Sunday, July 27, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rally to be Held July 26 at Washington and Lee Over Flag Removal


On Saturday, July 26th, there will be a rally in Lexington Virginia at 12 noon in protest of the decision by Washington and Lee University to tamper with the grave site of General Robert E. Lee. The rally will be held at Hopkins Green, which is at the intersection of Jefferson and Nelson Streets in downtown Lexington.

It has become even more important that every compatriot who can possibly attend this rally do so. A press release from Washington and Lee has basically accused the SCV of being potential thugs and vandals. W&L has closed the Lee Chapel from Friday afternoon through Sunday July 27th. According to the University, "This unscheduled closing is based on concerns for the safety of the facility and its staff on the day that the Sons of Confederate Veterans have scheduled a rally in Lexington. We must take this unfortunate precaution because of the inflammatory and threatening letters, emails and phone calls the University has received in response to the removal of reproduction battle flags from the statue chamber in Lee Chapel..."

In other words, they are suggesting that SCV members would desecrate the Lee Chapel or injure its staffers because of the disingenuous actions of President Ruscio. No group honors the Lee Chapel and wishes it to be protected more than the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This closure is a gratuitous insult to one of America's finest and oldest heritage groups.

It is imperative that our members attend the rally if possible, and it is important that we gather as Southern gentlemen in the manner of General Lee himself and with the dignity that his memory deserves. We must show the University that the continuing attempt to demonize the tens of millions of descendants of the Confederacy should stop and be replaced with genuine understanding and communication.

Ben Jones
Chief of Heritage Operations

New Chief of Heritage Operations Named


In light of the issues at Washington Lee University, I feel it is important to let the membership know who I appointed to the position of Chief of Heritage Operations. Mr. Ben Jones, currently from Virginia, was a former US Congressman from the state of Georgia. His expertise in dealing with high profile situations is one of the many reasons he was chosen. His diplomatic skills will prove to be invaluable in this position.

On many occasions he has proven that he loves his Southern heritage by the fights he has already participated in. One of the most recent that many may remember is when he took on Warner Brothers after they announced they would remove the Confederate Battle Flag off the

General Lee, a car he repaired in the Dukes of Hazard. Yes, Mr. Jones is none other than "Cooter" in the hit TV series that still captivates audiences through out the world. He won that battle, as he has many, and brought awareness to the history of the flag, as well as the Southern people. I hope you will join with him as he guides us through the future heritage issues.

Deo Vindice!

Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans 

New Executive Director Chosen

The Sons of Confederate Veterans has been blessed to have Ben Swell as Executive Director for 12 years. Under his leadership, the SCV has prospered and flourished with his expertise. When Mr. Sewell announced that he would retire, it was known that it would be difficult to find someone of the same caliber.

In Charleston, at the National Reunion, it was announced that Lt. Col Mike Landree, USMC, will follow Mr. Sewell as Executive Director. It is an exciting new chapter for the SCV, and I feel like Lt. Col Landree will continue to lead the SCV into the future. Lt. Col Landree will begin in his new position on December 1, 2014.

So at this time I would like to say welcome aboard to Lt. Col Landree and God Speed to Mr. Sewell.

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans 

Message from Commander In Chief Barrow

Compatriots and Friends,

Let me take this time to tell you what an honor it is to be elected as your Commander-in-Chief. Words cannot adequately describe my feelings. I am humbled to hold an office that only seventy-three men before me have held. It is my pleasure to be a thirty-five year member of the SCV. I remember attending my first Lee-Jackson Banquet at Aunt Fanny's Cabin in Smyrna, Georgia where all of my family was inducted into the SCV, UDC and CofC. It was a special moment for me but little did I know what the future held.

Through the unity of our organization and the strength of our Confederate Ancestors, we shall continue to move forward to be the preeminent authority on Southern heritage. There are many days ahead of us in the Sesquicentennial and beyond that give us opportunities to promote and honor the heroic deeds of the men and women of 1861-1865. By their examples we can learn a considerable amount; it is our ancestors who endured "Total War" from an illegal invader. Today, like our ancestors, we must also choose to stand fast or retreat? They knew their duty, do we know ours? General Robert E. Lee once said, "Duty then is the sublimit word in the English language, you should do your duty in all things, you can never do more; you should never wish to do less."

The Confederate soldiers we honor and whose DNA flows in our veins took a stand to proclaim to the world the values of our American Liberties and their commitment to its Cause. Those Principles of 1776 and 1861 are still alive today. Friends, let us reconfirm our commitment to those liberties and the Cause which we hold so dear.

