How to Protect Civil War Statues

Photo credit: Virginia Flaggers

If you want to preserve the statues of Civil War generals, there are two ways to go about it. One is to align yourself with white nationalists, spew racial vitriol, evoke the terror of the KKK by brandishing torches, arm yourself to the teeth, mix it up with Antifa and other Lefties, and mow people down with a car.

The other is to conduct yourself in the same manner as the Virginia Flaggers in Lynchburg. Hearing rumors that statues of Jubal Early and others were targeted for vandalism, the Flaggers set up protective patrols, backed by the Lynchburg police. Then, according to the organization’s Facebook page, this happened:

Late in the evening, one of the monument guards noticed this woman, who later identified as a black lives matter supporter, trembling and shaking with fear. He said he could tell she honestly feared them. He walked up to her, arms outstretched, said “we are not KKK” and she grabbed him and wouldn’t let go. He explained that they were here to stop all of this and prevent another Charlottesville. He said “If I were KKK would I hold you like this and she said “NO”.

They talked for some time and he said we have to work together to stop this mess. She wept and thanked him over and over for coming over to her and they parted ways with new understanding.

I doubt the encounter changed anyone’s mind about the appropriateness of Civil War statues in public places, but perhaps a few people parted ways mindful of the humanity of those on the other side of the controversy.

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12 responses to “How to Protect Civil War Statues

  1. Thank you for showing the true nature of the Virginians who want to protect our heritage. Remember this, about 1,000,000 people [men, women, white, and black, Southern and Northern] served in the military units fighting the North. In 1861, there were about 300,000 slave owners on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Even if EVERY slave owner fought for the South, that would mean 700,000 non-slave owners wore the Southern Grey. They did not all fight for slavery. Many, like my two great grandfathers didn’t own slaves — and had never known a black person. My ancestors fought for Virginia and North Carolina, respectively.

    And if you read Robert E. Lee’s resignation letter from the US Army, you will learn what was in his heart and why he fought – it was not for slavery; but for this beloved Virginia. “Save in the defense of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword.”

    Learn some history.

    https://civilwartalk.com/threads/letter-from-robert-e-lee-to-winfield-scott.80346/

    • And yet, draw his sword he did. Yes, KLS59, it was a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight. But don’t try to advance the argument that slavery was not the heart of the matter – it clearly was. And Lee knew what he was defending.

      Since we are talking history, where are the statues to Winfield Scott? Native Virginian, general during the (also controversial) 1840s war with Mexico, general in chief at the start of the Civil War who stayed with the Union, William and Mary graduate….the absence of any recognition of of Scott does argue against claims that the existing statues are about history and heritage – since Scott is just as much a part of our Virginia history as Lee. (Same for hundreds if not thousands of Virginians who fought for the Union.) When we were talking “context” in Richmond my thoughts ran to the VA unionists and the former slaves who took up arms to preserve the Union. But is context still a possibility in Richmond?

  2. Dear Jim,

    This Flagger group’s approach is commendable and hopefully it will meet with similar success elsewhere. Nevertheless, the Left as a whole will not be deterred. They will keep up their efforts because they are fighting to overthrow what is Left of historic America and replace it with their favored groups and an ideology that justifies that overthrow. The Left also views everything through a racial lens, that is a mirror image of the Klan: “White is bad, Black is good.”

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  3. COME HERE, SUGAH,LET ME GIVE YOU A GREAT, BIG HUG!

    What kind of nonsense is this? The post says there are only TWO (count ’em) ways at looking at Confederate memorials. The Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist and Ku Klux Klan way and the Flaggers way, which is kind of Racism Lite.

    The Flaggers are that bunch that places those obnoxious and gigantic Confederate battle flags along Interstate 95 so Yankees on their way to Disney World will think twice about stopping to get gas.

    And, if Bro Bacon (let me give you a GREAT BIG HUG!) actually bothered to look at the Flaggers’ Facebook page, he might learn that the Flaggers do not want more context placed alongside their beloved memorials (set up by mythologists decades after the war ended.

    No, we’re stuck back in False Equivalence land that there are just two (count ’em) ways to go about this and all sweet African-American women need is a BIG HUG to let them know you’re not KKK.

    • God forbid that people with opposing viewpoints could actually have a civil discourse and acknowledge each other’s humanity.

