Tag Archives: Confederate Flag

Update on Confederate Flag Fight in Lexington

Here is the latest:

U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Wilson said he would likely rule on the city of Lexington’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Stonewall Brigade in “one to two weeks.” The Sons have maintained all along that a Lexington ordinance banning all flags from city flagpoles except the city’s, the commonwealth’s, and the U.S. flag, specifically targeted them.  Lawyers for the Sons said the flagpoles were a “designated public forum,” therefore the Constitution protected the Sons, and most any others who requested to fly flags from city flagpoles.  Attorneys for the city said the ordinance was “government speech,” essentially saying that since it was Lexington’s flagpoles, the city could choose which groups represent its brand and which ones didn’t.  Sons of Confederate Veterans Stonewall Brigade leader, Brandon Dorsey, said: “I think in this case city council made it abundantly clear that the reason why they were trying to shut [the use of the flagpoles] off from us was because they didn’t like the flags and didn’t like [our] group.”  Lexington city officials declined to comment after the hearing.

So, what are the implications for this case?  If the judge decides against the city the Sons of Confederate Veterans will get to display the flag in downtown Lexington and if the judge decides in favor of the city the SCV gets to display the flag in downtown Lexington.

 

Steer Us To the Promised Land, Bubba

Bubba Watson winning this year’s Masters tournament may be just the boost that Confederate heritage folks are looking for.  Watson is the proud owner of the iconic General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazzard.”

The General Lee, like the Masters, was a dream. “I almost passed out when I saw it,” Watson said. The car is “jump ready” with roll bars, Watson said, and “it’s not like it’s easy to get into.” He did not plan to do any jumps in the car, even before he was the Masters champ.  “But I want to drive it,” Watson said in January. “I’m not going to sit like an old man and stare at it in the garage. I’m going to drive it, honk the horn at people and all that good stuff.”

Oh, he will do just fine.

 

Scalawags and Stink Faces

The first videos from Appomattox are being posted on the YouTube page of the Virginia Flaggers.  In this short video members describe visitors and representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as “scalawags” and “stink faces.”  How very classy.  Apparently, the SCV’s General Executive Committee issued a resolution requesting that all members boycott participating in the opening ceremonies.  A few chose to participate.  What I don’t understand is why the SCV didn’t encourage more to attend: more units, more flags.  In fact, by the looks of it the MOC did nothing to prevent visitors from carrying Confederate flags on the grounds.

This protest reminds me of the situation in Lexington.  In both cases no one is being prevented from waving a Confederate flag.

 

King Salim Khalfani Speaks Truth to Power Without the Truth

In yesterday’s post I linked to an article about the impending opening of the Museum of the Confederacy’s Appomattox branch this coming weekend.  The article included a quote from King Salim Khalfani, who is the Executive Director of the State Conference NAACP.  Asked if he planned to attend the opening, Khalfani had this to say:

I have never been, and I have no plans to….  These people are still fighting the Civil War. They’re just not honest about the history and the story.

Khalfani’s bio page includes the following:

My greatest accomplishment is that I am by choice a revolutionary Afrikan Man. I am a Pan-Afrikanist. I am one who speaks truth to power unashamedly on behalf of Afrikan people. I have not cringed or cowered when faced with criticism, ostracism or threats of bodily harm.

Perhaps the Civil War just doesn’t fall on the radar screen of someone who self-identifies as an Afrikan Man or Pan-Afrikanist.  That’s fine.  What I do have a problem with, however, is when we speak truth to power without any evidence behind the action.  Khalfani is no better than the Virginia Flaggers, Ed Sebesta, and the SCV, who have done next to nothing to explore what the Museum of the Confederacy has to offer.

I spent a few minutes on the Virginia NAACP’s website and I can’t find anything having to do with the Civil War Sesquicentennial.  How unfortunate.  Of course, other issues demand attention and resources, but this is a unique opportunity to connect the African American community in Virginia to an incredibly rich history.  The Museum of the Confederacy is an essential stop along that journey.  I’ve written quite a bit about the challenges associated with attracting African Americans to Civil War related events.  To the extent that an adult white male can sympathize, I get it.  That said, at some point we have to move beyond these irresponsible outbursts.

I’ve already suggested that this is not your grandfather’s Civil War commemoration.  Let’s step up to the plate and move forward.  Mr. Khalfani ought to lead the way.