I would like to close with a quote from Jefferson Davis' proclamation from April 5, 1865 in the capitol in Danville, Virginia. "Let us not, then, despond, my countrymen; but relying on the never-failing mercies and protecting care of our God, let us meet the foe with fresh defiance, with unconquered and unconquerable hearts."

I now ask you to make a stand as they did, to be unified with others of the same mindset and lineage. As with anything in life, a unified group is more effective than any individual could ever be. I hope you will join me as we honor our Confederate ancestors and as we re-dedicate ourselves to those Principles of 1776 and 1861. May God Bless You and My God Bless the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans

W and L Hides Past - Caves into to Political Correctness

Quick, Hide the Past

Paul Greenberg | Jul 23, 2014
Paul Greenberg
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

--Party slogan, "1984"

It is an essential part of the totalitarian mentality -- excuse me, not mentality, but to use today's neo-non-word, mindset. As if approved ideas could simply be poured into the mind to set, the way concrete is. And any trace of what was once there will be covered, effaced, smoothed over. For the past must not only be hidden but, to the well-trained mindset, it never existed at all.

It's an approach as old as the French Revolution, which was not only going to create a new socio-economic system but a New Man -- just as the Bolshevik Revolution set out to do the same. And would end in the same result: total dictatorship. Bonaparte was the natural result of one revolution, Stalin of the other.

Some things never change, except maybe the name of the dictator. The Reign of Terror became the Great Purge became Mao's Cultural Revolution as one revolution followed another, each bloodier and more terrible than the last.

It's not just results that some revolutions seek to impose but finality. For there must never be any going back to the old order, the ancien regime. Louis XVI and his queen had to be guillotined, and the Tsar's family stood against a wall and mowed down. Lest any trace of the past survive to return. Or even be remembered. Except in the caricature of history the New Order would authorize.

It's not just totalitarian regimes that insist on a kind of historical amnesia: "College to remove Lee Chapel's flags" --Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 10, 2014. It seems Washington and Lee University is removing the Confederate flags from the place they occupied in the chapel, where one of its namesakes lies buried. A group of law students at the university objected to the flags' being displayed there, and so they had to be moved.

To quote the university's president, slavery was a "regrettable chapter of our history, and we must confront and try to understand this chapter."

President Kenneth Ruscio's language is itself worth confronting and trying to understand. Let's see: Slavery was "regrettable" -- like a social engagement one cannot attend, as in Mrs. and Mrs. John Doe regret they will not be able to attend high tea next Sunday a week. And we must confront human slavery, the South's "peculiar institution," to use the euphemism of an earlier time, by moving, not confronting, those Confederate flags. Quick, hide them away somewhere. Quick, before the children see.

But why remove only the flags? What about the general? Why even keep Lee's name as part of the university's? Not to mention Washington's. Weren't they both not just planters and generals but slaveholders?

No need to go into detail about how they both came to oppose slavery and eventually provided for the emancipation of their own slaves, which both of them had acquired largely through inheritance or marriage. That would mean going into history, which can be messy. Unlike ideology, which can be as superficial as President Ruscio's explanation for why the flags are being removed, which was as lengthy as it was superficial. Just forget all those bothersome historical details, along with slavery, the Confederacy and anything else in the past that might disturb our equilibrium -- or educate us.

Yes, the flags had to go. To quote the law students' letter of protest, they felt "alienation and discomfort" whenever they saw those banners. Their tender sensibilities should not have to be subjected to such a sight. It's enough to make you wonder how these law students will face up to some of the characters they may run across when they become lawyers, civil or criminal: murderers, rapists, serial killers, abortionists, chiselers small-time and big, gangsters, pimps....

Maybe these future lawyers could be given what today are called trigger-warnings, formal notices now issued by some of our more prestigious universities so their students can be forewarned, and won't risk being shocked on opening any book that deals with history, that record of mankind's follies, crimes and atrocities.

So, yes, hide those old Confederate flags away, maybe in the kind of dusty display cases museums use. Or at least call them something else, like Historical Artifacts. The way the signage for Confederate Boulevard here in Little Rock was changed to some less historically charged name.

Yes, that's the ticket. Change the name, change the past. Just as Constantinople became Istanbul, Saigon is now Ho Chi Minh City, and St. Petersburg became Petrograd, then Leningrad, and now is St. Petersburg again. What's in a name? Sometimes a whole history.
No, we wouldn't want the past to live, or even be remembered. Lest it disturb our innocence, which is not always easy to distinguish these days from what used to be recognized as just plain ignorance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 
Washington and Lee University has desecrated Robert E. Lee’s grave, but can remedy its error by restoring the Confederate battle flags and separating the chapel from university politics, the commander of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans said.
The Lexington-based Stonewall Brigade plans Saturday to battle the removal of replica flags from Lee Chapel with a downtown flag vigil starting at noon. That will be followed by an open forum at 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express to discuss how to respond to what it terms "grave robbery." "We feel that what they did is a desecration of Robert E. Lee’s memorial and gravesite," said commander Brandon Dorsey. "It is borderline illegal, and the flags should be returned. No military servicemen should have the flags for which they fought removed from their gravesite."

