A dam burst when Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans with the reasoning that black people, simply put, are evil. Since we ran this piece on July 10th, the after-effects are still making headlines. Here’s what’s ensued since.
Above: A postcard from the 1907 reunion of Confederate veterans with school children dressed as the Confederate Battle Flag.
By Susan Howson & Ross Catrow
Update #1 — July 21, 2015; 11:23 AM
Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong • July 1st
This opinion piece by James Loewen directly addresses the Splitting the Hairs of History debate that opponents of removing Confederate symbols tend to enter into. “Know your history,” is a common scolding from pro-flaggers, who insist that “the war was about things other than slavery.”
Neo-Confederates didn’t just win the battle of public monuments. They managed to rename the war, calling it the War Between the States, a locution born after the conflict that was among the primary ways to refer to the war in the middle of the 20th century, after which it began to fade. Even “Jeopardy!” has used this language.
Their obelisk in honor of Confederate dead is, arguably, much less incendiary than our own monuments. In a move surprising to many, Birmingham votes to take it down and give it to a Confederate heritage group.
The tenor of times has changed in America and in Birmingham,” [Birmingham Park and Recreation Board Member Bernard] Kincaid said.
The Council voted 6-0 to bring them down.
At a July 9 council meeting, Landrieu asked how New Orleans “can expect to inspire a nation” when its central landmarks include symbols of white supremacy. “It’s about more than Robert E. Lee, the man,” the mayor said. “This discussion is not about them. It’s about us.”
The Right Way to Remember the Confederacy • July 10th
The Wall Street Journal–the WALL STREET JOURNAL–runs a piece by William C. Davis from Virginia Tech on the flag, what it represents, what the war was about, and how all that really matters is how we perceive it today. And it’s not perceived as a positive thing by most people, people who have to pay tax dollars to keep it up. He waffles on the monuments, though, taking the stance that they’re good for history-learning. The quote below is one of the best yet (said without irony).
Moreover, defending the battle flag with appeals to pride in ancestry and heritage evades the issue, deliberately and unsubtly. Black and white Americans today do not reject this emblem primarily because of what happened in the 1860s. They object because of what the flag has come to symbolize in the U.S. and around the world in our own lifetimes.
At a ground breaking event in the city Tuesday morning, we caught up with the city’s mayor – Kenny Wright and city Councilman Bill Moody. Both men have very different opinions on whether the statue can stay or go.
“I think it needs to stay right where it is,” says Moody.
“You got people that want it to go and I’m one of those people,” says Mayor Wright. “It truly is a symbol of hate, racism, division, slavery and all of those horrible things that happened during that period.
“I consider it a really grave mark of the many of those who lost their lives during the war. I’m a native of Portsmouth. As young as a little kid, I can remember driving by that monument, so its part of our history; you don`t undo history,” says Moody.
Unprompted: Looking Away from History • July 14th
Gene Cox writing for Style Weekly weighs in on the monument issue in a somewhat “this will all blow over” way. In some parts of the piece he appears to be anti-monument, and in some he doesn’t. His position on the flag is very clear: lose it. This legendary news anchor is respected by all sorts of Old Guard Richmonders.
When the rebel flag came under serious fire recently many looked around and said, what’s next? Jeff Davis Highway, Lee-Davis High School? The list is long. Perhaps too long. Of course another option is to hope this all blows over. Most things do. I would guess we’ll be debating the Lee statue longer than we’ve debated replacing The Diamond. That’s who we are. It takes forever to fix what’s broke. Sometimes we choose not to fix it and we look the other way.
There is, however, a fundamental difference between a monument and a flag. A monument represents the past. A flag says we still feel that way.
Maybe there’s a big miscommunication that is jamming up the works of conversation here–do monuments really represent the past? Does a monument not symbolize the fact that the honored person is still revered in the locale in which he or she (let’s just go ahead and say “he”) proudly stands? Or do some look at a monument and see it as a historical marker that means that at some time in the past people revered this individual, but not necessarily now?
Sons of Confederate Veterans meet up in Richmond • July 15th
The men of the hour do not back down, amid much protest. Graham Moomaw covers their rather bewildered response to protesters as well as their warning that we are all being unfair and hateful. On the day itself, City Hall sports a giant American flag.
