Virginia Flaggers Admit Defeat…Again

I had no idea that after all these years I am still living rent free in Susan Lee’s (formerly known as Susan Hathaway) head. I guess Susan Bedford Forrest was already taken [h/t KN].

During a recent presentation to the Sons of Confederate Veterans at the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum Lee referenced me as one of the major threats to Confederate heritage. As you can see I am in very good company.

Her speech, which received applause and ovations from the audience, belittled the Black Lives Matter movement and attacked Democratic politicians, Episcopalian churches, the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center, the Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative (CARE) and Boston-based author Kevin M. Levin, who wrote a 2016 blog linking The Virginia Flaggers to white supremacist groups.

I stand guilty as charged. I did write a piece a couple of years ago linking the Flaggers to a number of individuals connected to white supremacist groups. It wasn’t that difficult to do. Others have made similar connections.

When it comes to the Virginia Flaggers, there really hasn’t been much to write about in recent years. They continue to preach to their ever shrinking group of supporters. Their Facebook page is now filled mainly with vile pro-Trump articles from suspect websites.

Yes, they have managed to erect a few flags along highways around the state and there are even a few offshoots operating elsewhere, but as I have stated all along they are leading a rear guard action.

Communities across the country continue to debate whether to remove Confederate monuments. The Dallas City Council voted last night to remove a large Confederate War Memorial. No doubt more would be removed, but for state laws preventing local communities from exercising control over how the past is commemorated in public spaces.

Nothing the Flaggers have done has had any impact on this trend. They still don’t seem to realize that it is not outsiders who are responsible for growing calls to remove public reminders of the Confederacy, it is the very people (black and white) who can trace their lineage back to the 1860s and earlier. The rhetoric is the same: nonsensical claims accusing detractors of being “godless radicals” and “liberals” who “hate us because of our Christian faith. The South was a Christian nation.”

Susan Lee all but acknowledged their inability to turn the tide:

At the end of her speech, she displayed a message that read “it may take 100 years… but we will take our land back and when we do the flags will rise, the monuments will be returned and the school names will be restored.”

Sorry, but the Confederacy isn’t likely to ever “Rise Again”.

Glad to know that they are still thinking of me. :-

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53 comments… add one
  • Mary Martin Feb 19, 2019 @ 7:26

    Sorry to digress. I grew bored watching flaggers and completely missed when Susan Frise Hathaway changed her name to Susan Lee. Is it so she can honestly tell her employer that “she” isn’t waging war against its museum clients? Or did she go off the deep Kool-aid end to legally take the name of Marse Robert?

  • Kim Feb 15, 2019 @ 15:28

    I think Sean is onto something. Because it is shocking, really, to observe that those who bitterly, angrily, and acrimoniously denounce slavery in connection with the Confederacy abruptly do a 180 degree about face when the issues of slavery and slave-trading are discussed in connection with the Founders and with regard to the Union Slave States during the war. All at once slavery is no longer an absolute evil to be cursed and vilified, but, rather, it is to be contextualized, mitigated, qualified, explained, understood, and tolerated. The double-standards and open contradictions are truly astounding.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 15:30

      You can read ten years of blogging about slavery and the Civil War on this site and not find one example that fits this description. I live in Boston and have written quite a bit about the extent to which locals ignore this aspect of their history.

    • Sandi Saunders Feb 17, 2019 @ 13:20

      I have never been in any discussion that falls under any of the qualifications you mention but I will say that comparing the evils of slavery in general with the evil of going to war with our nation to create an independent slave republic will always be an evil unto itself for those exact reasons.

    • Msb Feb 17, 2019 @ 23:16

      Can you really not tell the difference between a nation founded with slavery, but hoping gradually to eliminate it and starting the process by outlawing the transatlantic slave trade, and one founded specifically to protect and expand it? This distinction was certainly clear to secessionists.

  • Sean Feb 15, 2019 @ 6:26

    Susan Lee and The Virginia Flaggers are merely honoring their ancestors who bravely fought to sustain the principles that traitorous slaveowner and secessionist Thomas Jefferson so eloquently described in the Declaration, and that traitorous slaveowner and secessionist George Washington fought for. And when the colonial secession was complete, the Founders had established a slave republic, just like the CSA was a slave republic. But the CSA at least had the decency to prohibit the sadistic business of slave-trafficking, whereas the Founders established explicitly protected that grisly business. All in all, The Flaggers have it right.

