Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Virginia Flaggers, Manufactured Outrage and the UDC

Posted in Genealogy, Leadership, Memory by Andy Hall on March 16, 2012

The hot new topic this week in Confederate Heritage™ is an incident that happened last Saturday in Richmond, where the Virginia Flaggers, a group that protests perceived slights to the Confederate flag, was put off the property of the national headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, with the assistance of local law enforcement. You can watch a video of part of that encounter, above.

The video went viral on the Internet machine, as the kids say these days, among Confederate Heritage groups, spurred on by posts by folks like Billy Bearden and Mark Vogl. It prompted the vitriolic hyperbole one has learned to expect from such quarters, including comments like these, posted at the Southern War Room:

the guardians embrace treason

The South has been betrayed by her very daughters, the United Daughters of the Confederacy!

Sucking the breast of the PC crowd!

Well for me, they have Sold Their Soul To The Devil, they are Traitors Of The Highest Measure…

Maybe we could convince the UDC chapters to secede from the National Chapter.

If it sleeps with the enemy, acts like enemy, talks like the enemy…. It IS the enemy!

The SCV National & your camp…. Should have their hands around the necks of those that don’t up-hold the charge.

And of course, there’s the casual, sort-of-joking-but-maybe-not-really reference to lynching:

Well, we all knew what the founders did to treasonous leaders……..there was usually rope involved. The founding fathers would roll in they’re graves if they could see what we’ve allowed. Please understand I’m talking about federal leaders…..but some of our UDC are giving in to liberals and their ideas.

While Bearden, who argues that the UDC leadership are trying to “sell out their birthright!!,” claims to have witnessed the incident himself, he leaves no hint that Saturday’s confrontation has been one brewing for months, and one that went entirely according to script, at least from the perspective of the Flaggers. In fact, none of the righteous outrage over this incident acknowledges that was a long time coming, and in fact was set up by the Virginia Flaggers themselves — or at least one of the group’s leaders — knowing full well that they would be removed from the property by the police.

On Wednesday, UDC President-General Martha Rogers Van Schaick posted a lengthy response to the allegations being made by the Flaggers, including a detailed chronology of the UDC’s interactions with Susan Hathaway of the Virginia Flaggers, going back to late 2011. Van Schaick’s account makes it clear that the UDC had repeatedly declined to participate in, endorse or host any of the Flagger’s activities. Hathaway subsequently acknlowledged that “the account in the the statement today by Mrs. Van Schaick, with a few minor exceptions, is accurate, and in fact, is almost exactly as has been previously reported.” But she didn’t specify what her “few minor exceptions” were, so we’re left with is President General Van Schaick’s account as the only detailed description of the events leading up to Saturday. It’s long, but worth reading in detail:

On December 14, 2011, an email was received from Ms. Susan Hathaway by the UDC Office Manager requesting that the VA Flaggers be allowed to use two flag poles outside the UDC Memorial Building to fly one Confederate Battle Flag on each. The email was forwarded to me for action.

On December 26, 2011, I responded to Ms. Hathaway advising that Pelham Chapel is not a UDC memorial and that our involvement in this issue could be construed as a ‘political activity’ that would possibly put our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status at risk. I further advised that our Bylaws prevent our involvement in ‘political activity’ and for that reason; the UDC was unable to allow the use of the flag poles located on the front of our UDC Memorial Building. I reminded her that the First National Flag flies daily in front of the UDC Memorial Building in perpetual honor of our Confederate ancestors.

On Wednesday afternoon, March 7, 2012, Ms. Hathaway came to our building and asked to speak with me. Mrs. Lucy Steele, Chairman of the Memorial Building Board of Trustees (who was in the building on other business) and I met with Ms. Hathaway. The request was that they be allowed to ‘gather’ on the front of our property. She was advised that we would not allow that.

The request was then made to allow them to ‘gather’ on the back corner of our property. Mrs. Steele pointed out that the property at the back corner belonged to VMFA but that we did not have a problem with it but she would have to seek approval from VMFA.

Ms. Hathaway then asked if the “No Trespassing” signs that had been posted recently were because of them and if they gathered on our property would the police be called. She was told that, as with any trespasser, we would call the police.