Says the mayor:
“People have been approaching me on the street about the controversy over flags,” Jones said. “I’m about unifying people and not dividing people. And what unifies us more than the American flag? So we’re just going to fly it for a little while.”
“What is the difference between this and what ISIS is doing in Iraq?” asks Michael Landree, Executive Director of SCV, referring to the “cultural cleansing” that the group accuses of those who want to take down Confederate symbols from state-supported property. So far in this most recent sequence of events, no one has murdered anyone in the name of the anti-racist cause, so I’d argue there is quite a bit of difference.
Confederate general, original head of KKK, and enthusiastic slave trader, Nathan Bedford Forrest will be saying adios to his final resting place. Memphis is fielding offers from potential buyers, says this article from the New York Times. The local Sons of Confederate Veterans spokesman maintains that Forrest “is an inspiration to everyone.” Not “everyone” agrees.
Mayor A C Wharton Jr. of Memphis agreed — up to a point. “We can’t change history,” he said during an interview in which he recalled Jim Crow-era indignities he faced growing up as an African-American in Tennessee. “We can’t unring a rung bell. But how long do we have to pay fealty to it? That’s what monuments represent. I’m resolved we are going to remove it.”
— ∮∮∮ —
Original — July 10, 2015
As South Carolina’s flag bids its pole adieu, we’ve compiled a timeline of the events leading up to its very symbolic departure. Below, you’ll find some original texts that are worth a read and a roundup of media coverage on events as well as editorial opinions on the Confederate symbols in Richmond. We’ve also provided some context surrounding the unveiling of the monuments themselves.
Some important original texts
Jefferson Davis’s farewell speech from the U.S. Senate • January 21st, 1861
Mississippi secedes from the Union, and Davis, its Senator, no longer has a function in D.C. He speaks civilly and eloquently, at one point asking his fellow national lawmakers to remember that the Founding Fathers also treated non-whites as non-people.
Here’s the quote that is reprinted on Richmond’s Davis monument:
This is done not in hostility to others, not to injure any section of the country, not even for our own pecuniary benefit; but from the high and solemn motive of defending and protecting the rights we inherited, and which it is our sacred duty to transmit unshorn to our children.
Alexander H. Stephens’s “Corner Stone” speech • March 21st, 1861
Soon-to-be VP of the Confederate States of America, Alec Stephens delivered a speech in which he laid out the principles of the fledgling Confederacy. Spoiler: It is not a speech that says, “This war is not about slavery!”
Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.”
A Media Timeline
Charleston church shooting • June 17th
Dylann Roof, who enjoys posting pictures of himself posing with the Confederate Flag, joins a traditionally African-American church’s Bible study, pulls out a gun, and shoots nine people, saying “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
Roof explained that he went down a Council of Conservative Citizens rabbit hole, which, he says, changed his life forever. The CoCC’s Statement of Principles includes this:
(8) Cultural, national, and racial integrity. We support the cultural and national heritage of the United States and the race and civilization of which it is a part, as well as the expression and celebration of the legitimate subcultures and ethnic and regional identities of our people. We oppose all efforts to discredit, “debunk,” denigrate, ridicule, subvert, or express disrespect for that heritage. We believe public monuments and symbols should reflect the real heritage of our people, and not a politically convenient, inaccurate, insulting, or fictitious heritage.
Charleston Church Shooting • June 18th, The Daily Show
Jon Stewart goes off-script for a somber and frustrated call on all of us to stop ignoring the fact that plenty of people both purposefully and passively still honor white men whose place in our history exists because they fought for a cause that wasn’t just racist, but intent on enslaving other human beings due to a perceived right.
Take Down the Confederate Flag — Now • June 18th, The Atlantic
Ta-Nehisi Coates calls for the flag’s removal, citing John Wilkes Booth and Alexander Stephens as historical examples that the flag was always intended to represent a group bent on preserving a culture of white supremacy.
Surely the flag’s defenders will proffer other, muddier, interpretations which allow them the luxury of looking away. In this way they honor their ancestors. Cowardice, too, is heritage.
Mississippi House Speaker Says Confederate Symbol Should Be Removed from State Flag • June 22nd, Huffington Post
Republican Philip Gunn, House Speaker of Mississippi, surprises many with the call to remove the flag from the flag. In 2001, Mississippi lawmakers had voted 2:1 to keep it there.
Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday that remembering our past is important, “but that does not mean we must let it define us.”