    • Sandi Saunders Feb 15, 2019 @ 8:16

      Actually, you are dealing in the same small-minded excerpts that fit your narrative just like the flaggers do. Thomas Jefferson wanted to blame the institution of slavery on the King and use it as one of the causes for our independence but the slave holders would have none of it so that was removed and he was just blamed for slave insurrection. Same as the Congressional and Constitutional support for slavery, (3/5 of a person counting for representative apportionment), etc. No one in the American Revolution was fighting to keep slavery or to create what they already had. And “slave-trafficking” was ended by our Constitution in 1808. So the CSA “prohibited” what was already prohibited and protected what was ending.

      But even if we grant your theory of a slave republic, the United States was turning away from slavery and the arguments were long and prolonged about it, when they saw they could not stop it, they seceded and planned for war. Then they became traitors by making war on the United States. There is no defense for that. Defending the confederacy is wrong.

    • Jimmy Dick Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:41

      I always love it when people try to equate the War of Independence with the Civil War. They ignore the causes and just try to make the tenuous connection in a futile attempt to justify the treason of the secessionists. In a very real sense, the men who chose to rebel against Great Britain were men who set America on the path to ending slavery while the men who chose to commit treason against the US were men who were desperate to prevent slavery from ending.

      Repeatedly throughout the founding of the nation and during the years leading up to the Civil War we find attempts by people to end slavery through various means. We find attempts by men to prevent slavery from ending through various means. The principles of the nation were in direct conflict with the institution of slavery even before the nation was founded. Thomas Jefferson and many others saw this, but were unable and or unwilling to take the necessary steps to end slavery. Many of the founders thought it would die out, but not all of them wanted that. Some of them required slavery to continue to exist for their benefit.

      You can say the US was a slave republic, but if you do you also have to say the US was created and set on a course that would ultimately end slavery as it was not compatible with the principles of the nation. Those that resisted ending slavery were actually rejecting those principles. The best they could do was to apply the principles to themselves while denying them to others which was a cold rejection of the reasons there was a War of Independence in the first place.

  • Neukomment Feb 15, 2019 @ 5:49

    Local communities deciding for themselves how they want their community publicly represented by going through a process that includes all community members, black and white, and embracing all of their history, not just those 4 years between 1861-1865.

    What could be more American then that? It is at this local community level where reconstruction will finally be accomplished, not by federal imposition, but from grassroots up.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 6:08

      You would think that people who go out of their way to argue that secession was solely about local control would understand such a position.

  • Sandi Saunders Feb 15, 2019 @ 4:59

    It really feels like these people live in their own world. They discard anything that does not fit their narrative and belittle and disparage anyone who tries to offer facts, historical documents or reality into their chosen cult. And it is a cult for most of those who buy into it. They will cherry pick the quotes, writings and speeches they believe in and discard the same documents that prove them wrong.

    They will claim heritage, they will claim history, but none of them can claim anything for long without the strong white supremacist, deeply conservative and anti-America sentiments showing themselves. They literally cannot help it. They try, I will give them that, but they ALWAYS devolve into just the rhetoric you show from the flaggers of every stripe.

    Just the thought of associating yourself with a group that white supremacists idolize would be food for serious thought for most people but some, seeking a deeper meaning to their own existence, a sense of being part of history or claiming an honor that many just refuse to give seems to be a raison d’être that is well beyond reason.

    The notion that those of us who call the confederates traitors, who call secession unlawful, who call out the STATED purpose and intent to tear America apart to create an independent slave republic are the problem is just fascinating. Like nearly every guilty person, they need someone to blame and it cannot be their reasoning that is faulty. No matter how much documentation proves them wrong.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 5:01

      I don’t think I could have said it any better.

    • Erick Hare Feb 17, 2019 @ 12:04

      One minor point of clarification here. We’re talking about a fringe group in society now who are embattled by conservatives and liberals alike. It is why they are fading into obsolescence and are irrelevant to the current discourse we are having to continue to strive towards the ideals and principles of freedom, equality and liberty espoused in our founding documents.

      Bruce referenced a video produced by a conservative group PragerU a few years ago (with over 2.1 million views on Youtube now not counting other social media platforms) who took the same stance we consistently hold to here and debate/discuss with those on the fringe who contend otherwise:

      I take serious issue with people generalizing fringe viewpoints on one side of this discussion or another. It is not good to generalize a contending fringe viewpoint to be that of all conservatives or all liberals.