We explained to Ms. Hathaway that there have been instances of people sleeping under the bushes around the building. Recently during a work day, a man was seen crouching between the bushes and the building with binoculars which raised questions as to his intentions. The police were called at that time. “No Trespassing” signs were placed on our property in an effort to protect not only our building but our employees as they come and go, often times during early morning and evening hours.

On Saturday, March 10, 2012, during our Annual Spring Board Meeting, the VA Flaggers gathered on the sidewalk in front of the UDC Memorial Building. A short time later, they were observed leaning and perched on the cannons ignoring signs stating do not climb on the cannons. They then moved from the cannons to the steps leading to our building for a group photo. At this point, Mrs. Steele went out to ask them to move from the steps to the sidewalk – some moved immediately. Others remained on the steps. During this time, the Richmond City Police were called.

Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not the presence of the Virginia Flaggers on their property threatened the UDC’s tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) status. But whether on not the UDC had a good reason to reject the Flaggers is immaterial; they’re a private organization and they chose to do so. The bottom line remains: the UDC had (1) repeatedly denied the Flaggers authorization to use the UDC headquarters property, (2) explained that any such activity by the Flaggers would be considered trespassing, and (3) stated that such a circumstance would be handled according to the UDC’s usual practice, which is to call the Richmond Police Department. According to Van Schaick, Ms. Hathaway was told this in person at the UDC headquarters by herself and the Chairman of the Memorial Building Board of Trustees, Lucy Steele, on the Wednesday preceding the rally.

So, of course, the Flaggers went anyway. And the UDC did exactly what it said it would, which is to order them off the site and call the po-po. And then the Flaggers — without mentioning any of the events or discussions that had gone before — tossed it up on YouTube and various Southron social media sites. Dodging bullets…FROM BEHIND!  The guardians embrace treason!

It was a set-up, staged and orchestrated to make the Virginia Flaggers look like victims of PC oppression. It’s ludicrous. Oh, there are victims here, but they ain’t the Virginia Flaggers; they are President General Van Schaick, Chairman Steele, and other members of the UDC leadership who’ve made clear their unwillingness to get dragged into the dispute over the Pelham Chapel next door, and for their troubles have now been framed by the self-appointed Defenders of Southron Heritage™ as traitors to the memory of their Confederate ancestors, and made the target of “jokes” about lynching.

I haven’t posted much about the Virginia Flaggers, because until recently I was ambivalent about them. I like the idea of peaceful protest; in general, it’s a healthy thing. It’s small-d democracy in action. While I think the Flaggers are wrong about Lexington, I’ve also thought they had a legitimate case to make for the Pelham Chapel.

But they’ve also proved to be mendacious and dishonest in promoting their efforts, eager to depict themselves as victims, and constantly trying to stir the pot. Take this video from last fall on their YouTube channel, for example, titled “Black woman attacked for carrying Confederate Flag.” What “attack” are they referring to? The passerby on the street engages another Flagger, Karen Cooper, in a discussion about their protest. There’s no shouting, no name-calling; no one gets all in anyone else’s face — where’s the “attack,” exactly? It’s dishonest, self-serving navel-gazing, in which the True Southrons™ are always the victims. “Attacked,” really?

Then there’s this video, “Va Flagger Tossed off State Property at VMFA for Carrying “That” Flag! 2-18-2012,” where Flagger Jimmy Jones is set up to confront a security guard at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the main target of the Flaggers. The video is shot from a distance, but — by remarkable and fortuitous coincidence — Jones is wearing a mic to catch the dialogue with the guard. Perhaps the Flaggers were looking to record the security guard saying something incendiary, but the best they got was him saying, “because I said so.” Now there’s an outrage for you!

And now we have this foolishness with the UDC. Hathaway claims she wasn’t looking to pick a fight with the UDC, and I doubt she’ll get one — if for no other reason, because the leadership of the UDC has consistently sought to avoid getting dragged into the rough-and-tumble over display of the Confederate Battle Flag, as is their right. The UDC had made their position very clear, well in advance. So why deliberately force a confrontation? Perhaps posing in front of the UDC headquarters was perceived as a win-win; if the UDC did nothing, the image might imply UDC support of the Flaggers; if the UDC had them removed from the premises (as warned, and as actually happened), the Daughters could be depicted as the unreasonable aggressors in the incident, arbitrarily bringing down the boot heel of the PC police (literally, police) on innocent protesters, just out to display their pride in their Confederate heritage. And of course, that latter narrative is exactly how the Flaggers ended up depicting it. It’s a spiteful, manipulative and cynical approach, but it works, at least for folks who aren’t paying attention.

