In the Name of Confederate Heritage

Update: Susan Hathaway finally responds to this incident.

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My students Interpreting the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond

Barring any major development I think it’s time to move beyond this story involving the Virginia Flaggers and their unsubstantiated account of monument vandalism. Some of you are no doubt pleased to hear this. On the face of it this story has about as much value as a soap opera and accomplishes little more than attracting a large number of visitors to the blog. There is certainly a place for such entertainment.

That said, it does reflect a certain narrative thread of recent Civil War memory. Regardless of its origin, both the content of this story and Susan Hathaway’s embrace of it is evidence of this relatively small community’s collective belief that their heritage and beliefs are under assault. What better way of rallying the troops than a story involving one of their own or someone closely identified with the Flaggers defending one of the most important and even sacred sites on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. I don’t anticipate any public explanation on the part of Hathaway and/or Rob Walker Jr. That their community has remained quiet is telling enough. There will be no public demands for an explanation from this community. To do so would be a sign of weakness in the face of this ubiquitous enemy.

Move on people. There is nothing more to see here.

It won’t be long before the colors are raised and calls to “Restore the Honor” are heard on the Boulevard in front of the VMFA.

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation if you are so inclined. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

11 comments… add one

  • Brooks D. Simpson May 14, 2013

    It says something about the Confederate Hysteria Movement as embodied in the Virginia Flaggers that its members are now proudly circulating a screed by head ranter Connie Chastain about the matter, oblivious to the fact that they are simply sharing evidence of their lack of character, intelligence, and integrity. That they freely invoke the name of God in support of these antics tells us more than we need to know about who they really are.

    If advocates of Confederate heritage want these hysterical idiots to be the public face of their movement, well, they get what they deserve in derision and disrepect.

    • Kevin Levin May 14, 2013

      This is exactly what I said would happen. There is simply too much at stake to admit a mistake. If this what it means to restore their own honor than what can they possibly hope to accomplish when it comes to commemorating the Confederate soldier? We are looking at a case study of moral bankruptcy.

    • Betty Giragosian May 14, 2013

      We don’t want it . Need I say more??????

      • Brooks D. Simpson May 14, 2013

        This incident is an embarrassment to the people who are trying to honor the heritage of those men who served in the Confederate military, including my wife’s ancestors. So I resent it as a family matter when someone abuses the notion of heritage, and that’s why I have decided to rebrand them as Hysteria types.

        • Kevin Levin May 14, 2013

          These people do not have a monopoly on deciding how the Confederate soldier or anything having to do with the Confederacy and the Civil War is remembered. At some point I hope another group organizes and Flags the Flaggers in the name of Confederate heritage.

  • Jimmy Dick May 14, 2013

    Creating a lie to defend a lie that was about a lie. How very honorable of the Heritage, not History folks. They obviously overlook facts in order to support the lie they cherish. That group just doesn’t play with a full deck of rational thinking. It’s like they all are OCD.

    • Kevin Levin May 14, 2013

      I don’t think we need a medical diagnosis to understand what is going on here. It’s incredibly embarrassing for at least two people. Hathaway will have no trouble at all repairing her reputation among her fellow Flaggers. All she has to do is frame this latest incident as another front in their ongoing war with…well…everyone who doesn’t agree with their particular stance. Walker, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.

  • John May 14, 2013

    I have dealt with her in the past. She has allowed self proclaimed racists to remain active on a couple of her web-FB pages. She has been questioned and refrains from removing them nor denouncing their actions.

    • Kevin Levin May 14, 2013

      A couple of years ago this woman actually suggested on an open Facebook page that it would be a good idea to send some people to Charlottesville to confront me at my place of work, which happened to be a high school. That about says it all as far as I am concerned.

  • Connie Chastain May 14, 2013

    “There is simply too much at stake to admit a mistake.” ~K. Levin

    Boy, were you wrong.

    “I cannot properly express my sincere apologies for having released this story without first getting police corroboration. I honestly can say that I never imagined anyone would go to all the trouble of fabricating such a tale, and am sad to have learned another hard lesson in having to question everyone’s motives, and trusting no one.” ~S. Hathaway
    http://www.facebook.com/susan.f.hathaway.7/posts/10151658650249274

    • Kevin Levin May 14, 2013

      I am making an exception to my rule of not allowing your comments through because on this issue you are right and I was wrong about whether a formal apology would be issued. Hathaway even thanked us “Floggers.”

      That said, this whole incident reinforces my hope that another group will form to Flag the Flaggers in the name of preserving Confederate heritage.

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