Another Virginia Flaggers Folly

Check out this photograph of the latest large Confederate battle flag off of I-64 installed by the Virginia Flaggers in protest over efforts to remove Confederate monuments in Charlottesville and elsewhere. As you can see it flies defiantly and is likely clearly visible from any direction. Just kidding. There is no photograph.

Driving west toward Charlottesville on Sunday I kept a sharp eye out for the flag, but to no avail. On the way back to Richmond today I once again paid careful attention even for a glimpse. I thought I might have the opportunity to take a quick pic with my phone. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I didn’t see it until I was right on top of it. The flag is likely visible during the winter months, but at full foliage it is completely obscured, which is bizarre given that the spring/summer months are peak tourist season.

This has been a problem for the Flaggers from the beginning. There are a few flags – most notably the one near Fredericksburg that are impossible to miss – but it is a testament to their incompetence that not all of them achieve the level of visibility that should be ensured given the costs and maintenance of such an endeavor.

As I mentioned above the flag was placed in protest over recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere, but its location in Louisa County leaves it completely disconnected from any meaningful conversation. Even it was visible year round few people will have any idea of the intentions behind it.

Like the other flags it is located on private property, which raises the most obvious problem for this sort of project. Property owners have always had the right to fly flags, but they do not in any significant way counter the flags, monuments, and other Confederate symbols that have been removed from public spaces.

The former reflects the outlook of the individual property owner while a public symbol is supposed to represent the collective values of the entire community. Every flag raised by the Virginia Flaggers points to the continued erosion of the public celebration and commemoration of the Confederacy – a point that this group has never understood.

In fact, if you are keeping count, it’s been seven years since the Flaggers first started protesting the removal of the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It has yet to return. And unless I am mistaken not a single protest and/or boycott by the Virginia Flaggers has ever led to the return of a Confederate monument or flag from a public or private space.

14 comments… add one
  • Christopher Shelley Jun 12, 2018

    Kevin, are you…trolling the Flaggers?! 😉

    • Kevin Levin Jun 12, 2018

      Every once in a while I like to check in. 🙂

  • Jimmy Dick Jun 12, 2018

    I do believe they made a lot of claims about running for office and getting their fellow neo-confederates elected to office, along with generating economic downturns through boycotts, and some courtroom actions. To the best of my knowledge they’ve accomplished none of those goals. Instead, the flag of tyranny, racism, and ignorance continues to vanish from the public spaces except when being used by white supremacists.

    I think that’s what the neo-confederates call winning.

    • Andy Hall Jun 12, 2018

      Jimmy, the Virginia Flaggers formally began a boycott of Lexington in late 2011 to punish the city for ending the practice of putting up Confederate flags for Lee/Jackson Day in January. Since then, the city’s revenues from sales taxes are up 31%, restaurant food sales tax revenues are up 136%, and hotel/motel tax revenue is up 160%.

      They have also claimed that their boycott is driving up unemployment there, but in fact unemployment there, while fluctuating seasonally, peaked in 2010, before the boycott, and has been dropping ever since. I really do wish the Virginia Flaggers would start boycotting my town; we could use the business.

      • Kevin Levin Jun 13, 2018

        Lexington is clearly their most spectacular failure.

      • Ken Noe Jun 23, 2018

        Apparently no one told Sarah Huckabee Sanders about it.

    • msb Jun 13, 2018

      Well, Corey Stewart just won the primary to be the Republican candidate for Senate in Virginia. Is that good news or bad, and for whom?

      • Ken Noe Jun 13, 2018

        It’s good news for the Flaggers, who went all-in for the Minnesota carpetbagger, and for Democrat Tim Kaine, who should take another Senate victory this fall.

        • Kevin Levin Jun 13, 2018

          Anything can happen, but that appears to be a pretty safe bet.

        • Andy Hall Jun 13, 2018

          The Confederate Heritage™ folks really set their hair on fire when it looked like Tim Kaine might become VP in 2016. They even circulated a meme — Confederate Heritage™ consists mostly of memes, these days — blaming Kaine for the removal of flags at the VMFA, even though he’d left the governor’s office months before. And they wonder why they’re not taken more seriously than they are.

      • Msb Jun 13, 2018

        And trump just tweeted support for Stewart.
        Argh.

        • Ken Noe Jun 13, 2018

          Doesn’t sound like the GOP is going to give him a dime, though.

  • London John Jun 22, 2018

    Would it be worth identifying the paintings you sometimes use as headers? It took me some time to find out that this one is called “Fate of the rebel flag”. Would most Americans know this?

  • London John Jun 22, 2018

    Ok, I now realize the picture was your private joke with those who did know thw title. Sorry about that.

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