Wednesday, October 27, 2010

South Carolina Student Fights Against School Bigotry

Court to hear SC Confederate clothing case

Associated Press
October 27, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A South Carolina school district's refusal to let students wear Confederate-themed clothing is the subject of a federal appeals court review.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear arguments Wednesday in the case of Candice Hardwick, who claims the Latta School District violated her free-speech rights by prohibiting her from wearing shirts depicting the Confederate battle flag.

A federal judge last year dismissed a lawsuit filed by Hardwick in 2006 when she was a 15-year-old high school sophomore. The judge ruled that school officials acted appropriately to prevent conflict in the racially diverse schools.

Hardwick wants the appeals court to reinstate the lawsuit.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SCV Announces New Recruitment Website

Please view the new SCV recruitment website:

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Confederate Records Found in Georgia

Confederate records foundBy Carole Hawkins
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010
Carole Hawkins/Staff

Jeanne Lenderman, librarian at the Augusta Genealogical Society, holds a letter written by Stokes F. Ivey, who served in the Confederate Army.

Carole Hawkins/StaffDaphne Hopson, president of the of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, William Henry Talbot Walker #2253 chapter, holds an early 20th century scrapbook of the UDC's Ida Evans Eve Chapter in Thomson. Records from the now-defunct chapter date back to as early as 1898 and list the organization's early members and historical snippets about the Civil War veterans to which they were related. The records were recently uncovered at the Augusta Genealogical Society.

"I don't want to hurt it," she said.

Spidery handwriting inside revealed it was a muster roll from the Thomson Guards, a McDuffie County company that had been part of the 10th Regiment of Georgia Volunteers of the Confederate Army. The list of names was a human snapshot of local Confederate soldiers.

The muster roll came from a box records from one of Georgia's original chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The box was recently rediscovered at the Augusta Genealogical Society. Directors theorize it may have been sent there for safekeeping after an estate settlement.

Many of the documents are member applications for the now defunct Ida Evans Eve UDC chapter in Thomson, which formed three decades after the Civil War. Also included are old UDC charters and scrapbooks of the group's activities during the early 1900s.

"I think it's a very significant find. A lot of these old records don't exist anymore," said Hopson, president of today's William Henry Talbot Walker UDC Chapter in Augusta.

To join the UDC, prospective members must prove direct lineage with someone who served in the Confederate Army. The Ida Evans Eve application records are thus interesting for genealogical reasons, but the records' age also places them a handshake away from history. Many applicants proved their heritage with letters from soldiers who had served with their relatives. The letters sometimes turned personal.

"You may well be proud of your father's name for he was a good man and a brave soldier," Confederate veteran G.H. Embree wrote in a letter to Lillie Paschal McCord.

The Thomson Guards muster roll says the company began its service May 11, 1861, and was made up of mainly planters and their sons from Columbia County and what is now McDuffie County. Only 77 of its 130 soldiers returned home. Some died at Gettysburg, others at Sharpsburg. Next to some men's names was written simply, "died during the war." Nearly as many men died of disease as battle wounds.

Hopson could relate to the sacrifices. Her great-great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier from Mississippi who became a prisoner of war at a battle at Fort Donaldson.

The rediscovered records will be sent next month to the UDC's division headquarters near Stone Mountain, where they will be placed in a museum in climate-controlled conditions, Hopson said.

Friday, October 22, 2010

2011 S. D. Lee Institute To be Held


Lincoln vs. Jefferson: opposing visions of america

The Sons of Confederate Veterans request you save the dates of February 4-5, 2011, so that you may attend the Stephen Dill Lee Institute at the Hotel Francis Marion in Charleston, South Carolina.

