Welcome to Confederate Heritage and History Month (April Fools)

The Virginia Flaggers are celebrating the beginning of Confederate History and Heritage Month. Unfortunately, they seem to be unaware of the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia no longer officially recognizes it.

Now before you blame or praise the Democrats, who now control the state assembly, it might be worth remembering that it was a Republican governor who set this ball in motion.

In 2010 Governor Robert McDonnell signed a proclamation declaring April Confederate Heritage and History Month. Protests ensued over the proclamation’s failure to acknowledge slavery as central to the war and the Confederacy as well as its strong Lost Cause overtones. Eventually the governor apologized and promised to issue a new proclamation the following year, which he did. In April 2011 a proclamation was signed setting aside April as Civil War History in Virginia Month.

And if you are curious, here is the Confederate Catechism. It’s heavy on the heritage and very light on the history. 🙂

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my latest book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Order your copy today.

12 comments… add one
  • Joshism Apr 3, 2020 @ 10:58

    Confederate…Catechism? No wonder there was a Stonewall Jackson Shrine.

    I find the idea of treating the Confederacy as a religion to be a bit disturbing.

  • Roy White Apr 1, 2020 @ 19:19

    I have been reviewing sources for the past three years, preparing a keynote about racial myths and lies. The buying and selling of African American slaves was the most lucrative business in US in.the decade before the war. And it was growing. Also, there was arable land in the territories that slave holders wanted for cotton. Most plantations in the upper South, had depleted soil from generations of tobacco crops. But Virginia discovered that selling slaves was very profitable. So instead of tobacco, slave owners sought to “grow”slaves, which were usually sold in Richmond, to agents representing cotton growers and sugar cane growers in the Deep South. Long “coffles” were walked to Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The election of Lincoln and the growing abolitionist movement threatened the South’s cash cow. Southern slave owners were not about to see their most profitable enterprise be threatened. And the life of a slave was no “Song of the South” imagined reality. Slaves were worked to death, often had no adequate clothing, were abused, murdered, raped and worse. Families were torn apart as individual and family members were sold at a slave owner’s desire for more cash. Read “Soul to Soul.”

    • London John Apr 3, 2020 @ 1:03

      Yes. The greatest profit in the slave system came from the children of slaves that the slave-owner didn’t have to pay for. And slaves were valuable only so long as there was land for them to work. So the area under slave cultivation had to expand along with the slave population, either through land reclamation as in the delta or by territorial expansion. Lincoln and the slave-owners both understood this, so limiting slavery to where it currently existed was a measure to destroy slavery, although it sounded like a compromise. Letting the seceded states depart in peace was not a real option as the Confederacy would have had fight to expand westward to save slavery.
      I believe that as it turned out cotton is not grown on a significant scale anywhere that was not already a state at the outbreak of the CW. Tyler mentions this in his Catechism in 1920. But presumably they didn’t know this in 1860.

  • Al Mackey Apr 1, 2020 @ 13:48

    Truth doesn’t matter to neoconfederates. We’ve seen that time and time again. From openly lying to simply ignoring real history, they occupy a fantasy world.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 1, 2020 @ 14:00

      They do indeed.

  • Neil Hamilton Apr 1, 2020 @ 11:39

    Slowly, but surely, the rear guard of the Lost Cause retreats, kicking and screaming, but still receding. It will take a bit more time, but as it always does, actual history can wait.

    • Andy Hall Apr 3, 2020 @ 9:38

      They’ve been gradually withdrawing from boots-on-the-ground activism over the last few years. They’re still regularly out in front of the VMFA, but I suspect even that presence is scaled back quite a bit from the heady days of 2011-12, when Susan Hathaway Lee talked grandly about the Flaggers’ goal of promoting “civil discourse and education;” their official listed website now is a storefront.

      • Kevin Levin Apr 3, 2020 @ 9:45

        As far as I can tell the group is now little more than a forum for pro-Trump rhetoric. What a surprise.

  • James Harrigan Apr 1, 2020 @ 11:39

    thanks for posting “The Confederate Catechism”, Kevin, very succinct and revealing. My two favorite passages are “…it was not slavery, but the vindictive, intemperate antislavery movement that was at the bottom of all the troubles” (Section 2) and “The Southerners took the negro as a barbarian and cannibal, civilized him, supported him, clothed him and turned him out a devour Christian…the negro was the beneficiary rather than the victim of slavery” (section 19).

    So, slavery was a good thing. It’s good to know that the Virginia Flaggers believe in.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 1, 2020 @ 11:44

      The Virginia Flaggers have always been open about their racism.

    • CliosFanBoy Apr 2, 2020 @ 5:03

      cannibal? So, they think old Tarzan movies were documentaries/??

      • Kevin Levin Apr 2, 2020 @ 5:55

        Good one.

Now that you've read the post, share your thoughts.