Some Monument Avenue Context
- Jim Crow laws establish official segregation. In 1896, the Supreme Court rules that it’s all very Constitutional, shooting down Plessey v. Ferguson.
- Mississippi drafts a new constitution which effectively bars African-Americans (and many poor Americans of every color) from voting, using literacy tests, poll taxes, and residency requirements. Within the next few years, other states (including Virginia) would follow suit. In 1898, the Supreme Court will uphold this as well.
- In RVA, a monument to Robert E. Lee (designed by Jean Antoine Mercie) is erected.
- W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk is published in 1903, in which he does an interesting new thing: talks about African-Americans lives in the South, instead of the normal narrative, which involves black people escaping to the North. One example of this narrative is Booker T. Washington autobiography Up from Slavery, which was published in 1901. Washington and Du Bois disagreed in the matter of the 1895 Atlanta compromise, in which Washington and some other black leaders agreed to peacefully submit to many Jim Crow laws in exchange for basic education, due process, and some funding for black charities.
- In RVA, a monument to James Ewell Brown (“Jeb”) Stuart (designed by Frederick Moynihan) and a monument to Jefferson Davis (created by William C. Noland and Edward V. Valentine) are erected.
- After reviving itself in 1915, the KKK now operates in 27 states.
- The NAACP publishes a report in April that finds that, of the 2500 African-Americans lynched between 1895-1918, fewer than 1/6th of the victims had been accused of raping a white woman, which is the purported justification for these mob rule executions. The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill was introduced.
- The summer of 1919 is termed “Red Summer,” for its 25 race riots, the largest of which take place in South Carolina, Texas, D. C., Chicago, Nebraska, and Arkansas.
- In RVA, a monument to Thomas Jonathan (“Stonewall”) Jackson is erected (designed by F. William Sievers)
- “Negro Week” is established between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthday in February.
- Marcus Garvey, an African-American who strived to purify the race and get black Americans to Africa, is deported.
- The next year, the Black Muslim movement would be founded in Detroit by Wallace Fard Muhammad.
- In 1931, the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment would begin, lasting until 1972. That same year, the NAACP embarks on a new litigation strategy to counteract racial discrimination and violence.
- In RVA, a monument to Matthew Fontaine Maury is erected (designed by F. William Sievers). Maury was supposed to be placed in D.C., but they rejected it because of his defection from the Union army to the Confederacy.
- Rodney King’s assailants are acquitted in 1991, causing a three-day race riot in Los Angeles. In 1995, O.J. Simpson is acquitted of murder charges.
- Bill Clinton’s Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act attempts to reform welfare, causing much controversy for its projected negative affects on the African-American community.
- In the 1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court, Miss USA, the American Medical Association, the National Science Foundation, the National PTA, the National League of Women Voters, the AARP, Kansas City, Denver, Houston, and Jackson, Mississippi would swear in their first black leaders.
- In 1997, Bill Clinton issues a formal apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.
- In RVA, a monument to Arthur Ashe (designed by Paul DiPasquale) is erected.
Nikki Haley, South Carolina Governor, Calls for Removal of Confederate Battle Flag • June 22nd, The New York Times
Governor Haley (Republican) speaks out against the flag’s presence on the Capitol grounds.
Interviews suggested that Ms. Haley’s rapidly evolving position on the flag was shaped by several factors: the horror of seeing the unsmiling gunman posing with it in photos; her conversations with congregants at the church; intensifying pressure from South Carolina business leaders to remove a controversial vestige of the state’s past; and calls from leaders of her own party, including its leading presidential contenders, urging her to take it down once and for all.
In the Wake of U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Governor Begins Process to Remove Confederate Flag from Virginia License Plates • June 23rd, Governor Terry McAuliffe
Virginia joins the conversation with a call from McAuliffe to remove the Confederate battle flag from Virginia License Plates. To be clear, the standard Virginia license plate does not bear the Confederate flag. The commonwealth had, in 1999, already attempted to block the flag from the design of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ state-issued plates, but DMV was compelled to include it as part of the design after the SCV sued and won, says McAuliffe.
As Governor Haley said yesterday, her state can ill afford to let this symbol continue to divide the people of South Carolina.
I believe the same is true here in Virginia.
Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people.
Even its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.
