A Confederate Soldier Statue Only the Sons of Confederate Veterans Could Love

With the removal of so many Confederate monuments over the summer, it is certainly newsworthy to learn of the completion of a new monument. You heard that right. An artist based in Sarasota, Florida has recently completed a Confederate soldier statue that will be dedicated on the grounds of a new museum organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Elm Springs, Tennessee.

I honestly don’t know what to say about it. At first I thought it was a joke.

Source: Greg Marra

The sculptor is Greg Marra and the statue is called “Forwarding the Flag.” It
“depicts a Confederate lieutenant colonel, face raging, sword in one hand, an uninstalled rebel flag in the other, charging uphill, out of craggy Devil’s Den, toward certain death.”

When asked about the Confederate and slavery the artist simply noted: “I think we’re all slaves to the almighty dollar.”

I am still trying to picture this officer holding a Confederate battle flag with sword drawn while charging uphill.


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22 comments… add one
  • hankc9174 Aug 22, 2020 @ 18:15

    a fantasy likeness for a fantasy history

  • Charles Sweeney Aug 19, 2020 @ 4:15

    Levin is a bigoted hack. He knowledge of real history would fit in my little toe. Giveuo your hatred Levin, you’re ridiculous.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 19, 2020 @ 5:02

      Nice to hear from you Charles. Always encouraging to know that I am on the right track.

  • Boyd Harris Aug 19, 2020 @ 3:55


    • Kevin Levin Aug 19, 2020 @ 4:03

      That’s an understatement.

  • Lincoln P. Paine Aug 18, 2020 @ 16:42

    The squirt bottle between his legs is a nice touch.

  • Msb Aug 18, 2020 @ 9:49

    Well, it’s not as ugly as that really awful one of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    • Chris L. Robinson Aug 18, 2020 @ 16:25

      Yeah, but nothing is.

  • Bill Underhill Aug 17, 2020 @ 16:56


    Maybe a typo but Sarasota is in Florida. Saratoga is in New York. And yes, it is one ugly statue.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 18, 2020 @ 1:16

      Thanks for the correction.

  • Annette Varcoe Aug 17, 2020 @ 13:49

    At least this art is for a private group, commissioned privately, so that makes it far less problematic to me than other works. It is unfortunate that the SCV leader, and by extension the artist, does not understand a fundamental aspect of history, which is that our understanding of it changes, which definitely does affect what is labeled history, as well as offer corrections. I think it’s a fascinating look at resistance through art (and the merits of the quality of this specific art are really beyond my ability to comment).

    What I really wanted to add to this discussion is a note about the profound lack of statues to women in the US, especially when we are on the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment (as in tomorrow!). Statues are generally such a masculine tradition. Women are generally shown as very passive when they are depicted, often as helpers, nurses, and/or Madonna-like. The 2018 Febb and Harry Burn statue in Tennessee comes to mind as a different style, although it shows her guiding him with a touch on his arm, rather than actively exhorting him to do the right thing when it comes to voting for women’s suffrage.

    The town where I taught history for 18 years has an unusual WWI memorial across the street from the high school. It is topped with a statue of a female nurse (Madonna-like in her WWI styled nurse’s habit, with arms outstretched and face looking down), has a male representative of four different branches of military service on the side, and then two factory workers (male and female) at the bottom. It was created by workers from the Endicott Johnson Corporation in the aftermath of the war, a town where George F Johnson practiced a very elevated form of paternalism towards his workers (the workers are holding symbols of industrial success – the woman holds a large sheaf of wheat to represent the bounty found working for this corporation). I did a local history tour annually with all my classes where I shared with high school students the unusual nature of the statue, challenging them to find other examples nationally. We had very little success. Photos here if you are interested: waymarking.com/waymarks/WMMVMT_George_F_Johnson_Memorial_Endicott_NY

    Generally, statues of females are less controversial, although there are some recent examples of revision in naming conventions around problematic female historical figures (Margaret Sanger comes to mind). I personally would like to see women of all races presented in more active roles across the board, including the public memory of the Civil War. When you visit most national parks, women are often an after-thought to the story presented. In terms of Civil War National parks, the story is similar, if not worse.

    And the way that this is presented to our students across the country shows no signs of improving the situation for women. In a very literal way, we can look at how women historical figures are presented to students in schools – as in being regulated to the box on the side of the page in the history textbook! This needs to change. In the revision for understanding how race has been depicted and denied a voice in historical narrative to generations of school children, we need to do the same for women. (Dare I suggest that we need ‘to remember the women?’ as well as plead, “Aren’t I a woman?’)

    Thanks for the room for a space for a historian’s soapbox related to statues, women, and public history.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 17, 2020 @ 14:06

      Thanks for sharing this here. Your comment reminded me of a number of reasons as to why I am looking forward to this monument’s dedication.

      • Annette Varcoe Aug 17, 2020 @ 14:43

        Thank you for the reminder of this upcoming statue. It is very exciting and also a great example of the complexities of rending historical memory in ‘permanent form.’ I cannot wait until I can go see it in person, hopefully with a group of educators and/or students in tow. My next wish is for Harriet Tubman to finally get the statue in Beaufort, South Carolina (where she led a successful Civil War raid that freed hundreds of slaves, recruited for the Union cause, and destroyed valuable plantations). It’s been in the works for several years, however it won’t be at the Reconstruction National Park located in the city (ironic, and yet also not at all surprising). Thanks again!!!

      • Pat Young Aug 24, 2020 @ 10:27

        We will see how long Cady Stanton lasts.

    • Roy White Aug 19, 2020 @ 6:56

      I would like to see someone commission a statue of Ida B. Wells.

  • Stephen Aug 17, 2020 @ 13:16

    He looks like he’s rage posting with a phone, which would be about right for this group.

    • London John Aug 18, 2020 @ 3:54

      Taking the composition as a whole, I’d say a seagull has just snatched the icecream from the cone in his left hand, and he’s trying to stab it.

  • Ken Noe Aug 17, 2020 @ 12:52

    Three stars on his collar make him a full colonel, but he’s probably more concerned with his broken right wrist, which clearly explains the pain in his face.

  • Andy Hall Aug 17, 2020 @ 12:47
  • Tim Abbott Aug 17, 2020 @ 12:46

    No spurs on those useless boots either.

  • zcrockett53 Aug 17, 2020 @ 12:43

    What’s with the hat? And the way he’s holding the sword? Smh. This and the SCV deserve each other.

    • Andy Hall Aug 18, 2020 @ 6:59

      The SCV and other Southron Heritage™ groups have a history of commissioning reactionary, even spiteful, statuary and monuments to carry forward a particular narrative that can’t get traction elsewhere. They’re uniformly pretty awful.

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