As of this date, the following speakers will lecture---

Thomas DiLorenzo – “Poles Apart: Lincoln and Jefferson’s Economic Views”

Donald Livingston – “Is Nullification Constitutional? The Jeffersonian Position”

Kent Masterson Brown – “Kentucky’s Jeffersonians”

Marshall DeRosa – “Lincoln’s Unconstitutional Constitutional Legacy”

Donnie Kennedy – “Republican: Lincoln or Jefferson”?

On Friday February 4, there will be a special Meet the Speakers night hosted by the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Special guest speaker will be Dr. David Aiken of the College of Charleston and the Citadel.

Conference fees remain the same at $150 for non-SCV participants and $125 for SCV members and families. The hotel has offered a significant discount at $129 per night and is located in the heart of historic Charleston.

The Institute has significant Scholarship funding for students and teachers. Contact Brag Bowling at 804-389-3620 for further information. Also please visit the Institute website at to register and obtain hotel information.

Confederate Veteran to Be Honored in North Carolina

VALE, NC – A memorial service to honor Confederate soldier Solomon A. Workman will be held on Sunday, October 24, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Vale, Lincoln County, North Carolina.

A new military grave marker supplied by the Veterans Administration was installed by the W.J. Hoke Camp 1616, Sons of Confederate Veterans of Lincolnton. Tony Jenkins, of Lincolnton, initiated the project by providing the required documentation to the Veterans Administration, and Andrew Johnson of W.J. Hoke Camp 1616 assisted Jenkins with the installation of the marker.

Tony’s brother, Jerry, also helped with the installation.

Workman was born on July 4, 1842, and married Susannah Catherine Reinhardt (born in Lincoln County on March 7, 1846) on August 10, 1865. He enlisted on August 14, 1861, at the age of 20, and served in Company E, 32nd Regiment, North Carolina Infantry. He was wounded in the foot at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and returned to duty prior to September 1, 1863, and was hospitalized at Charlottesville, Virginia, on September 25, 1864, with a gunshot wound. A farmer in the Vale area, Workman died on May 7, 1897, and is buried in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery in Vale.

The service will be held rain or shine at the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery, 2700 Trinity Lutheran Church Road, Vale, North Carolina.

SCV Tells Truth About Black Confederates and PC Crowd Becomes Hysterical

Virginia 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers

By Kevin Sieff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A textbook distributed to Virginia fourth-graders says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War -- a claim rejected by most historians but often made by groups seeking to play down slavery's role as a cause of the conflict.

The passage appears in "Our Virginia: Past and Present," which was distributed in the state's public elementary schools for the first time last month. The author, Joy Masoff, who is not a trained historian but has written several books, said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history. Virginia education officials, after being told by The Washington Post of the issues related to the textbook, said that the vetting of the book was flawed and that they will contact school districts across the state to caution them against teaching the passage.

"Just because a book is approved doesn't mean the Department of Education endorses every sentence," said spokesman Charles Pyle. He also called the book's assertion about black Confederate soldiers "outside mainstream Civil War scholarship."

Masoff defended her work. "As controversial as it is, I stand by what I write," she said. "I am a fairly respected writer."

The issues first came to light after College of William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff opened her daughter's copy of "Our Virginia" and saw the reference to black Confederate soldiers.

"It's disconcerting that the next generation is being taught history based on an unfounded claim instead of accepted scholarship," Sheriff said. "It concerns me not just as a professional historian but as a parent."

Virginia, which is preparing to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, has long struggled to appropriately commemorate its Confederate past. The debate was reinvigorated this spring, when Gov. Robert F. Mc­Don­nell (R) introduced "Confederate History Month" in Virginia without mentioning slavery's role in the Civil War. He later apologized.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of male descendants of Confederate soldiers based in Columbia, Tenn., has long maintained that substantial numbers of black soldiers fought for the South The group's historian-in-chief, Charles Kelly Barrow, has written the book "Black Confederates."

The Sons of Confederate Veterans also disputes the widely accepted conclusion that the struggle over slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. Instead, the group says, the war was fought "to preserve their homes and livelihood," according to John Sawyer, chief of staff of the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Army of Northern Virginia. He said the group was pleased that a state textbook accepted some of its views.