      That’s how we’ve become so polarized and have not been able to come to common ground, as Americans, because too often each side is too quick to demonize the other rather than really discuss the issues with civility and find ways to come together under the founding principles of the nation and work together to improve our nation. People are way too quick to want to tear down and destroy as opposed to build up, improve and transcend the flaws and mistakes of the past. We end up talking past each other and become more polarized than ever when there really is common ground we can agree upon and move forward on the basis of into the future together.

      • Sandi Saunders Feb 17, 2019 @ 13:15

        If that coming together on any point is your experience, that is great. It has never been mine. The neo-confederates try to beat down, insult, and dismiss anyone who will not honor what they do.

  • Joshism Feb 14, 2019 @ 17:43

    I was thinking of visiting the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum the next time I was up in that area. If they’re hosting Susan and the SCV maybe they’re not worth a visit.

  • Jimmy Dick Feb 14, 2019 @ 16:36

    Still waiting for those confederate heritage victories. You know, the ones the use primary sources to back up their claims regarding history. I don’t see any of those, KKKonnie. I sure do see a lot of claims made by the Flaggers and KKKonnie with nothing to substantiate them.

    I also see more monuments to traitors coming down. I see more monuments to white supremacy coming down. I see the majority of Americans rejecting white supremacy.

    I see people like KKKonnie, Suzie, and the flaggers screaming for attention and getting none. Good riddance!

    • Kevin Levin Feb 14, 2019 @ 16:48

      Like I said in the post, the Flaggers, the SCV, and the rest of the heritage folks are talking among an ever shrinking audience.

    • David A. Vazquez Feb 14, 2019 @ 18:21

      Greetings. I noticed your post here on this blog, and wanted to address it.

      To begin with, you mention “not seeing any of those”, regarding “primary sources to back up your claims”. I do not know what you mean. As a new member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans myself, I can tell you that primary sources are central to even being able to join the organization. For example, to prove my own lineage, I provided birth certificates, marriage certificates, and especially military records. All of these are primary sources.

      You mention “monuments to traitors”. What are you referring to? If referring to Confederate veterans, they were not traitors, as the United States Government itself has established. Furthermore, as a veteran of both the United States Marine Corps and United States Army myself, I can assure you of the same. I did some of my miitary training at Fort A. P. Hill. Other Army posts are the very famous Fort Benning, Fort Rucker (where many of my comrades received helicopter training), and others. All of these are named after Confederate officers. Furthermore, well-known vehicles, some of which roamed the sands of Africa or countrysides of Europe eliminating enemy German units, were vehicles like the M3 Lee or M36 Jackson. U.S. leaders such as FDR (that’s President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) himself dedicated parks, memorials or place names, to Confederate soldiers.

      I will add that as a military veteran myself, as well as a veteran of civilian law enforcement, I would never join or be a member of an organization that has to do with “traitors”, nor would the military or law enforcement allow anyone to join any organization having to do with “traitors”, and serve.

      I very much am against “white supremacy”, or supremacy of any kind, other than American supremacy. I am Latino (along with over 22% Native American ancestry, by DNA), I grew up in Latin America, and my father is an immigrant from Latin America. My membership and strong support of Sons of Confederate Veterans has nothing to do with the “KKK”, nor anything else equally noxious.

      Thank you for your time, and I welcome your comments.


      David A. Vazquez.

      • James Francis Ryan Feb 15, 2019 @ 3:41


        Who was your ancestor and what unit did he serve in?

        • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:14

          I’m sorry I didn’t notice your post before. My ancestors fought in the 9th Virginia Cavalry, and in the Home Guard, out of the Northern Neck of Virginia.

      • Jimmy Dick Feb 15, 2019 @ 6:46

        If you take the time to read the US Constitution you will see the definition of treason. If you take the time to look at the primary sources, the confederates were pardoned for treason. If you use primary sources which you claim to use, you will see where the people who chose secession and rebellion stated beyond a shadow of a doubt that they did it because of slavery.

        Military records do not prove what the cause of the war was. They can provide a wealth of information, but they’re not the end all, be all of primary sources. If you need help with this, I can provide it.

        Start with the Declaration of Secession by the various states. Read the records of Congress. Read what the people wrote down. Read their speeches. I show these sources to my students every semester. They don’t have a problem understanding what took place.

        You say you don’t want to be part of an organization that supports white supremacy? Then take a good look at why the monuments to confederates were erected. Read the primary sources by the people who put them up. Don’t read what is written today. Read the actual primary sources. It’s pretty simple.

        Have a nice day!

        • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:19

          Hi Everyone. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am ending this comment thread.

        • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:20

          Thank you for your response, it is very much appreciated.

          However, I think you may be confused about what the Sons of Confederate Veterans is, as an organization, and who we are. I would like to take this opportunity to educate you a little about it. Keep in mind these are my own words, and that I speak for myself, and do not pretend to speak for others.

          We are a military heritage organization, honoring the military service of our direct (and in some cases, collateral) ancestors. I joined because my great-great grandfather served in the war, as did his 2 brothers, and virtually all of their male first cousins. You stated “Military records do not prove what the cause of the war was.” Joining and serving as a member of the SCV is not contingent on, nor related to, what “the cause of the war was”. I do not need to prove the cause of the war to join, one way or another, whether it was for this reason or that. The primary sources I have, and which are important to me, in regards to joining the organization, are exactly military records, letters, marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc. These are basic tools of genealogy, or of proof of honorable military service. In other words, there must be no evidence that my ancestors deserted, committed violations of the laws of war, etc. These are important primary sources, which I have no idea how you would be able to “provide” me with, without even knowing who my ancestors were. If you can do that, that would be quite a feat. It took me quite a bit of time and research to achieve this. (Furthermore, there is no primary evidence at all of my ancestors being “pardoned”… but that is another topic).

          As for your paragraph about the Declaration of Secession, etc, again, this is irrelevant to my membership and service in a MILITARY HERITAGE organization. (I apologize for the caps, but know of no other way to emphasize). Membership is contingent on proof (using primary sources) of service of one’s ancestor(s). And their service is what I honor, and I help other members honor. Allow me to use an example– if there is (and there may be, I have not researched it yet) a military heritage organization for descendants of soldiers who served in Napoleon’s Grande Armee, it would be inappropriate to use time and resources of such an organization to debate the relative merits of the Girondist versus Babeufist versus Robespierrist philosophies (if you do not know what those are, I would be glad to explain), or the political causes of the rise of Napoleon, etc. This would be more appropriate for an organization titled perhaps “Society for the Descendants of French Revolutionary Philosophers”, not a military heritage organization. Another example– I am a member of a Marine Corps heritage association, as a Marine myself. We do not expend resources debating the merits of various US policies that led to the use of Marines (including ourselves) around the world. Instead, we honor the service of Marines, worldwide and in all conflicts, whether the causes and incidents in which they participated are deemed “wrong” or “right”, by others, particularly those who have never served in the Marine Corps for a single day. In other words, I want to bring the conversation back to the organization and its purpose. Sons of military veterans, FOR sons of military veterans.

          Again, honoring my family’s honorable (and apparently effective) participation in an American war is my purpose for joining and serving in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. For someone who grew up overseas and in awe of the Untied States, that fact, that my ancestors actually participated, is amazing and awe-inspiring and precious to me. I am also a member of the Society of the War of 1812 (because the father of my Confederate ancestors served in the War of 1812), and am becoming a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (because their grandfather served in the Revolution)– all of these men served Virginia during these wars. That is something else I am very proud of– PRIMARY EVIDENCE of so many of my ancestors’ service to Virginia, combined with my own service to Virginia, in law enforcement. In that way, I find and see a continuum among my family and myself, in service to my state and country, of which I am very proud. Also, these organizations, including the SCV, provide opportunities for us to educate others, often many others, about the wars. For example, I will be participating in various history expos and festivals and the like, in which I will have the opportunity to educate and talk to many, including young people, about the military history of my area. I am very grateful for this opportunity and consider it an honor and a duty.

          You speak of having “students”. In what capacity, and at what level, may I ask?

          I forgot to add in my previous post, that I find that it is only those who have never served their country, who speak of calling veterans “traitors”. We actual military veterans don’t do that. Also, membership in the SCV is open to all male persons, regardless of race, religion, etc. I’m a Latino, and I was in no way restricted from joining. That would be quite odd for an organization dedicated to “white supremacy”, to allow membership of non-whites…

          • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:32

            We are a military heritage organization, honoring the military service of our direct (and in some cases, collateral) ancestors.

            I am sorry, but this is simply not accurate. The SCV has become much more political in recent decades and is responsible for propagating many myths about the Civil War and the Confederacy. I track the rise of the black Confederate myth in the late 1970s in my forthcoming book on the subject. The SCV used it to counter the growing interest in the emancipation and black Union soldiers.

            • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:48

              I’m sorry but you are incorrect. The SCV is exactly about military heritage– in fact, I could not have joined without having proved that I directly (or collaterally) descended from military veterans. This is the very definition of a military heritage organization. If it were a “political organization”, my membership in the group would be contingent on my political ideas, with actual descent from military veterans not needed or irrelevant. I can assure you this is not the case.

              “..has become much more political in recent decades”… I think you are making the mistake of assuming that I have a been a member, or even alive and interested in military history, “in recent decades”. I think part of the problem may be a generational one– you are probably of a generation that may have been active in the 1970s… I am not, I am perhaps much younger than you assume. It is irrelevant what previous members may have done in the long ago past. The fact is, the SCV is a military heritage organization dedicated to honoring our military veteran ancestors.

              To say that the SCV “is” now, as a collective (which would be impossible to know, unless you have polled all of us or even most of us), what some may have stated it was back in the 1960s or 1970s or 1980s etc, is ridiculous. This would be like saying that the United States, as a collective, “is” just what it was in the 1790s or 1860s or 1910s. And, if even if it were “more political”, does not mean that the purpose and charter and mission of the organization has changed. I think you are making the mistake of holding the SCV to standards that you would not hold other organizations to, like the DAR for example, or even the United States. Just because the present U.S. President holds certain views and is taking the country in a certain direction, does not mean that the purpose and character of the country as a whole has changed. Or do you disagree?

              Also, it is a little strange for someone who is not a member of an organization, to be dictating to an actual member, what the purpose of his own organization is. It brings to mind the current term “mansplaining”… in this case I suppose it would be “ancestorsplaining”… or “organizationsplaining”…? I’ll need to think about that one further.

              • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:58

                With all due respect, you are incredibly naive. I personally know a number of former members who left because the organization became more political. This is no secret. In fact, just look at the SCV’s declining numbers over the years. Their place or role as some kind of voice for “Southern” or “Confederate Heritage” has long passed.

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 10:56

                For some reason the website wasn’t loading, so I was under the impression the website had shut down. I do apologize.

                “The fact that you can claim a Confederate ancestor means zero to me”… That’s nice, but this isn’t about you, it’s about the SCV. And to join the SCV, one must have a Confederate ancestor.

                “It gives you no more legitimate claim to the Confederate past than anyone else.” I’m sorry, but that isn’t true, and is patently absurd on its face. To to say that, would be like telling me that I have “no more legitimate claim to Latino past than anyone else”.. really..? So, I have no more claim to the past of my ethnicity, my genetic background, than, say, an Irishman from Cork? Or a German from Pennsylvania? Come now, that doesn’t make much sense. On the contrary— having an actual ancestor of a certain group automatically gives one a connection to that group— whether that group be military veterans or citizens of a geographical area. It boggles my mind that you disagree with that. It is part of one’s identity. To tell me that even though my family member fought in a certain war, and someone else’s didn’t, I and my family have no more connection to that war than the other person is ridiculous. And it would be news to organizations like the VA and USAA and the US govenrment, who award pensions and life insurance payments etc to family members of the veterans, not to random strangers who are unconnected. I have paperwork showing my family members claiming bounty land or pension due to their being children or other family members of veterans… in your world, strangers unrelated to the family could make such claims…?

                “Organizational history of the Civil War”… I don’t now what that means, can you explain? History of various organizations during the Civil War? Or? I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own “histories” are quite exhaustive, as I’ve begun to show in my writings. I am about to embark on a series of articles on a series of lesser-known skirmishes, and my research for them is exhaustive and exhausting. Anyway, please explain what you mean.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:00

                  Sorry, but the Confederacy is not an ethnicity. My grandfather fought in WWII, but I claim no authority on the history of that war, the unit in which he served or anything related to my grandfather specifically given the information that I have available. Of course, I could conduct research and perhaps I might even have a leg up given the existence of certain family documents, but they still need to be interpreted.

                  I am pleased to see that you have found a home in the SCV and that it gives your life meaning. Best of luck.

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:07

                ” I claim no authority on the history of that war, the unit in which he served” I agree, and you should not. And I’m sure you make no such claim. Neither do I. I never claimed that I have ‘special knowledge’ of the units in which my ancestors fought. I said, and in fact you said, “special connection”, I believe. It actually does, in a literal sense. And, more to the point, it is the “special connection” required by the organization, in order to join the organization. That connection is in my DNA. It is in my family. That is a sacred connection to my ancestors, much more so than any “connection” total strangers to my family might have. And no, it’s not an ethnicity, but the result is the same– being a Native American, for example, is exactly mostly due to one’s being descended from an actual Native American. Same goes for being a member of the SCV. It’s pretty straightforward.

