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: Brandon Dorsey and the Stonewall Brigade (SCV) is now demanding that W&L apologize to the individual who was supposedly harassed by police on campus this past Saturday. Not a shred of evidence has been presented substantiating the accusation.
Yes, the people who gathered in Lexington, Virginia are incensed about the removal of replica Confederate flags from Lee Chapel. They view it as a threat to their preferred narrative of the history of the Confederacy and the symbolism of the flag both during and after the war. The fact that the replicas will be replaced by original flags appears to have been lost by just about everyone. It suggests to me that this is not entirely about the removal of flags, but about who instigated it. Continue reading
Looks like somewhere around 250 to 300 people showed up today in Lexington, Virginia with their replica Confederate flags to voice their frustration with the recent decision by administrators at W&L University to remove other replica Confederate flags from Lee Chapel. No surprise that this crowd appears oblivious to the fact that the university will soon display authentic Confederate battle flags inside the chapel.
Even though they will not be displayed around the Recumbent Lee memorial for preservation purposes, I still do not see how this can be perceived as anything other than a drastic improvement.
Today’s rally, like previous rallies in Lexington organized by the SCV, will achieve nothing.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been putting together some thoughts for my talk next Friday in Petersburg to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. I’ve been re-reading sections of my book and thinking about how this particular battle fits into the major themes and direction of our ongoing sesquicentennial. Continue reading
Hope everyone is doing well. My wife and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Portugal that included Lisbon and Porto. The food was amazing, the people are incredibly friendly, and best of all you can enjoy the country on a fairly limited budget. Continue reading