Don’t Fall For It: The Current Confederate Flag Debate is a Trap • June 23rd, The Cheats Movement
Marc Cheatham’s popular blog about RVA hip hop takes an unusual dip into political waters, in which Cheatham worries that our back-pats over removing a flag will be enough to make us very satisfied with our efforts before moving on to forget about racism again, until the next debacle.
Look, by definition and all modern classifications, I am a progressive when it comes to civil rights, equality and justice. The Confederate flag represents a historic symbol of hate for me and my family and I truly believe that it should be removed from any type of acting government building and displayed in a history museum. So I’m glad that Governor Haley has finally mustered the political courage to call for its removal from the South Carolina state house. But don’t do it on the lives of 9 innocent people and call it a victory or worse justice. It’s not. It’s a trick that will be used to distract people from real meaningful change.
If you’re not talking about guns, if you’re not talking about mental health, and above all – if you’re not talking race and racism in America; you’re being fooled.
What to do next is a question that I don’t have the answer. Not yet anyway but action – strong action – is needed to improve civil rights and equality in America. Removing that flag is the right thing to do but if it’s the only thing done…we’ve failed miserably.
One Hipster’s Battle Against the Confederate Flaggers • June 23rd, The Atlantic
The Atlantic chooses now to celebrate Goad Gatsby’s efforts to counter-protest the Flaggers outside of the VMFA. They also choose to label Gatsby as a “hipster,” which we find eye-rollingly irrelevant and fairly surprising. But that’s another timeline for another day.
They keep using the same buzzwords about heritage and honor and history, and, I mean, if they see the Confederacy as a shining moment in American history, that just makes me wonder who they are as a person.
Opinion: What most obviously represents our inhumanity — past and present — in this city? Richmond’s Confederate monuments. • June 23rd, Style Weekly
Brent Merritt minces no words in his scathing rebuke of Richmond for its contemporary insistence on clinging to its past–the past of one part of its population, mind you.
Merritt quotes Lee himself.
And those who think they have some special moral authority to defend these monuments as a noble part of our heritage because their daddies passed down their grandaddies’ pistols from the war can forget it. Plenty of people around here descend from Southerners and Confederates and enslaved black Americans and are ready — past ready — to demote this noble-Confederacy garbage from a modern fringe belief system to a complicated chapter in our shared history.
Unsurprisingly, because by all accounts he was an intelligent man, Gen. Robert E. Lee was one of the first to recognize what the future called for when the war ended.
“We have been defeated,” he said. “For us, as a Christian people, there is now but one course to pursue. We must accept the situation … and we must proceed to build up our country on a new basis.”
Hinkle: On Confederate Plate, McAuliffe Makes the Right Move • June 23rd, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Bart Hinkle weighs in on the license plate conversation and applauds McAuliffe’s decision. He does not directly mention the Confederate monuments, but brings up a compelling argument against those who liken pulling down Jeff Davis and Lee to pulling down Jefferson and Washington.
Now we come to the slippery-slope argument: Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned slaves. The United States tolerated slavery for eight decades and the Constitution counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of congressional apportionment. Should we tear down the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument, strike the American flag, stop revering the Constitution?
Questions like those turn the slippery slope into a reductio ad absurdum; the fact that distinctions are not absolute does not mean the distinctions do not exist. If Jeffrey Dahmer and the Dalai Llama both run a red light, that does not mean the Dalai Llama is just another Jeffrey Dahmer. Washington’s slaveholding is a deep mark against him, but it is not his defining characteristic — whereas slavery was the defining characteristic of the pre-Civil War South. Washington and Jefferson helped found a nation dedicated to the principles of liberty and justice for all. By contrast, as Max Boot noted Monday in Commentary, Jefferson Davis “helped to plunge this country into a civil war that left as many as 800,000 dead in a fruitless quest to ensure that slavery would remain legal.”
Group wants Monument Ave. axed from upcoming Road World Championships • June 23rd, NBC 12
Defenders of Justice, Equality, and Freedom (Ana Edwards will go on to be interviewed repeatedly) make their official plea to the Big Bike Race™ people to move the route spotlight off of our monument to Jefferson Davis.
“Promote the race, but don’t embarrass us in front of the world,” said activist Phil Wilayto with The Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality. “Is this how we want to portray our city state and country? Change the route. Get it off this street.”
Guns, many people point out, are still available at Walmart.
“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site,” said Walmart spokesman Brian Nick. “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances.”