Of course, that narrative only works when listener doesn’t know the long backstory of the discussions and communication that went on before last Saturday. President General Van Schaick managed to put the lie to that narrative when she provided the actual context of Saturday’s event, a context that Hathaway acknowledged is “with a few minor exceptions. . . accurate.” If the Virginia Flaggers — or rather, the leadership of the Virginia Flaggers — set out to make the UDC look bad, they only ended up making themselves look shrill and desperate. Somehow, I think the United Daughters of the Confederacy will survive.

If the Virginia Flaggers, and the larger Confederate heritage movement, really believed themselves to be under siege, they’d be trying to build alliances with others, not seek conflict with them. They’d look to find common ground with folks like the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Museum of the Confederacy, and all the rest. But they don’t because, at some deeper level, folks like Martha Van Schaick, Waite Rawls and the rest are more useful as exaggerated, cartoon-like enemies, a common foe against whom the true believers can unite in shared resentment and carefully-stoked outrage. Even in the short time I’ve observed it, it’s clear that the Confederate heritage movement defines itself as much or more by whom they oppose, as by what they believe. It’s an ever-tightening spiral of anger and bile, and it won’t result in any positive outcome; it puts off people more than it attracts. It’s an approach that unites them, but also increasingly isolates them from the rest of American society — Southerners, Civil War buffs, the general public, everybody — and that’s a dead-end road. These folks may feel like they’re circling the wagons, but increasingly it looks like they’re circling the drain.

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37 Responses

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  1. Thom Bassett said, on March 16, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for laying all this out so clearly. It seems to me that the sense of victimhood the flaggers display in re: their disputes tracks the sense of victimhood embedded in interpretations of the War (e.g., the South was swarmed by brutal and ruthless Northern aggressors, Lincoln and his Republican allies wanted to throttle the Souh’s economy and choke off its culture and heritage, Reconstruction was nothing more than a continued effort to destroy white Christian civilization, etc.). Victimhood writ small in the flag cases because it’s writ large in their view of history.

    I’m interested in knowing why you think the flaggers have a good case when it comes to Pelham Chapel. More generally, I find myself wondering about which public spaces are appropriate for this kind of commemoration and which flag is appropriate.

    • Andy Hall said, on March 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

      The Confederate War Memorial/Pelham Chapel is one of the last remaining structures of the old Confederate veterans home in Richmond. For many years it displayed a Confederate flag until recently, when the VMFA, which now holds title to the property, barred it in renewing the lease of the property. That’s within the VMFA’s right to do so, as it is the Flagger’s right to protest that. The chapel is a structure that, for better or worse, explicitly and fundamentally associated with Confederate veterans (unlike, say the State House in Columbia, South Carolina), so I think there’s a valid argument to be made that display of the flag is appropriate there, especially if that display extended back into the period in which it was in use by the veterans themselves. That makes the flag (arguably) an integral part of the historic context of the building. That’s an entirely different thing than putting up Confederate flags on city-owned light posts all over town, as the Flaggers insist must be done in Lexington on Lee-Jackson Weekend there.

      What I cannot stomach is the fundamentally dishonest way the Flaggers have depicted some of their activities, as in the case with the UDC, especially while insisting that they’re the defending truth, integrity, honor, and all those other noble virtues. There’s no honor whatsoever in the way they set up Saturday’s encounter, and then blasted it out on the Internet, evidently to make a slam at the UDC because that group wouldn’t go along with their particular form of protest. Nor is there honor or dignity in the reaction that the Flaggers’ assertions have (wilfully) elicited online. It’s ridiculous, and counterproductive, because it undermines any credibility they might otherwise have. It’s also deeply mean-spirited.

      I’m not a huge fan of the UDC, which I believe perpetuates some bad history, just as does the SCV. But the Flaggers have been deeply unfair to the UDC in this episode, and they, the Flaggers, need to be called out on it. (Not to mention that Cousin Katie would haunt my dreams if’n I didn’t.)

      • Pam Mitcham said, on May 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        What “bad history” do the UDC and SCV perpetuate? I personally believe both organizations bring to light the truth of history that is frequently neglected and glossed over in an effort to demonize the Confederate side of the story. I’d be very interested for you to elaborate.

