It couldn’t get any worse for groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Virginia Flaggers, who gather each year in Lexington, Virginia to mark a day that no longer enjoys official recognition.
Confederate flags no longer fly from city-owned lamp posts; VMI has removed a statue honoring Stonewall Jackson and sand blasted his name off the main building; the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, where the man himself is buried has been renamed Oak Grove Cemetery; and both groups are no longer allowed to gather at the Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington & Lee University.
Still, they come each year to salvage whatever respect they can muster from a community that pays little interest or now views them as hopeless reactionaries. The highlight of this yearly gathering for this dwindling crowd is a parade down Lexington’s Main Street. This year, however, the permits for this parade were revoked at the last minute, in response to a major snow and ice storm that will impact the area beginning today, forcing participants to march on the sidewalk.
Last year was bad enough for these people with the removal of monuments to Lee and Jackson in Charlottesville and the transfer in Richmond of all its Confederate monuments to a Black history museum.
This year doesn’t look any better and that’s something we can all rejoice in.
How big is this parade ordinarily? What does it look like?
It certainly involves more people and occupies much of the main street. It includes various local SCV camps and, of course, the Virginia Flaggers. Certainly, the number of people who come out to cheer them on has diminished in recent years. Planners also encourage participants to protest the city by booking hotels and eating outside city limits.
I notice that they’re using the Hampton Inn Col Alto again as the recommended hotel for visitors (“request the discounted ‘Sons of Confederate Veterans/ Lee-Jackson’ rate”) and for two central events, one a luncheon address featuring Susan Hathaway/Lee as the featured speaker.
Can we stop pretending now that they’re boycotting Lexington?
Yeah, I always found this to be laughable.