De-Venerating Richmond’s Confederate symbols • June 24th, RVANews
We offered a list of most of the street and place names (including schools), as well as the monuments that revere guys because of their involvement in the Confederacy. It’s worth noting that several Richmond figures who we contacted for quotes this early in the conversation either did not want to comment on this particular issue or just never responded to our requests. Most of these would go on to make statements later. We don’t fault people for wanting the time to put their thoughts together, but it’s a good indication that a lot of Richmonders (including us, as we mention in the piece) probably hadn’t given a lot of thought to the monuments until now.
If in 2015, we wouldn’t erect a monument, name a street, or christen a building in honor of a man whose name is synonymous with hate and racial violence, why do we allow those names to remain honored in 2015? Perhaps it’s because we associate them with the other things we love about the South-peach pies, sweet tea, chirping crickets, our river, our pace, our way of life. And those things are amazing. But they will still exist no matter what Jefferson Davis Highway is called.
Graffiti on Jefferson Davis Monument • June 25th, RVANews
A week after the shootings in Charleston, someone spray painted “BLACK LIVES MATTER” on the back of the Jefferson Davis Monument.
Williams: It’s time for Confederate monuments to come down • June 25th, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Michael Paul Williams, longtime RTD columnist lays it down in this editorial. He’s one of the only RVA African-American journalists who has entered this particular conversation, which has been glaringly white until now. (This includes us, we are well aware).
Look, purging racist symbols from our landscape won’t eliminate racism any more than electing an African-American president made us a post-racial society. Police will still shoot unarmed black people. The so-called Land of the Free will still lead the world in mass incarceration. Black unemployment will remain stubbornly double that of whites; the wealth gap between blacks and whites will expand.
But what happened in Charleston should make clear that these symbols are unworthy of protection and state support outside of a museum.
Remove the Statues? • June 25th, Richmond Magazine
Writing for Richmond Magazine, Harry Kollatz Jr wonders if getting rid of the Confederate monuments will have any impact at all and argues that the statues that now stand on Monument Avenue are representative of “all of our” pasts.
And since when did tearing down a statue ever solve a problem or eradicate a memory? When the Taliban deface Buddhist sculptures or ISIL destroys historic sites in Iraq and Syria, there is worldwide Internet revulsion. No, Monument Avenue is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet. But, it is representative of our – all of our – past. Yes, past, and because we are talking about them now, our present and future. Erasing unpleasant objects doesn’t make the reasons for their construction go away.
Bree Newsome takes down the Confederate Flag at the South Carolina State Capitol • June 27th, YouTube
Newsome and her co-remover James Tyson are subsequently arrested.
Mayor Jones on Confederate statues: ‘Rather than tearing down, we should be building up’ • June 27th, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Mayor Jones, speaking with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, is against removing any of the monuments but would like to see more built to balance the tone and tell a “more accurate story of Virginia’s history.”
With calls mounting across the country for officials to abolish symbols that glorify the Confederacy, Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones says he does not feel threatened by Confederate monuments and does not favor taking them down.
“Rather than tearing down, we should be building up in ways that establish a proper sense of balance and fairness by recognizing heroes from all eras to tell a richer and more accurate story of Virginia’s history,” Jones said Friday in a statement provided to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Adding African-American tennis legend Arthur Ashe to Confederate-heavy Monument Avenue in 1995 was “a step in the right direction,” he said.
Williams: What are we clinging to in defense of Confederate monuments? • June 29th, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
In his second major editorial, Williams works through some of the arguments for keeping the monuments around and ask us all to think a little bit harder about what history we’re really interested in protecting and what history we’ve already lost because we failed to protect it.
We don’t take down monuments, I’ve been told, which makes me wonder what was afoot when U.S. troops helped topple Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad. But more to the point, the “we don’t destroy history” cry rings hollow in a city where so much history has already been removed with barely a trace.
Where were these calls for historic preservation when the slave-trading history of Shockoe Bottom was buried beneath Main Street Station, Interstate 95 and other layers of development?
Entire black neighborhoods that predated those monuments have been removed from the Richmond landscape, including Navy Hill, which was settled by German immigrants in the early 1800s and became a thriving African-American community by the turn of the 20th century.