The state's curriculum requires textbook publishers and educators to explore the role African Americans played in the Confederacy, including their work on plantations and on the sidelines of battle. Those standards have evolved in recent years to make lessons on the Civil War more inclusive in a state that is growing increasingly diverse.

When Masoff began work on the textbook, she said she consulted a variety of sources -- history books, experts and the Internet. But when it came to one of the Civil War's most controversial themes -- the role of African Americans in the Confederacy -- she relied primarily on an Internet search.

For the rest of the story use the link below:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hate Monger Attacks Lee Statue in Texas

Austin man tries to damage Robert E. Lee monument

by KVUE News
October 11, 2010 at 3:36 PM

An Austin man was caught in the act of trying to damage Robert E. Lee monument on the University of Texas campus.

UT police got a report of a man climbing the bronze statue near Homer Rainey Hall.

Officers found Nicholas Chaney climbing down the statue. They found a hacksaw in his backpack. Police say he was attemping to saw off the spurs on the bronze monument. They found fresh cuts and other damage on the statue.

Nicholas Chaney, 20, is charged with criminal mischief on a public monument. The incident happened on Friday. The charge is a state jail felony.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

140th Anniversary of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Death

"Strike the Tent."

140th Anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s death
By Calvin E. Johnson Jr.
Sunday, October 10, 2010

A program commemorating the 140th anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s death is set for Monday, October 11, 2010, featuring a 12:15 PM lecture by Dr. William C. Davis, at Lee Chapel Auditorium at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

The headline from a Richmond newspaper read:

“News of the death of Robert E. Lee, beloved chieftain of the Southern army, whose strategy mainly was responsible for the surprising fight staged by the Confederacy, brought a two-day halt to Richmond’s business activities.”

The American flag, which Robert E. Lee had defended as a soldier, flew at half mast in Lexington, Virginia.

General Lee died at his home at Lexington, Virginia at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, October 12, 1870. His last great deed came after the War Between the States when he accepted the presidency of Washington College, now Washington and Lee University. He saved the financially troubled college and helped many young people further their education.

Some write that Robert E. Lee suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on September 28, 1870, but was thought to greatly improve until October 12th, when he took a turn for the worse. His condition seemed more hopeless when his doctor told him, “General you must make haste and get well—-Traveller—-has been standing too long in his stable and needs exercise.”

Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Cadet William Nalle said in a letter home to his mother, dated October 16, 1870,:

“I suppose of course that you have all read full accounts of Gen Lee’s death in the papers. He died on the morning of the 12th at about half past nine. All business was suspended at once all over the country and town, and all duties, military and academic suspended at the Institute, and all the black crape and all similar black material in Lexington, was used up at once, and they had to send on to Lynchburg for more. Every cadet had black crape issued to him, and an order was published at once requiring us to wear it as a badge of mourning for six months.”

Read entire letter on Virginia Military Institute website.

The rains and flooding were the worse of Virginia’s history on the day General Lee died. On Wednesday, October 12, 1870, in the presence of his family, Lee quietly passed away.

The church bells rang as the sad news passed through Washington College, Virginia Military Institute, the town of Lexington and the nation. Cadets from VMI College carried the remains of the old soldier to Lee Chapel where he laid in state.

Memorial meetings were held throughout the South and as far North as New York. At Washington College in Lexington eulogies were delivered by: Reverend Pemberton, Reverend W.S. White—Stonewall Jackson’s Pastor and Reverend J. William Jones. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis brought the eulogy in Richmond, Virginia. Lee was also eulogized in Great Britain.

When all settled down, Mrs. Robert E. Lee said, “If he had succeeded in gaining by the sword all the South expected and hoped for, he could not have been more honored and lamented.”

