Looks like I missed a great deal of Virginia Flagger silliness while away on my Civil War road trip. The group of teachers I was with heard about their plans to place a large Confederate flag on I-95 to welcome people to Richmond (and here). I used the media attention to highlight the dynamics of Civil War memory while leading the group down Monument Avenue.
A few of the teachers immediately interpreted this story as evidence of a strong reactionary element in the South that will never move beyond the Lost Cause. I stressed that, if anything, these people represent a relatively small segment of the population. In the end, this is little more than a rear guard action or a reflection of just how marginalized these people have become in a city that has made great strides on the racial and Civil War memory fronts in recent years. Continue reading
Michael Givens (SCV) and Susan Hathaway on the Boulevard in Richmond, Va.
Brooks Simpson has learned from the Richmond Police Department that there is no report related to a supposed vandalism incident that took place on Thursday at the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond. According to the police: ““We can find no record of such an incident ever occurring.” According to Hathaway’s posting, Mr. Walker called the police, so there would be a record. Given the details of the report written by Virginia Flagger, Susan Hathaway, it is safe to assume that it is doubtful that the incident took place.
It is now time for Hathaway and Walker to explain themselves. I assume the Virginia Flaggers themselves will want an explanation given the fact that so many commented on and/or shared the story through various social media channels such as Facebook. How embarrassing. Here is how Hathaway explained what took place at the Davis Monument:
We do not believe there are ANY coincidences or happenstance in what has transpired since we began our work 20 months ago. There is no denying God’s hand in this… in bringing Rob to Monument Ave. last November, and then, miraculously again last night at the exact moment and time to prevent what could have been irreparable damage to one of our most treasured monuments AND facilitating the first arrest (that we are aware of) of these punk vandals that have no regard for the rule of law: neither God’s nor man’s. – Susan Hathaway, Virginia Flaggers
There are still no updates to the story of a VCU student who supposedly prevented two white males from vandalizing the Jefferson Davis monument in Richmond on Thursday evening. The Richmond-Times Dispatch has been contacted and is looking into this story as has the Richmond Police for further information. The story was made public by Susan Hathaway of the Virginia Flaggers. The student in question is Rob Walker Jr. Some of you may remember that Mr. Walker left a few comments on my blog a few weeks ago in response to the posting of one of his Flagger videos.
I want the conversation to be about the content of his [Tripp Lewis] argument…. Like I said, I am unbiased. I am not for or against the Confederate flag. I simply wish to conduct an investigation into the issue.
Mr. Walker apparently hopes to be thought of as an objective documentarian of Flagger activities. This can no longer be assumed given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered. I emailed Walker last night, but have still not received a response. Here is the email: Continue reading
Update: As of 05/12 inquiries have been made with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Richmond Police. Mr. Rob Walker, who is the VCU student has also been contacted. Again, as of today nothing has appeared in the Richmond news about this incident. With the following words hanging over these unanswered questions let’s hope we can resolve it and focus on the praise that this individual deserves: We do not believe there are ANY coincidences or happenstance in what has transpired since we began our work 20 months ago. There is no denying God’s hand in this… in bringing Rob to Monument Ave. last November, and then, miraculously again last night at the exact moment and time to prevent what could have been irreparable damage to one of our most treasured monuments AND facilitating the first arrest (that we are aware of) of these punk vandals that have no regard for the rule of law: neither God’s nor man’s. – Susan Hathaway, Virginia Flaggers
Over the years I have made my position on the defacing of monuments quite clear. I have zero toleration for it. So, you can imagine my surprise and relief when I learned that someone with very close ties to the Virginia Flaggers stopped a couple of vandals from defacing the Jefferson Davis Monument in Richmond on the evening of May 9. The individual in question is a film student at VCU, who over the past few months has been chronicling the activities of the Flaggers. You can read the following account, which has been circulated on numerous sites here, here, here, here, here and here. Continue reading
Yesterday my wife and I stopped briefly at the Pelham Chapel in Richmond, which is the site of the ongoing protest by a group that styles itself, the Virginia Flaggers. As many of you know their protest is focused on the recent removal of Confederate flags from outside the chapel itself. I was hoping to see some Flaggers in action, but in the end I am glad that they decided to take the day off. For the first time in my many visits the chapel was actually open. We weren’t able to spend too much time, but it is an impressive little building. Continue reading