                I also notice you didn’t address my other questions, including “organizational history”….

                And, my challenge to you, for a public debate, still stands. Let me know, it would be a pleasure to debate you on a public stage that might benefit a charity or non-profit.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:11

                  By organizational history I was referring to the SCV’s website and other official publications.

                  I appreciate your offer to debate, but that is not how I do history. This website includes references to everything I have written over the past 10 plus years in print and digital form. You are free to read it at your convenience.

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:20

                I agree that the website and other aspects of the organization need revamping, and that is part of what is being improved, as far as I know.
                The bottom line is, please do not judge the SCV by its past (that is, what you may have been familiar with, in your youth). Like any organization, it changes, and though I can only speak for myself, I know we strive to improve. I for one (and I am an officer in the organization, in addition to being a writer and editor for our state organization’s publications) strive to research as much fact and primary sources as possible in my writings, and I expect the same for new members as well. The thing is, and I’m sure you will agree with this, is that there must be volunteer organizations that help to educate people and interest them and excite them about history. College professors can largely only do that for their classes, professionally. Park rangers can only do that where they are stationed, again professionally. So there is a need for volunteer historical organizations to pick up the slack. In my area, I am working to make the SCV exactly that– giving talks, tours, etc at civil war sites (and there are many in my area). And excellent research is of course needed to accomplish that. That is my purpose, and the purpose of my own organization, inside the SCV.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:23

                  …please do not judge the SCV by its past (that is, what you may have been familiar with, in your youth).

                  Did you not even bother to read this post? I am judging the SCV’s past and present. Again, read the story linked to in the blog post above about an SCV meeting that just took place.

                  • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:46

                    Kevin, I have to say, you seem to be more interested in attacking an organization, than genuinely trying to help educate about the Civil War. Here we are, a large group of very enthusiastic “fans”, to put it one way, of one era of history, who are ready and able to teach other about history– or at least my group is, locally. Instead of encouraging research, you seem to be more into criticism.

                    There is an important thing that in my opinion, you should take to heart. History is largely boring, to most people, until the instant it gets personal. Few people are interested in the exploits of a certain company of a certain regiment that was active in some rear area of the war (or any war)… or even of the exploits of a prominent unit in a prominent battle—- until the moment he or she finds out that one’s ancestor was involved. Then, all of a sudden, it becomes fascinating. You really ought to capitalize on that, as an educator (which I believe you are, if not, I apologize). For example, until last year, I could not have told you the first thing about the ravages of Lord Dunmore on the the Tidewater area of Virginia, or of the ripping up of the freedom of the press in Norfolk (which predated many of the more renowned incidents in New England)….. until the moment I found out that my direct ancestor was intimately involved in all of that, and later went on to be an adjutant to the Washingtons. Now suddenly I could talk to you about it all day, due to all the books I’ve read on that. This sort of enthusiasm is now endemic in the US, due to the appearance of AncestryDNA and 23&Me etc. Some people need to change with the times, and ride that wave and encourage it, rather than put down organizations dedicated to learning about military history.

                    That’s just my 2 cents’ worth. I hope one day you’ll join us, to borrow a phrase, in trying to be ambassadors of history to the public, with the knowledge you have, which is always welcome.

                    David A. Vazquez

                    • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:50

                      The SCV has done nothing to promote education. It’s understanding of history is deeply flawed and I will continue to caution people from considering anything it publishes. Those people who can identify a Confederate ancestor and are interested in the relevant history would do well to stay as far away from the SCV as possible.

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:57

                Kevin that’s just not true, and you know it– I provided you with an SCV publication which I myself edited and wrote articles for. My research is exhaustive and accurate and most importantly, unbiased. I learned that from years of conducting criminal investigations as a police detective. Everything and anything, regardless of how it makes anyone look, must be brought to light. No stone should be left unturned. Our publication is available for any and all to see– I even provided you with one. Our next publication comes out in April, and I would invite you to critique it, and at any time write me any objections you may have had to our first issue. I have and do guarantee that I will publish your comments in full, in the same publication.
                For you to characterize the publication I am responsible for in that way is wrong, and incorrect.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:05

                  I didn’t even bother to read the publication you sent me. I am characterizing SCV newsletters, website, and Confederate Veteran magazine that I have read over the course of 10 plus years. My forthcoming book includes an entire chapter on how the SCV promoted and spread the black Confederate myth.

