You Had Your Rally. Now What?

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.

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Why Should We Remember the Battle of the Crater?

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. [click to continue…]

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On the Eve of the 150th Anniversary of the Crater

Porto from our hotel balcony. Notice the warehouses filled with port at bottom.

Porto from our hotel balcony. Notice the warehouses filled with port wine at the bottom.

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. [click to continue…]

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The Committee’s Work

W&L Students Who Called For Removal of Confederate Flags from Lee Chapel

Washington & Lee Students Who Called For Removal of Confederate Flags from Lee Chapel (“The Committee”)

Recumbent Lee Memorial Without Flags (July 10, 2014)

Recumbent Statue of Robert E. Lee Without Flags (July 10, 2014)

This is the first image of inside Lee Chapel that I’ve seen since the Confederate flags were removed.

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Another Defeat For the Virginia Flaggers

Virginia FlaggersWith each perceived heritage violation the Virginia Flaggers somehow manage to place themselves further from the mainstream when it comes to the display of the Confederate flag. Their assumed stance that they alone ought to dictate what it means to commemorate and remember the Confederate past has won them very few, if any, allies in Virginia and beyond. Even after all the protests they have yet to garner one significant victory.

The controversy at W&L was a perfect opportunity for the Virginia Flaggers to demonstrate their ability to engage in some creative thinking and sincere interest in a solution that would be satisfactory to all constituents. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly all the Flaggers could muster was much of the same extreme outrage and self-righteousness in response to what most  observers believe was a reasonable response by the president. [click to continue…]

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