        • Andy Hall said, on May 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

          Thanks for taking time to comment.

          Rather than try to recount it all in a single comment, I’d encourage you to spend some time here on this blog. I’ve documented quite a few examples of how various heritage groups — not just the UDC and SCV — have misrepresented the historical record. In each case, I’ve tried not just to say, “they’re wrong,” but point out specifically why I find them to be so. Both groups have, in my view, been guilty of promoting a false view of the war in the area of so-called “black Confederates”; I’ve written a good bit about that.

          Let me also say that I have known many SCV and UDC members over the years, most of whom are quite nice folks and not at all the strident, blustering types that I’ve been critical of.

          If you want to find posts that specifically mention the SCV, UDC, or anything else, remember to use the search tool in the right-hand column.

        • Andy Hall said, on May 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm

          You should also note that, in this specific case, my sympathies lie with the UDC leadership.

          • Pam Mitcham said, on May 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

            I, myself, am a UDC member (but do not speak in any official capacity) and know and respect many of those you refer to as strident, blustering types. That’s not to say I always agree with them 100%, but I have stood by them (literally) on many occasions when I did. I also support the leadership of our organization, despite the fact that I do not always agree with every decision. I will do my best to catch up on what you’ve written. This is the first time I’ve been made aware of your blog. It may take me a bit, I’m currently writing my dissertation and up against an all too near deadline, but I will get back to this as time allows, because I’m very interested. Thanks for your reply.

            • Andy Hall said, on May 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

              I hope you’ll find that I’ve been fair. While I’ve been depicted in some quarters as a “anti-Southern,” or similar, I think it’s more accurate to say that I try to call out specific deeds and words that, in my view, present a false or embarrassing depiction of the South and its history. Far from “rejecting” my heritage, as I’ve been accused of, I see what I do on this blog as being central to protecting it from distortion and misuse. Simply put, I don’t think we “honor” our forebears by making up warm-and-fuzzy fantasies about them, or projecting onto them our own thoughts and beliefs.

              Good luck with the dissertation — not a fun time for you, I’m thinking. ;-)

              • Hubert Cash said, on August 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm

                Andy, You sound like the type of person that has a set agenda, that being anti-southern but posing as the wise ,all knowing sage. Most of what I’ve read so far makes me think your working both ends toward the middle. I also think it’s dishonest for you to to include such words and phrases such as honor, my heritage, so called “Black Confederates” and others that highlight your deceitful intent. You sir are as phony as are your words.

              • Andy Hall said, on August 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

                You have a nice evening, Mr. Cash.

      • george randall said, on June 23, 2014 at 6:51 am

        the flaggers are right, all the the other groups are bowing down to the pc, the faggers are letting the truth out. and doing what the scv and udc should be doing, we are tired of bowing down to the liberials and Yankees, they are wrong, and also the battle flag should be flown on veterns day memorial day confederate history month lee Jackson day at any place.. we are standing our ground.

    • Josephine Lindsay Bass said, on May 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Andy Hall is no friend of the South. He is in cahoots with Corey Myers, Kevin down the memory hole, Simpkins and a few others who blog anti Southern sentiments at every turn, supposedly in a PHD history prof fashion to convince folks that they are so learned they must be right!. Pay him no mind!

      IMO the UDC is wrong wrong wrong…………..they never take the side of the Confederate States of America and the Southern peoples history. They are ridiculously politically correct cringing from slavery issues. They are cowards and what is worse all the UDC chapters bow down to them. That is why I have never joined even though I could because I have a library full of CSA kin.

      As an aside the West Virginians sent a powerful message to the democratic party in the
      their last primary, then the media jumps on them with the Hatfield McCoy saga so people will think they don’t know anything and to overlook their political point of view.
      They can’t get at them with slavery as they do the Southerners, but they got in plenty of their digs. Watch out for Andy Hall and his cohorts sucking up to the UDC there is no good will.

      • Andy Hall said, on May 31, 2012 at 11:27 pm

        Thanks for stopping by. You’ll notice that I’ve approved your post, but also taken the liberty of identifying you fully by name. While I usually don’t mind people posting under another handle, they do so here at my sufferance. In your case, you have a long history of being really quite unpleasant to me and others with whom you disagree, and I see no particular reason for extending you the privilege of anonymous posting with which to do that.