                  Best of luck to you.

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:08

                Wow… you won’t even read an actual SCV newsletter, in formulating an opinion about SCV newsletters. I think that says it all, sir.
                To be honest, I think that’s the classic definition of prejudice.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:10

                  To be honest, I think that’s the classic definition of prejudice.

                  Absolutely. Prejudice against misinformation and propaganda. You nailed it.

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:51

                You’re a veteran of “the military services”…? Are there more than one? I’m sorry, but my “spidey sense” is up, as well as red flags. I have never, and have never heard any of the thousands of fellow military veterans I know refer to service in the various branches of the US military as “the military services”. This rings about as true as a former police officer saying he “served in the police services”. Unless you mean you’ve served another country, outside of the US?

                I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to remain a skeptic about that, without some further information, as I’m sure every other military veteran is feeling the same way, reading this. And I’m sorry, but claiming military service when you didn’t serve, is atrocious. I’m not accusing you of that, but you’re making me a skeptic. What branch or branches and units did you serve in?

              • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:54

                Kevin…. yikes. Your readers, and you yourself, deserve better than this. Characterizing something you’ve never read as “misinformation”…? Yikes. Legitimate criticism of the SCV has its place and is welcome, but this…. I think you’ve done your own side more disservice, and helped my side, more than you intended here. It’s a pity. Please don’t let your emotions get the better of you online, nothing good ever comes of it.

                Anyway, your input is always welcome, in the future.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 13:03

                  I wouldn’t worry about my readers. I’ve been writing about the SCV’s misinformation campaign for the entire life of this blog.

                  Please don’t let your emotions get the better of you online, nothing good ever comes of it.

                  No emotions here. My response is informed by a good deal of research and writing. Again, you are free to explore at your convenience.

                  • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 13:14

                    You write blogs… My 5 year old niece has a blog. Congratulations, you post online. Welcome to the 21st century. You do what most teenagers with a smartphone nowadays do, you blog. But, you won’t debate… and you won’t read anything that might run counter to your preconceived ideas, that are, by now, stuck back in the 1970s.

                    I’m sorry Kevin, but… one cannot help the closed-minded. I’ve done my best.

                    • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 14:45

                      Here is a link to my cv.

                      And with that comment you are done for the day.

            • David A. Vazquez Feb 15, 2019 @ 10:18

              Actually, the SCV is exactly all about “Confederate Heritage”, in the literal sense– we are actual, literal descendants of actual, literal Confederate Veterans. I’m confused as to why you find that difficult to understand. That is exactly what military heritage means.

              “I personally know a number of former members who left because the organization became more political.” I’m sorry but I’m going to have to put my old detective’s hat on, and ask you for detail on that. Can you name for me these “former members”, so that I may address them directly about this? Otherwise, this becomes a “I know more X-type people than you do”, with no way to confirm this. If you want to email me with their info so that this can be looked into, I’d be glad to. In fact I’ll write it up in the next newsletter, as it would be a very important topic to cover, I think.

              And already with the ad hominem….? Proceeded by “with all due respect”…? Tsk tsk.

              And as for “declining numbers”, I’m a new member, and we are recruiting new members, particularly young people, regularly. I think the problem you are running into is “intersectionalism”— now that persons of all types are marrying and having children, you have persons of many different ethnic backgrounds as descendants of Confederate veterans, and therefore a much broader and more diverse pool of applicants. I am a living demonstration that the old, 1970s image of an SCV member as a “white supremacist” is going extinct. It is, if I might borrow a phrase, becoming “gone with the wind”.

              • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 10:25

                The fact that you can claim a Confederate ancestor means zero to me. It gives you know more legitimacy or claim to the Confederate/Civil War past than anyone else. In fact, the SCV’s organizational history of the Civil War is a mess and an embarrassment given what the past few decades of scholarship has shown. If you find meaning in it so be it.

                I can only share what I have experienced with the SCV over the years, including the story linked to in the blog post above.

              • Sandi Saunders Feb 15, 2019 @ 10:38

                Not for nothing, but there are many direct descendants of confederate soldiers who would sooner die than join the SCV and that is because they know it is about far more than just honoring brave men in their ancestry. You overlook what you like, at 61 I have dealt with the SCV revisionists for decades. You will never polish that _____.

                • Kevin Levin Feb 15, 2019 @ 10:44

                  We honor our ancestors by being honest about them. The SCV has been engaged in promoting Lost Cause propaganda from day one.