W&L declined to respond to the allegations. "We don’t wish to get into any back-and-forth; so consistent with our position all along, we are allowing President [Kenneth] Ruscio’s detailed statements to speak for themselves," said Brian Eckert, executive director of communications.
Ruscio earlier this month issued a lengthy statement explaining that the replica flags were not presented in an educational manner, which would be in keeping with the university’s mission, and has fielded some questions in an online response. The removal was in response to one of the concerns raised by a group of W&L law school students who said the flags glorified the Confederacy and were offensive and hurtful to minority students.

In explaining his decision, Ruscio wrote, "The reproductions are not genuinely historic, nor are they displayed with any information or background about what they are. The absence of such explanation allows those who either ‘oppose’ or ‘support’ them to assert their own subjective and frequently incorrect interpretations."

Instead, original flags on loan from the American Civil War Museum in Richmond will be displayed on a rotating basis in the Lee Chapel Museum.

Dorsey called Ruscio’s explanation "bogus," and said the university in accepting the memorial had an obligation to preserve it as intended."By their own admission, Robert E. Lee does not belong exclusively to them. His legacy goes beyond the doors and windows of Washington and Lee," Dorsey said.

Lee became president of then Washington College following the Civil War. At his request, the university began construction in 1867 on what would come to be called Lee Chapel. His office was housed on the lower level, and when he died in 1870, his body was buried beneath the chapel and his office mostly preserved.

The following year, the Virginia legislature incorporated The Lee Memorial Association to build a monument to his memory. After the school changed its named to Washington and Lee University, the association worked with the university to design the monument. A mausoleum was attached to the chapel "where his remains should be deposited in a vault, to be surmounted by a recumbent figure in marble, representing our great chieftain at rest — it being part of the plan to provide vaults also in the same Mausoleum for the immediate members of his family," former Gen. Jubal Early said during the June 28, 1883 inauguration of the mausoleum.

Dorsey said that in removing the battle flags, Washington and Lee may have violated state law by desecrating a memorial for a war veteran. He called for the flags to be returned. W&L maintains that the reproductions were hung near The Recumbent Lee statue that people often mistake for his tomb. The statue depicts Lee sleeping on a battlefield. His remains are buried in a crypt on the lower level of the chapel, along with his family. And his horse, Traveller, is buried outside.

Dorsey maintains, "At this point, the best scenario is for Washington & Lee to place it [the memorial] in a separate nonprofit entity and make the chapel separate." That way, he said, the university would no longer be burdened with dealing with Lee Chapel and any embarrassment it causes students.
"Our chief concern is primarily seeing that Robert E. Lee’s gravesite and memorial are maintained in the manner they were originally conceived to be," Dorsey said, adding the politics of donors, faculty and students should not influence the memorial.

The Stonewall Brigade announced its plans for Saturday’s rally last week in an advertisement in the News-Gazette. Dorsey said he anticipates W&L alumni will come but that the administration was not invited nor expected. He said his group was rebuked in the spring when it contacted the university after the law students’ demands were made public.

"We’re so diametrically opposed. We don’t think there is any hope for dialogues," he said. "We wanted the university to allow public debate. We wanted historical experts to talk about the relevance of Lee in this era. It was a flat rejection."

The Stonewall Brigade earlier this year surrendered its legal challenge against Lexington when it was unable to afford to continue an appeal of the city’s ban on the flying of nongovernmental flags from its poles. Members can and do carry the flag on city streets, primarily during the celebration of      Lee-Jackson Day.

At least one flag-bearing vigilante has been noted since Ruscio’s announcement. "I have observed a man carrying a large Confederate flag on the public sidewalks adjacent to campus. Other university employees tell me he has simply greeted passersby. The Office of Admission tells me that no one has been following tours on campus," Eckert said.

Ruscio’s statement has drawn a number of letters to the editors, op-eds and online comments in The Roanoke Times and in other newspapers, and to Eckert’s office. Ruscio, in his earlier statement, anticipated an on going dialogue concerning the university and its history and relationship to African-Americans.

Dorsey said W&L has rebuffed his group’s voice.