The Virginia Flaggers recently put out a post about their Lee-Jackson Day event later this month. After reading it, I can say that this is coded racism throughout their post along with their own double standards. You can read the original Facebook post here.
The post begins with the line, “Washington & Lee Chapel Desecration,” which is contradicted in the next paragraph with the admission that they are upset with the removal of Confederate flags from Lee’s Chapel that were placed in 1930, a whole 60 years after his death. The case for desecration can be made for the people who later added Confederate flags. If anything the university returned the decoration of the Chapel to it’s condition of during the 1870’s until 1930.
The next paragraph refers to the 6 students who petitioned the school as “minorities.” All of these students are black Americans but they are also all law students. The Virginia Flaggers choose to refered to them by their race background before anything else. A few paragraphs further in, the Virginia Flaggers refer to these same 6 students as agitators. To those familiar to the critics of Martin Luther King Jr, he was commonly referred to as an outside agitator. The Virginia Flaggers go so far as to reference one of the students, Brandon Hicks, political activities while he was an undergrad student at North Carolina Central University. The Virginia Flaggers go on to accuse these students of being “professional activists.” This is an odd claim because the Virginia Flaggers’ founder, Susan Hathaway has paid speaking engagements for Confederate Heritage. In reality, it is the Virginia Flaggers who are the ones trying to make some money off of this event, after all the are an unregistered group that takes donations and never reveals where the money goes, not even for tax purposes.
The Virginia Flaggers’ post also lists that the students made demands to the school, however they failed to list one of their demands was that Martin Luther King Day be a recognized on campus. Another unlisted demand was that the University apologize for their involvement with slavery. They also failed to mention that none of the demands from the students were ever fully met. The students wanted all Confederate flags removed from the campus but the school compromised to remove all replicas of Confederate flags and move the originals to display cases.
The Virginia Flaggers went on to say that they… “began to organize students and alumni to prevent University officials from caving to the outrageous demands.” However there was very little W&L student and alumni activity among the ranks of the Virginia Flaggers. While I am fairly certain that the got a small amount of student and alumni to write letters but the Virginia Flaggers could only produce one photo of “outraged students” at their events and that was made up of only 2 young men.
Most recently the Virginia Flaggers were upset about the closing of the Lee Chapel during Lee-Jackson Day. That would seem like it would be a problem except that the chapel had been closed for 2 weeks until it was mentioned by the Virginia Flaggers. In fact, the announcement originally came back in October. It took the Virginia Flaggers 2 months to realize that the school was planning on closing the chapel for renovations and at that point, they had already expressed on their Facebook page that they were planning on visiting the chapel. Where was their student support? Surely one of their die-hard supporters would have noticed that the Lee Chapel had been closed and passed the information along. Nope, that didn’t happened because the Virginia Flaggers have no student support.
This isn’t the first time that the Virginia Flaggers were upset about the closing of the Lee Chapel. Back in July, the Virginia Flaggers were planning on having a joint Confederate rally with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. However another group planned to show up, the League of the South. This third group is a fringe group that harbors white nationalists beliefs and has been labeled as a hate group. Leading up to the protests, the university announced that they would be closing the Lee Chapel during the weekend for safety reasons. The Virginia Flaggers claim that they filed a FOIA request for communications with law enforcement about the threats but claimed that there were no threats revealed from these reports. I can’t confirmed their absences of evidence but I will tell you that a hate group did show up and advertise that they were going to be there. But if you want to see a group mention violence about Washington and Lee University just look at this…
The Virginia Flaggers have been very upset about their inability to protest on the campus. One thing that they mentioned was the story of the 15 year-old who was told to remove his Confederate apparel. Again they make another omission, that the school is a private university which means that protests are not allowed on the property unless they are approved by the school.
We found it the worst kind of intolerance and bigotry that the University administration had chosen to openly discriminate against those of Confederate Ancestry…
Maybe the biggest exaggerations of this entire mess. Looking at the protests on the campus of UC Davis in which students were maced for having a sit in. In this case, protesters were presented the options of removing their articles of clothing that were considered an open act of protest or to simply leave. No force or threat of force was ever issued to those who came in with Confederate Battle Flags.
Another ignorant claim was that the university officials were, “caving to the outrageous demands.” However if you were to reverse the situation, if the university officials were to change their decision and to return replica Confederate flags, they would be caving to the demand of the Virginia Flaggers.
One thing that the Virginia Flaggers cannot accept is that they offer the university no support. The group as well as every neo-Confederate group can boycott Washington and Lee University but they never contributed anything to the school, thus their boycott has no weight. The real contributors are the 6 students who are paying some hefty tuition to be law students at a private university.
I welcome any member of the Virginia Flaggers to challenge this response in the comment section. However I doubt that will be the case just like they never had a response for me after I found out one of their members damaged my property and rode off.