      Update: I deleted remarks in this comment that constituted an ad hominem attack — exactly the kind of rhetoric I deplore. My apologies to Peter and anyone who saw it.

      • Jim –

        My father, alongside Peter’s, fought the Japanese in the most brutal combat of annihilation imaginable, did it several times together busting down the doors of several Japanese island fortresses. Before going in the first time, my father said to the Battalion: “… Bear in mind – keep cool – use your head, that is what it is there for – the shot that does not hit the target is a shot wasted – KEEP ADVANCING, THERE ARE A HELL OF A LOT OF GOOD MARINES IN BACK OF YOU. Good Luck, Good Shooting.”

        Years later, explaining those words, he said: “Those Japanese solders back then had no respect for human life. So we had to kill them as fast as we could, otherwise they would kill us first.”

        That was the sum total of his derogatory words about the Japanese that I ever heard. In the early fifties he lived in Japan without his family for extended periods working with, among others, the Japanese military. After his return his descriptions of those post war Japanese people in those times was always respectful. He held the Japanese people then in high regard.

        Same with the Germans, who he also fought on shores and beaches in the North Atlantic. Remarkable this action was before America entered the war, such was his fervor to fight the Nazis. Yet in mid 1950’s he worked with West German Military helping them securing their defenses along the Baltic Sea against the Soviets. Here again held those German military men in high regard too.

        Despite all you might hear otherwise, this attitude was quite typical, among the US Military men he hung out with and brought home. Quite familiar with real war, and its consequences in the most personal and direct way imaginable, they had had quite enough hate and cheap words to last a lifetime. But were the first to fight again and again if called. Meantime they got about the business of trying to keep the peace so no one had to go unnecessarily to war, and so that no “damn fools” would try to stir another dumb war up unnecessarily. “Damn
        fools” were his words, not mine.

  4. Dear Reed,

    Something else that people don’t often remember, but Conservative Southern Democrats, including Harry Byrd and Carter Glass, were often the most eager to go to war against Hitler, their supposed, by the Left, ideological brother-in-arms. In my historical research, I discovered that both Byrd and Glass wanted America to enter the war after the fall of France in 1940. How does the Left explain that?

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • Harry Byrd’s and Carter Glass’s desire to go fight Hitler early on (in 1940) – thanks for telling me that. My father left with a reinforced scout platoon (later called a Scout company) for duty in the North Atlantic in July 1941. His operations were splintered off from the First Marine Brigade, under the direct command of a two star British General, as part of America’s undeclared war against Germany. Those particular operations on Iceland are to this day shrouded in mystery insofar as the official records, for obvious reasons.

      Perhaps his antipathy for the Nazi’s was sparked initially by mother’s family that was closely aligned with Byrd and Glass. (Her uncle introduced the Bill that changed Alexandria County’s name to Arlington County in 1920.) My father (whose family from Georgetown DC across the river) was apolitical but could easily have picked up Byrd’s opinion up from mothers kin. In any case he was highly motivated and found a way to act on it, given his earlier service with Gen. Holland Smith.

  5. My paternal grandfather served in Company K, 328th Infantry, 82nd “All American” Division in the War to End All Wars. He was drafted. He and his unit were in the St. Mihiel and Meusse-Argonne campaigns. (Same regiment as Sgt. York, who was in the 1st Btln. ) The 2nd Btln, including Company K was no the right and attacked a German stronghold at Cornay, France on October 8, 1918. A slip of a village, but strongly held with machine guns and mortars and field pieces armed with Mustard Gas shells.

    My grandfather was gassed and spent more than two months in the Army hospital. He told my dad about the experiences. As a boy, my dad told his father how much he hated the German soldiers. They were evil people. No, said my grandfather, the German soldiers were ordinary people, doing what they had to do to defend their comrades. My dad repeated that story to me close to the time he died.

    To me, my grandfather’s words of forgiveness have always been words of challenge – a challenge I too often fail. Respecting the common soldiers and forgiving one’s enemies are virtues to which we all should strive. Hard to do. But a laudable goal.

  6. Interesting video from Dallas where BLM and Antifa get into a shoving/shouting match.

    BLM tells Antifa to take off their masks. Antifa dude refuses, punches BLM dude. Shouting and profanity ensue.

    My sympathies go to BLM on this one. At least they were keeping it peaceful.

  7. Reed,
    Thanks for the thoughtful and kind words. My dad always held your Dad with the greatest respect.

    Peter

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