An Open Apology to the Virginia Flaggers
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Virginia Flaggers for my previous blog post, “Welcome to Crackertown (formerly Richmond, Virginia)!” That post was based on an erroneous assumption on my part, specifically that the I-95 flag would be viewed by many thousands of drivers on the freeway daily, a bold, unmistakable, scarlet landmark visible for miles around. What I didn’t fully understand was that the plan all along was to put up a 50-foot flagpole in a clearing completely surrounded by 60- and 70-foot trees — including between the flagpole and the freeway:
Ostensibly the purpose of the flag is to welcome visitors to Richmond driving north on I-95. But just 100 yards away — that’s about 3 seconds at highway speeds — the flag will not be clearly visible to drivers because of the trees. Here’s the drivers’ perspective, via Google Streetview:
Once you get directly abreast of it, this is the view from the northbound lanes of I-95:
Even the photographer from the Richmond Times-Dispatch had to get up on the Old Bermuda Hundred overpass to get a shot of it, through the trees:
The Times-Dispatch on Sunday, in an article titled, “Confederate flag difficult to see along I-95 in Chesterfield,” has this to say
A large and contentious Confederate battle flag raised Saturday next to Interstate 95 near Chester is largely obscured by trees bordering the highway. . . . Interstate 95 is the most heavily traveled highway on the U.S. East Coast, but tall trees along the road’s shoulder make the flag difficult to see for northbound traffic and, with the Old Bermuda Hundred overpass, nearly impossible for southbound.
The good news, of course, is that the nearly-hidden nature of the flag will protect it from would-be vandals, who will have difficulty finding it.
So please, Virginia Flaggers, accept this apology for my accusation that the I-95 flag would be seen as a bold, brash symbol that many view as one of divisiveness and bigotry. I was completely wrong about the “being seen” part, because it doesn’t look like that many people are going to see it at all.
So we’re cool now, right?
This post was updated Sunday, September 29 to reflect the corrected view of the site from the highway.