        I hope you like the new arrangement.

        Oh, and who is Simpkins? Do you mean William Stewart Simkins? He was from Florida, too. Did you know him?

        • Josephine Lindsay Bass said, on June 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm

          I don’t mind Andy, at my age there is not much they can do to me. I just like JosephineSouthern because it says where I am coming from, and what you can expect from me, too bad you didn’t connect the dots. Thanks for posting my message. I admit i get frustrated and mad at your point of view as I am really fed up with the anti South bashing going on all over this country. To me, the South is about the only decent part of this country left so folks hold fast and don’t let the progressives (Marxists) take us over.

          • Andy Hall said, on June 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

            I have no idea what you expect “them” to do to you, whoever “they” are. It’s not bloggers like myself and the others you mention who routinely trade in casual references to physically attacking people with whom we disagree.

            Just to be clear, I don’t “bash” the South. What I have done is calling out words and deeds of folks who presume to speak for “the South,” when they say or do demonstrably wrong and offensive things, and present a false and demeaning image of the South and its history. I do try to make my criticism specific and focused.

            Glad we now seem to have an understanding, of sorts. Here’s wishing you and me both a quiet hurricane season this year.

            • Josephine Lindsay Bass said, on June 2, 2012 at 12:08 am

              Now don’t be putting stuff in my mouth. I will be more specific about what I meant by expect – Josephine Southern means that I am a true blue Confederate Southern American and if you are anti Southern and bash my people and my country you can expect to hear from me, and it might just be as quite unpleasant for you as you have made it for me. Death to Tyrants.

              • Andy Hall said, on June 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

                “It might just be as quite unpleasant for you as you have made it for me.”

                Spare me. We have a long history, you and I, and on balance, I’ve been far more civil to you than you have been to me. Do you recall which one of us referred to the other as “dog crap?” I do.

                Keep in mind that I’m a Southerner, too, and it’s every bit as much “my country” as it is yours.

            • george randall said, on June 23, 2014 at 6:54 am

              you seem to be attacking.

    • wdcarlson said, on June 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Mr. Bassett, you are of course free to agree with the critics of the Virginia Flaggers in particular, and the so-called Confederate Heritage movement in general, but you should get your facts straight. It is well understand by students of history that Lincoln and his Republican allies chose war, rather than peace, with the fledgling Southern nation so the U.S. would not have to compete economically with a free trade C.S.A. It is also clear that the majority of the money that was going into the U.S. government treasury came out of Dixie, and they did not want to lose that source of income. The view of history that you suggest Confederate defenders like the Virginia Flaggers, etc. hold is utterly wrong. It leaves me to wonder why you would choose to describe the Flaggers historic perspective in such a mocking tone. I would like to point out to you and Mr. Hall. that has to approve this posting, that there are some important points that neither of you brought out, or perhaps even considered. I would specifically like to refer to this point Mr. Hall makes in his article: “If the Virginia Flaggers, and the larger Confederate heritage movement, really believed themselves to be under siege, they’d be trying to build alliances with others, not seek conflict with them. They’d look to find common ground with folks like the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Museum of the Confederacy, and all the rest. But they don’t because, at some deeper level, folks like Martha Van Schaick, Waite Rawls and the rest are more useful as exaggerated, cartoon-like enemies, a common foe against whom the true believers can unite in shared resentment and carefully-stoked outrage.” Wow, how can you miss the FACT that Ms. Hathaway, herself a UDC member (never acknowledged in the article), went to Ms. Van Schaick in hopes of building the very alliance she is criticized for NOT seeking?? Incredible! It appears to many, many Southerners that the UDC has placed the maintenance of their tax-free status above supporting such obvious and natural allies as The Virginia Flaggers. This is why their leadership is called out, as quite literally having “sold out” in becoming the relevant force they should and could be, but are not. The same thing can be said for Mr. Waite Rawls and the Museum of the Confederacy. All of this could have been easily ascertained by well-intentioned commentators by contacting Ms. Hathaway by any number of readily available means. If Mr. Hall wants to be taken seriously as a commentator on Southern Heritage issues he will need to demonstrate a much more fair and balanced approach to his “research”. Thanks.

      • Andy Hall said, on June 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

        It is also clear that the majority of the money that was going into the U.S. government treasury came out of Dixie, and they did not want to lose that source of income.