Who Else Belongs on Monument Avenue? Your Suggestions • June 30th, Richmond Magazine
Maggie Walker, Oliver Hill, and Dave Brockie made Richmond Magazine’s people’s choice awards of who to put on Monument Avenue next. But is adding new monuments where we need to start? Read on…
Who Else Belongs on Monument Avenue? Suggestions from City Leaders • June 30th, Richmond Magazine
Answering the same question, Ana Edwards (who’s become the go-to person for whip-smart quotes) says:
…we disagree with the mayor, who wants all ‘heroes’ represented on Monument Avenue. Those are not of heroes. Putting up statues of Black people now would just legitimize the Confederate statues. They should come down before we think about any other statues going up on Monument Avenue.
Richmond split over Confederate History • July 4th, The Boston Globe
Boston’s nationally read newspaper quotes Mayor Jones, Ana Edwards, Lee Kallman from Richmond 2015, and others in their varying positions on the Civil War monuments. It also points out the discrepancy between Monument Avenue and Shockoe Bottom. Many “Who cares what the world thinks of us?” / “You DON’T?” conversations happen around Richmond. Boston is correct in the title of its piece.
Jones doesn’t see the point of focusing on whether to tear down a statue. The statues represent hatred, to be sure, he said, but he pays them little attention.
“I’ve never read the inscription at the Jefferson Davis memorial,” Jones said, when asked what he thought of the words on the statue. “Like any African-American, when we think of Confederate symbols and Confederate heroes, it causes consternation because we know what that war was about. But that being said, we also know who won the war. . . . Slavery was a terrible situation. But the resilience of our people was such that we endured it, overcame it, and now I’m the mayor of the city of Richmond.”
S.C. Senate: Flag needs to come down; House vote next • July 6th, The Post and Courier
With only three dissenting votes, the South Carolina Senate votes to take down the Confederate flag on the capitol grounds.
The 37-3 vote on second reading Monday easily surpassed the two-thirds majority needed during a third and final vote that would send the measure to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Even as Museum Piece, Confederate Flag Is in Dispute • July 6th, The New York Times
As South Carolina moves towards removing their Confederate symbols, The New York Times gives short shrift to Richmond in this piece by allowing pro-Flag voices from the Flaggers and Sons of Confederate Veterans to speak over folks like Ed Ayers and Christy Coleman.
Richmond, after all, was the capital of the Confederacy; the museum is adjacent to, and includes, the grand, columned Confederate White House, where Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, lived. Mr. Jennings and other flag defenders object to its merger with the much newer American Civil War Center, which opened in 2006 along the banks of the James River, on the site of the Tredegar Iron Works, the Confederacy’s major manufacturer of cannons and artillery.
The center tells the story of what old-school Southerners call the War Between the States — from Union, Confederate and African-American points of view.
Earnest: Unraveling misconceptions about the Confederacy • July 7th, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
A predictable editorial in the Richmond Times-Dispatch by B. Frank Earnest Sr., a past commander of the Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veteran.
There were many reasons for secession and war.
For Virginians, there was only one reason. From Gen. Robert E. Lee to our own ancestors, Virginians had one cause: the defense of their state. Today, the state of Virginia — led by a man with no connection to this state’s history and heritage — has turned against these defenders of the Old Dominion. All the statues on Monument Avenue, save one, are of Virginians. The remaining statue is that of the president and commander in chief of all the Confederate defense forces, Jefferson Davis.
New day in South Carolina: House votes to take down Confederate flag • July 8th, The Post and Courier
The South Carolina House votes 93-27 to take down the Confederate Flag from the Statehouse property.
The votes came after the chamber spent more than 10 hours in session, debating amendments to the bill that enraged both Republicans and Democrats. The debate continued for nearly five hours after a very emotional plea by Summerville Republican Rep. Jenny Horne to pass the bill without any changes.
“I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful, such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday,” said Horne, in tears. “If we amend this bill, we are telling the people of Charleston, ‘We don’t care about you. We do not care that somebody used this symbol of hate to slay (nine) innocent people who were worshiping their God.'”
Gov. Nikki Haley signs bill, Confederate flag to come down • July 9th, The Post and Courier
The flag is moved to a museum. What’s next for Confederate symbols–especially ours? Stay tuned, world!
The flag will fly above the Confederate Soldier Monument on the Capitol grounds one more night before being lowered in a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday and taken to a museum in Columbia where it will be displayed with other Civil War relics.