As many of you know, last year Richmond’s Museum of the Confederacy and American Civil War Center decided to join forces and form one museum. Today the American Civil War Museum moved one step closer to becoming a reality by unveiling its new logo. A brief history of the logo can be found here.
Update: This story from yesterday’s New York Times on Mississippi’s planned Civil Rights museum slated to open in 2017 fits right into this post.
While interpreting the Jefferson Davis and Confederate Soldiers’ Monuments on the Alabama State House grounds a little over a week ago I couldn’t help but wonder whether this Lost Cause narrative and a growing commitment to remember the civil rights movement can co-exist. It’s hard to miss the latter in a place like Montgomery and other Southern cities. Jefferson Davis now looks down on the Rosa Parks Museum and a number of markers that remind folks of the slave trade and civil rights era. On the one hand these monuments, museums, and markers represent an evolving story about how communities choose to remember their collective pasts. At the same time it is hard not to feel the rub between the competing values that these sites represent. Continue reading
Update: “I was at the chapel on that Sunday. I was chapel organist for the program presented by Lee-Jackson Camp. The colors were presented by Latane Camp. Tripp is not a member of that camp or its color guard.” — comment from Betty Giragosian.
This video pretty much undercuts the 2-plus years of protesting by the Virginia Flaggers in front of the Confederate chapel in Richmond. Their protest has been centered on the removal of the Confederate flag from the chapel grounds. Flagger Tripp Lewis is clearly miffed over being forced to stand on the sidelines during an event that took place inside the chapel on January 19, but once the ceremony ended inside the chapel a color guard was able to take a few photographs on the grounds without any problem.
Lewis claims in the video that he was supposed to take part in the ceremony, but no one in the group leaving the chapel seems to take an interest in the conflict with the officer.
So much for the forced retreat of Confederate Heritage in Richmond. Nothing ever goes right for the Flaggers.
[Uploaded to YouTube on January 19, 2014]
Last week I pointed out what I interpreted as a racist comment from a prominent member of the Virginia Flaggers. A few days ago they offered the following response, which included a photograph of an African-American man carrying a Confederate flag in front of the Museum of the Confederacy.
I certainly don’t want to be known for casually accusing people of being racist, but I fail to see how this photograph assuages concerns. The Richmond community – who the Flaggers claim to be improving through their efforts – deserve a response to these types of statements. What exactly did the statement mean? How would this specific Flagger explain it to the individual in front of the MOC and the rest of Richmond’s black community?
Who are the Virginia Flaggers?
Richmond, Virginia is an ideal location for a slavery museum. The project would give Gov. Robert McDonnell the opportunity to leave office with a solid legacy of promoting Richmond’s rich heritage and history. It would also serve as the perfect bookend to McDonnell’s earlier misstep and thoughtful turnaround in connection with his Confederate History Month proclamation back in 2010. [see here, here, and here]
THREE MONTHS after he took office in 2010, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell plunged headlong into a public relations debacle of his own making by omitting any mention of slavery from a proclamation he issued during Confederate History Month. After some ham-handed damage control, he apologized for airbrushing history, amended the proclamation to refer to the “abomination of slavery” and said he would be a “champion for racial reconciliation” as the state prepared to commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.
Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, has gone some distance to make good on that promise. Recently, he announced that his final budget, to be submitted to the General Assembly before he leaves office next month, would include $11 million for the construction of a museum and other sites to commemorate slavery, all in Richmond.
[Read the rest of the Post's Editorial]