        Demonstrably untrue. Tariffs paid at the Port of New York alone amounted to nearly two-thirds of all federal revenue in 1859.

        Wow, how can you miss the FACT that Ms. Hathaway, herself a UDC member (never acknowledged in the article), went to Ms. Van Schaick in hopes of building the very alliance she is criticized for NOT seeking??

        Ms. Hathaway’s appraoch to the UDC is explicitly described above. The UDC declined to participate, and Hathaway and the Flaggers decided to define them as enemies in response.

        If Mr. Hall wants to be taken seriously as a commentator on Southern Heritage issues he will need to demonstrate a much more fair and balanced approach to his “research”.

        “Fair and balanced” is Fox News’ slogan. I hope you got their permission to use it.

        I’m interested in being accurate, and have tried to be. I do not have any obligation to (or interest in) demonstrating “balance” by giving credence to Susan “Hand of God” Hathaway’s and the Flaggers’ repeated misrepresentations and misleading statements. One need look no further than the recent debacle with Rob Walker and the Davis Monument to see that Hathaway and the Flaggers are far more interested in promoting themselves than they are in giving a accurate and truthful retelling of events. By her own admission, Hathaway herself never questioned Walker’s tale until it was challenged by outsiders, but by then the Flaggers and their supporters had spent 48 hours tripping all over each other in the rush to cross-post Hathaway’s account and cheer it on. It was outsiders, including some bloggers, that called bullshit on Walker’s lies, and Tripp Lewis’ and Susan Hathaway’s eager duplicity in this sorry business. They were right, and the Flaggers were wrong. But the Walker debacle, spectacular as it was, was not a one-off; it’s just the biggest and grandest example of the fact-free self-promotion that Hathaway and the Flaggers have been carrying out all along.

        As for people taking my writing seriously, every reader has tio make that decision for him- or herself.

      • Hubert Cash said, on August 23, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        I as a member and officer in the SCV will not attend any meeting if informed the UDC is in attendance. Their low opinion of all things Southern sets them apart from main line heritage groups and deserving of our disdain and loss of their much coveted 501(c)(3) status.

  2. focusoninfinity (@focusoninfinity) said, on March 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I twice tried, but for some technical reason could not watch the video.

    Many ideologues, be they at the right or left of extremes; that is many (but not all) of both extremes believe in, and act on; the ageless concept of, “That the (good) ends, justifies the (even bad) means.” of accomplishing their often extreme ends. The anti-UDC is certainly within their rights to lawfully protest the UDC acting within the UDC’s lawful rights. But the anti-UDC does not self-posses the right to illegally protest the rights of the UDC lawfully operating within it’s rights.

    Reasonable men and woman can see the same set of facts, contemporary or historical; yet honestly perceive what they both saw: differently. Perceiving the same facts differently, can reasonably motivate them to act on their differing perceptions, differently. Provided at worst, those differing acts are within the law; or better, preferable the actions are done with added politeness: hey, that’s the American differings way.

    Being in the SCV “camp” (I didn’t pick my seven Confederate ancestors; they just came with my inherited Southern heritage); I am one of the less militant members. When I was in a local camp, our project for the next year was finding un-marked Confederate graves and asking the Civil War winning federal government, to provide free Confederate gravestones for Confederate memorial stones. I suggested that should we find an un-marked Union soldier grave among un-marked Confederate graves, that we hand -in the paperwork to mark the Union grave as well. OH NO, we can’t do that; that’s going against the cause our Confederate ancestors were against, and fought against. Sure, I think it’s reasonable that the SCV (and UDC) have as members, dyed Confederate Grey in-the-wool; would-be, latter-day Confederate soldier members. But isn’t it just as reasonable to have members who perceive that war as long over, and not needing to be re-fought over again?

    The old NC-UDC book of North Carolina Confederate mothers, indicates that my great, great grandmother (have her picture in her best bonnet and apron), Mr. Mary Elizabeth “Eliza” Murphey Wooten, wife of Shadrack “Shade” Wooten of Pitt County, North Carolina; had five sons in Confederate service at the same time. She also had sons-in-law in CSA service too. I’m proud of that fact, and of her, and of her son, my great grandfather, Sgt. and Lt. Edward Wooten, CSA,, 1837-1925, Co. B, 5th N.C. Cavalry. Rev. Wooten was the chaplain of the Wilmington, N.C., CSA veterans encampment. I’m especially proud of Rev. Wooten and a Wilmington Red Cross lady; because in North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, in the New Hanover County, Confederate Veterans Pensions Applications file, there are many letters from both the Red Cross lady and Rev. Wooten, attempting to get a Confederate pension for a former slave who willingly or un-willingly, faithfully served his officer master; not in, but with the Confederate army through that long war. Like me; I think Sgt. & Lt. Wooten, post war; was a Confederate moderate man too.

