Living Up to Robert E. Lee’s Code of Honor

Update #2: Here is the latest. The university issued the following statement: “According to our Office of Public Safety, our officers reported four occasions when they interacted with individuals who were participating in the July 26 rally sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in downtown Lexington. The officers characterized all of these interactions as respectful. They did not record names or ages of any of the individuals.”

Update: Local news is looking into this incident and supposedly talked to the child in question. I leave it to you to decide whether the voice on the tape sounds like a 15-year old. Even if it is we still have no names, no faces… basically no real evidence.

Southern heritage advocates such as the Virginia Flaggers and Sons of Confederate Veterans love to talk about and claim to live by a Southern code of honor that I assume includes integrity and honesty. Yesterday a post appeared on the Facebook page of the Virginia Flaggers accusing “the Police” of harassing a 15-year old boy who merely wanted to visit the Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee University. It has since appeared on a number of websites.

Today Brandon Dorsey of The Stonewall Brigade Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Lexington issued a statement demanding that the president of W&L apologize to this individual. Since the post appeared not one piece of evidence, including names, photographs, or video have appeared to substantiate these charges. In other words, there is absolutely no reason to believe this story. Dorsey simply quotes the passage from the initial post without question. At least one local news outlet has picked up the story.

These are the same people who with a straight face claim to be living according to a higher moral code. They claim to be defending a heritage that is reflected in the perfect character of none other than Robert E. Lee.

All I can see is moral bankruptcy.

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13 comments… add one

  • James Harrigan Jul 28, 2014

    All I can see is moral bankruptcy
    oh come on, Kevin. Surely you can see the comedy as well?

  • Marian Latimer Jul 28, 2014

    Must have been a nice long drive to the University to come up with that tall tale. Oh, the creativity. Sounds like noxious bovine byproducts to me. It has been my general experience that when people start demanding apologies, said byproduct is somehow involved and they want to divert attention from that. I could be wrong but I doubt it.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 28, 2014

      There is still not one piece of evidence to support these allegations. I am surprised that the local news has given it any attention. Their reporter could have been talking to anyone at the other end of that phone.

      • Marian Latimer Jul 28, 2014

        That was pretty much my thought when I saw the news report. The flaggers and their fellow travelers never seem to be without a camera at hand. Furthermore, who doesn’t have a cellphone camera at the ready when out in public these days? Up in my former home state of Michigan, that reporter was subjected to what we call the Hoffa effect. About this time of year, almost every year, someone gets their driveway/lawn/farm field dug up because “someone” has just said that Hoffa is buried there. Oh, wait, “History Detectives” did the job this year. It all still smells just as bad as that bovine stuff.

        • Julian Jul 29, 2014

          yes … there is quite a youtube genre of people with phones filming people of all ethnicities making offensive and racist comments no public transport as well as racist films of people of different races being drunk and disorderly in public places … so it would be surprising if no one was about with a phone

          • Kevin Levin Jul 29, 2014

            Though it’s possible, I find it hard to believe that no one else was around campus on Saturday. W&L denies that there was any incident which is a very risky thing to do if others witnessed this supposed exchange. As it stands there is no evidence other than the accusations made that such an incident took place.

  • Connie Chastain Jul 28, 2014

    Not one piece of evidence? Are you saying the evidence doesn’t exist? Or do you mean you don’t KNOW of any such evidence? Unless you’re omniscient, there could possibly be evidence you have no way of knowing about.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 29, 2014

      It’s quite possible that nobody cares what you believe or don’t believe about Southern heritage, the SCV, the VaFlaggeres.

      Clearly, you do. :-)

  • Forester Jul 28, 2014

    And this is why I haven’t joined the SCV, despite having ample qualifications. The Flaggers are an embarrassing lot, and the leadership of the SCV should not be stooping to their level.

    Lee, at least publicly, embraced reconciliation. While I’m not happy about the flags’ removal, I wonder if Lee himself would have approved. He allegedly wrote, “don’t bring up your sons to detest the United States … we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans.” I don’t know if he really said this, but I’m going to assume it reflects his opinion … unless someone finds a historical quote of Lee urging Southerners to “b*tch online, protest everywhere and put a giant flag on Interstate 95!” Then I will join the Virginia Flaggers. :p

    I don’t think the Flaggers honor the man OR the myth of Robert E. Lee when they show their ass in front of the whole world like this. If there was ever a chance of getting the flags put back in the alcove, the Virginia Flaggers have dashed it on the rocks.

    I was angry when I heard about the removal. Mostly because I meet the demographic requirements of the average Virginia Flagger:

    1. Southern (Confederate descent)
    2. White
    3. Male
    4. On Facebook
    5. Never visited the Lee Chapel
    6. Didn’t even know the flags existed before this controversy

    However, instead of rushing for the dueling pistols, I just kept quiet and read stuff. The president of the school has not banned all Confederate flags or heritage groups as the committee requested. There was compromise, but given what the committee actually WANTED …. I’m fine with the compromise. Contrary to what Connie posted on her blog, the president did NOT wave a white surrender flag at all. And he defended Lee, which on one talks about.

    The SCV needs to distance itself from both the Flaggers and the Brandon Dorsey of the Lexington camp. They should let the public know that Dorsey only speaks for himself, not the entire organization, and try to recover from the damage already done. Sadly, I expect the SCV to dig their heels in and fight harder, pushing themselves further into the fringes of society until all public acceptance of “Southern Heritage” goes the way of dodo birds and white sheets.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 29, 2014

      The SCV needs to distance itself from both the Flaggers and the Brandon Dorsey of the Lexington camp.

      At this point I don’t see any difference.

      I think the SCV had an opportunity to put forward a reasonable response to the decision to remove the flags from the alcove, but these groups don’t seem to have any sort of filter. It quickly turn into us v. them as if they alone have a monopoly on Lee’s memory. It’s just more of the same.

      • Forester Jul 29, 2014

        Hence my reluctance to associate my name with them. I suspect there are a lot of 20-somethings like me who are interested in the Civil War but not the “us versus them” nonsense pushed by the current SCV leadership. It’s not a good way to attract young blood.

    • Marian Latimer Jul 29, 2014

      I actually toyed with the idea of joining (just so I could have the card) the UDC so I could shut up the locals in the county where I was living before this (in NC) because I was repeatedly told I had a filthy Yankee mouth for having an opinion about several local political scandals. (hey, I vote) It amuses me no end that the town where I was living, probably a bedroom community of Charlotte, had largely grown because of transplants from up north and is still growing. I firmly believe that there is an active KKK in the north end of that county and law enforcement is looking the other way, although proving it might be entirely another matter. It’s also amusing to me, that these same folks scream that the Constitution is being violated, their freedom is being taken away, and they beat their chests about being good old-fashioned Americans. The problem is that their America is not for just everyone.

      It is true that the flaggers, and their ilk, are their own worst enemies. They are, I hope, alienating more than they are winning over to their cause.

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