              • Jimmy Dick Feb 15, 2019 @ 13:06

                I am looking right at the front page of the SCV website. The word slavery is not on this page. I so see a few requests for funds though. Now I am looking at the Sam Davis Camp Past Lectures. As expected there’s the states rights stuff. Look at the information on how some people want the past to be viewed. “The Constitution as it was Ratified.” “Free Markets vs. Marxism.” What is that doing in there? Here’s one I would love to see in person. “People of Color in the WBTS.” Who wants to bet money it’s another attempt to say thousands of black men fought for the Confederacy? In other words we see more lies in an attempt to project a fake history.

                Let’s go to the Research section. Let’s see, what do we have here? An essay by David Livingston titled, “Why the War was not about Slavery.” This essay is an outright lie. It shows us why it is important to teach students how to do research. The essay is a very good example of someone writing to present their opinion as fact while ignoring the facts that contradict that opinion. In other words, it is highly biased. Please note the lack of primary sources like the Declarations of Secession.

                Please note the Dr. Livingston is a founder of the Abbeville Institute which has such notable (cue the sarcasm) figures as Thomas DiLorenzo and Thomas Woods as their members. You know, well known folks who advocate secession and write history as they want it to have been.

                Still haven’t found slavery mentioned as the cause of the Civil War anywhere on the SCV site. I wonder why? So much for just being a military heritage organization. It’s just another lost cause propaganda group.

              • Jimmy Dick Feb 15, 2019 @ 14:56

                What’s the matter, David? You never heard that there are other branches of the US military sometimes referred to in the plural? The Armed Forces is another use of a term to describe them. You may know them as the US Army, the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, and the US Marine Corps as well as the various Reserve and National Guard components that make them up.

                It was my privilege to serve in the US Army and later the Missouri National Guard. I’ve got a VA card in my wallet which is something I’m very glad to have. As for your spidey sense, that’s twice you’ve whiffed. Going to try to be Casey and swing a third time?

                You can remain a skeptic, but what you are really doing is trying to project a stereotype you believe in to others and trying to make that stand up as representative of everyone in the military. That would be a false projection because the military is made up of men and women from all walks of life just like the population of the nation is.

                Let’s look at those sterling fellows in the SCV.


                Ron Wilson, former national leader of the SCV. Guilty of a Ponzi scheme.

                Matt Heimbach, white supremacist, adulterer, and (I have no clue what the term is for cheating on your wife with your dad’s wife who would be your step-mother in the trailer park they lived in).

                Then we have the SCV appointing Walter Donald Kennedy as the head of its heritage defense.


                That’s hilarious! Yet another “historian” who makes up the history to suit his beliefs. In case you didn’t know, Kennedy and his brother wrote the book “The South was Right!” which is a marvelous waste of useful toilet paper. Unless of course one prefers to use the pages as toilet paper in which case it is a pretty handy and compact form of it.

                If that’s what you call a military heritage organization, then have fun.

          • Jimmy Dick Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:21

            As a 20 year veteran of the US military services I think I can say you are wrong when you say actual military veterans don’t call others traitors. Read the US Constitution. It specifically states what treason is. Read the pardons issued to the former confederates. Those pardons specifically used the words treason and traitors.

            I’m not confused at all by what the SCV is. I hold it in contempt. I see the members lying about the cause of the Civil War and about all kinds of things related to the war. I see them trying to pass off their lies as history when they reject the facts that prove their lies to be lies. Read the piece of trash known as the confederate catechism. That’s a collection of lies and rubbish.

            As for my students, I teach at a community college. I’m very happy to use primary sources when i teach history. My students appreciate it too. I show them the Declarations of Secession. I teach them how to look up information and to explore the past using sources. I just had the confederate catechism on the screen showing them the rubbish it is.

            If you want to sit there and ignore what the monuments are about, that’s just another example of someone ignoring the reality of history and trying to gloss over the past to present a version of history that they want to believe in instead of the actual facts.

  • Connie Chastain Feb 14, 2019 @ 16:05

    Oh, and they didn’t “admit defeat.” That’s a trick you learned from Silent Simpson, isn’t it — claiming people “admit” something they didn’t admit, and it turns out you’re just wishful thinking. Yoiu’re pathetic. America would be soooo much better off without your mentality.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 14, 2019 @ 16:31

      Happy Valentine’s Day, Connie. 🙂

    • Joshism Feb 14, 2019 @ 17:44

      “America would be soooo much better off without your mentality.”

      That’s exactly what many of think about you, Connie, and your CBF-waving friends.

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