    After the war, Wooten attended the Episcopal Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia. In it’s archives is a letter from old, confirmed,, abed, Rev. Wooten; that records as Civil War clouds gathered, he and fellow student De Rosette (from Wilmington) headed South from Trinity College, Connecticut; that Wooten was pulled off a soon-to-depart train at the Alexandria, Virginia, railway station, and personally interrogated by a colonel of the colorful New York Zouaves: was Wooten headed South to enlist? I suspect the future Reverend Wooten lied; as Wooten records he was only permitted to re-board as the train started rolling out of the station. Wooten added, that was the last regularly scheduled passenger train South, before the war started. The colonel was shot and killed a day or two later, whilst hauling down a “rebel” flag. Wooten’s unusual 13-ring bull’s-eye canteen, and his letter to his sister, Pvt. May’s wife, concerning it, were on display once in the lobby of the North Carolina Museum of History. Pvt. May’s uniform, musket, and unusual smooth-sided canteen were on display there also.

    • Hubert Cash said, on August 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      There’s one in every family and you seem to be the one. Stop disgracing your honorable ancestors by association.

    • george randall said, on June 23, 2014 at 7:05 am

      the war is not over .and we should not care about the yankee graves. they were the enemy. look what they have done to us, we should never forget

  3. Margaret D. Blough said, on March 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    From what I understand, the UDC has been consistent in its distaste for exploitation of the Battle Flag for political reasons even during the Civil Rights era. That’s not to say it diverged from popular white sentiment during that era (it pushed the naming of schools after Confederate figures even when the (white) population of the district wanted another name) but it was very strict on what were appropriate uses for “the Flag.”

  4. Anthony E. Jones said, on November 25, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Screw these carpetbaggin old biddies. I’m a SCV member and we don’t need fake polyester friends like the UDC (UnDecided Confederates). When you denounce the Confederate flag, you are no less and enemy of my confederatre ancestor than Sherman was. At least he had the integrity to state his position and not wrap himslef in the Confederate cause and pretend to be a ally. The UDC is turning into a joke at all the SCV camps and on the Internet.

    • Andy Hall said, on November 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

      When are the Flaggers going to protest the local SCV camp that signed a legally-binding document agreeing to the restrictions on the flag at the Pelham Chapel? I fail to see why the UDC comes in for such vituperative chest-thumping and vitriol, when their organization has no direct involvement in this dispute at all, while the local SCV folks who formally agreed to the arrangement get a pass. It’s just one more example of how the Flaggers show, again and again, that they’re far less interested in the actual facts of a situation, than in how they can stir up some sturm-und-drang with themselves playing a leading role.

      • wdcarlson said, on June 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

        Again, Mr. Hall, as I suggested earlier, you need to have the courtesy to contact Ms. Hathaway before you simply jump to the conclusion that there is hypocrisy afoot with the Virginia Flaggers and that they are motivated and operate by less than honourable means. It is quite easy to see why the general perception you appear to have earned is that of an open and avowed enemy of Southern nationalist sentiment or any expressions of intellectual and emotional sentiment for the sacrifices that were made by the Southern people in defense of the liberty they sought. Is it really so hard to imagine why so many proud and self-conscious Southerners feel that their ancestors continue to be attacked through the efforts of their descendents to honor their memory and perpetuate their virtues? I see you enjoy throwing out the fact that you consider yourself “Southern” and a “guardian” of the true Confederate legacy and history. There is an old adage that applies to modern-day Southerners such as yourself that aren’t quite as open in their vituperation toward Southern Confederate heritage, as say the race-hustlers like Al Sharpton and the folks at the NAACP, and Southern Poverty Law Center that reap profit and political power by having perfected the “sturm-und-drang” that you tried to apply to the Flaggers. “Damning with faint praise” is the adage that comes to mind. Your respect and pride in being Southern is so weak and feeble that it is no respect or pride at all. In fact, it is more damaging than the loud and persistent attacks that come from our “open” enemies. But take heart, you are in good company, as the current Governor of Virginia and the current leadership of the UDC are right there with you. Now, what’s that other old saying, “with friends like you….” Have a good day.

