defend yourself” if they touch you. If the point is to get arrested, then why resist arrest? Also, the moves he makes could have led to some serious action by the cops.

    Reply
  4. Andy Hall (was AndyinTexas)

    It looks like Susan Hathaway and the regular VMFA Flagger crew, which has a long track record of staged confrontations and whining about how they’re victims of official oppression by the VMFA, are trying to distance themselves from incident. Gary’s posted that no one on SHPG should reveal this person’s name, and insisting that Hathaway is not connected to this “in any way.” That may be true, except that she and her followers have been continually stirring the pot with the VMFA, and encouraging exactly this sort of activity for more than a year now. If this guy took it a little farther than Hathaway & Co., in that he actually got himself arrested, then that’s a difference of degree, not one of kind.

    As a parent, I find the video deeply disturbing because of the presence of what would seem to be this man’s child, heard crying at the end. It’s deeply painful to hear, for any parent. But it’s also infuriating, because he clearly set out to get himself arrested, and challenged the police to a physical altercation, for no particularly good reason, in front of his own child. This is not being a responsible parent. I have no doubt that this was a traumatic experience for that child, but the responsibility for that lies solely at that jackass’ feet. What reprehensible behavior.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin

      It is also clearly an act of desperation. We should keep in mind that the Virginia Flaggers really have no organization. Someone announces that their will be a gathering on a particular day and folks show up for whatever reason.

      And you are absolutely right that as a parent this guy’s behavior is inexcusable.

      Reply
  5. Andy Hall (was AndyinTexas)

    For those who may be unfamiliar with origins of the VMFA situation, it’s important to know that the reason Confederate flags are barred from exterior display at the Pelham Chapel is because those are the terms of a legally-binding least agreed to and signed by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp that operates the chapel. (They’re allowed to have as many flags as they want, inside.) I have never yet seen the Flaggers stage a protest or publicly denounce the SCV officers who signed off on this agreement that the Flaggers allegedly find so odious. Michael Givens, the C-in-C of the SCV, has publicly supported the Flaggers, but to my knowledge the national organization has taken no action whatsoever against the local camp that got them into this predicament in the first place.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin

      Last time I checked Richmond’s Boulevard doesn’t go by the SCV’s national headquarters. :-) This protest would have been much more interesting from the beginning if they had directed their energies toward the local SCV, which as you rightfully note is responsible for this situation.

      Reply
      1. Andy Hall (was AndyinTexas)

        Lee-Jackson Camp No. 1. They claim they only signed because the VMFA gave them a last-minute, take-it-or-leave-it choice on the wording of the lease. That may be true, but that’s not uncommon in lease negotiations, and the bottom line is, they signed it. If they feel they were done wrong under the law, they should challenge the VMFA in court — but I think any competent attorney will tell them they haven’t got a legal case. Antics like the one Saturday, and the Flaggers’ intentionally pushing a confrontation with the UDC headquarters next door after that organization declined to be a party in this dispute, have been really counter-productive to the Flaggers’ cause, making an accommodation from the VMFA less likely now than it was a year ago.

        If the Flaggers think the VMFA were playing hardball last time around, just wait ’til that lease comes up for renewal.

        Reply
  6. Andy Hall (was AndyinTexas)

    Looks like the Flagger in question was Tripp Lewis, one of the core members of the Virginia Flaggers group, who actually put out the call for Saturday’s protest. So much for the Virginia Fraggers, er, Flaggers disavowing that clown.

    Reply
  7. Bryan Cheeseboro

    “You gotta love those jeans, jacket and sunglasses.”

    You also have to love the Confederate flag on a bamboo pole… GBB (Ghetto Beyond Belief).

    This man has no issues doing this in front of his son because he sees himself as no different than the Black Civil Rights demonstrators of the 1950s and 1960s, who were also arrested for civil disobedience. The ironic part of it all is that had the desire to perpetuate slavery never taken place, there would have been no need for that flag to begin with. And had the desire to maintain the status quo of racial segregation never occurred, that flag would have never made a comeback.

    Reply
    1. Andy Hall (was AndyinTexas)

      Given that the prohibition on flags outside the Pelham Chapel is part of a signed and duly-executed lease that runs until (I think) 2015, I’d be interested to know what the Flaggers see as their winning strategy these days. They’ve been at it for over a year; any acute “annoyance factor” that might have prompted the VMFA to relent has long since worn off. Do the Flaggers and their supporters think they’re going to win hearts and minds by publishing the phone numbers and e-mails of various people connected to the VMFA, and encouraging their angry supporters to call and give them an earful? It really does seem to me that the longer this goes on, and the more strident and confrontational the Flaggers become, the more likely they are to turn off both the people who makes the decisions at the VMFA, as well as the general public. The Flaggers’ tactics in this have been far more polarizing than anything the VMFA has done.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Levin

        They are their own worst enemies. Tripp Lewis can do little more than accuse the female officer of abusing his daughter during the incident. The accompanying video would suggest otherwise.

        Reply

Join the Conversation