        • Andy Hall said, on June 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

          Ms. Hathaway before you simply jump to the conclusion that there is hypocrisy afoot with the Virginia Flaggers and that they are motivated and operate by less than honourable means.

          I’m not sure I accused them of hypocrisy. Blatant misrepresentation and shameless self-promotion, absolutely, but not necessarily hypocrisy. In any event, if you go through my posts on the Flaggers I’ve laid in great detail exactly why I’ve come to the conclusions I did.

          Ms. Hathaway has always been welcome to comment here, but has declined to do so. That’s her prerogative. You will note, however, that when she has responded to my writing elsewhere, I’ve linked to it directly so that my readers can read it for themselves. I think that’s fair.

          Hathaway and the Flaggers have multiple outlets for presenting their views to the general public, through blogs, message boards, social media, and so on. They don’t lack for a voice.

          There is an old adage that applies to modern-day Southerners such as yourself that aren’t quite as open in their vituperation toward Southern Confederate heritage, as say the race-hustlers like Al Sharpton and the folks at the NAACP, and Southern Poverty Law Center that reap profit and political power. . . .

          Interesting that you should accuse me of not being sufficiently courteous, while you yourself so quickly resort to personal insults. Well done!

          Thanks also for subscribing to Dead Confederates. Always happy to have more regular readers.

    • Hubert Cash said, on August 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Amen brother!

    • george randall said, on June 23, 2014 at 7:06 am

      amen to that

  5. Jerry Dunford said, on December 9, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Mr. Hall,

    I have read all of the statements you wrote and it is obvious you are a man who just likes to argue and to ignore historical facts and just sling mud, and other opposite points of view.

    Those Citizens, who love their Confederate Ancestors, are law abiding Americans, just as you have a right to
    love your family, love your dead ancestors, and to honor them, so too do do we.

    As I am a individual, representing Myself, and a person who does appreciate my Confederate ancestors, my Southern American ancestors, men young and old, who are guilty of leaving their farms, their wives, children and families, and to go and do the honorable thing, to go and stand up to an armed aggressor, a Army, being sent into their state to burn many houses, barns, to steal their horses, mules, wagons, cattle, guns and anything of value. Yes they were guilty of forming a Confederate Government, voted legally into existence by the legislature in their respective state, American citizens of who then formed an army, and stood for only one single purpose, no to invade others, but to DEFEND THE 11 CONFEDERATE STATES WHO WERE IN AGREEMENT, THAT IS WHAT THEY DID. Now I am proud of this, very proud, these men and women hag GUTS, they had a backbone, and I love them for this.

    Now, I and many others like myself are willing to stand up and defend these wonderful Confederate Americans,
    and the Confederate Battle Flag is the primary, world recognized flag of the Confederate States Army, and all other government associations of this, not to nit-pic about other CSA flags, banners and such, The Confederate Battle Flag is the most prominent known flag, and thus it is this flag we want to be left alone and allowed at appropriate places, some places such as THE Confederate Soldiers Home Chapel, The Museum of the CONFEDERACY, and similar appropriate places, and at any privately owned property in the United States of America that we desire as it is as much our right, as it is your right to do this with any flag you choose on your property, if it is private property, and that is all we desire, so leave us alone, you should be on our side if you are a law abiding American, if you believe in our U.S. Constitution, so Mr. Hall which side are you on,
    the side of law abiding Americans who love their Southern ancestors, and are also law abiding American citizens, are on the side of people who wish to oppress and deny us our legal rights.

    Wake up, America is now crumbling and you should stand up for America.

    Jerry Dunford

  6. jerry Dunford said, on January 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Mr. Hall, it is about time that you erased the assaults, lies and untrue one sided statements about the Virginia flaggers and others who honor their ancestors. I and most every other good and decent person would not attack you and your Northern or whomever your ancestors may be, in this manner.

    Use you time, blog comments for good, stop using them for hateful, condescending statements and name calling, calling us racist, neo-cons, bigots. I will tell you again, we will not stand for this, so, do what is right.


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