Many thousands witnessed Lee’s funeral procession marching through the town of Lexington, Virginia, with muffled drums and the artillery firing as the hearse was driven to the school’s chapel where he was buried.

US President Dwight D. Eisenhower knew and appreciated our nation’s rich history. President Eisenhower was criticized for displaying a portrait of Robert E. Lee in his office. This was part of his response; quote:

“Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by this nation.” unquote

This Christian-gentleman’s last words were, “Strike the Tent.”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Monument Planned for South Carolina

Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2010
Berkeley Confederate monument planned
The (Charleston) Post and Courier

MONCKS CORNER - A group is collecting names for a monument to Confederate soldiers from Berkeley County.

They’re hoping for an inside display, maybe in a museum setting, sometime after the first of the year. A location has not been announced.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans’ General Ellison Capers Camp No. 1212 has been saving for the monument for more than 10 years, said Nathan Daniel of Pineville, a member who is collecting names.

The monument will be about 4½ feet wide and 5 feet tall. It will cost about $2,500, plus $3 a letter to inscribe the names.

They’ve collected about 230 names so far, Daniel said. The names must be accompanied by some evidence that they actually served in the Confederate army, although the group offers to help with documentation.

The group is hoping the monument won’t spark any objections, since it’s a simple granite monument with no symbols, Daniel said.

A feud over a Confederate flag that flew over the State House raged for years, sparking an NAACP boycott. It was moved to a monument on the grounds in 2000, but that compromise has not settled the issue.

This spring, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey withdrew an offer to allow a Confederate memorial in the city’s Riverfront Park.

Read more:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

South Carolina Ordinance of Secession Draws Premium Price at Auction

Ordinance of Secession draws premium price

A copy of the 1860 Ordinance of Secession, the document many historians point to as the official start of the Civil War, sold at auction for $25,000, well over the pre-sale estimate.

With the auction buyer’s premium of 20 percent, the buyer actually will pay $30,000 for the document, one of 200 copies of the ordinance created for the men who originally signed it.

The bidding at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on Thursday drew tremendous interest. There were several advance bids, seven bidders by phone and several more at the auction, said Rick Stattler, Swann’s director of printed and manuscript Americana. Swann didn’t have permission to give out information on the buyer other than to say it was a South Carolina collector.

South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession was drafted during a constitutional convention that began in Columbia Dec. 17, 1860, and ended three days later in Charleston. The ordinance states that South Carolina has repealed the Constitution and disassociated itself from the United States. Other states in the South followed suit over the next few months, and the bloody combat raged from 1861 to 1865.

The original ordinance remains in the possession of the state at the S.C. Archives and History Center in Columbia. It will be displayed starting in November at the archives center to mark the sesquicentennial commemoration of the war, with a trip to Charleston in December to mark its signing there.

Archives director Eric Emerson considers the original the most important historical document owned by the state.

The convention wanted each of the 169 signers to have a copy of the document, and printer Evans and Cogswell of Charleston was contracted to make 200 lithograph copies of the original. The copies were so exact they include the ink blots of the original.

The copy up for sale had been passed down through the family of signer Edward McCrady of Charleston. After the auction drew publicity, a family member contacted the auction house to question the authenticity of the copy. He claimed his branch of the family had long held the McCrady copy.

But further investigation by the McCrady family and the auction house revealed the family had had two copies for generations. The assumption is that one of Edward McCrady’s sons acquired one of the extra printed copies, Stattler said.

The auction house updated the document description to state that it came from the estate of one of McCrady’s great grandsons, though it might not have been the copy given directly to Edward McCrady for signing the original.

The fact that there were duplicate McCrady copies didn’t seem to hurt the bidding. Another copy of the ordinance came up for auction recently for $18,000 and didn’t get any bids at that cost, Stattler said.

There are plenty of copies floating around. During the war, Northern troops collected several of the copies. One Michigan officer took one of the lithograph copies north and made copies of it. Also, during the Civil War centennial events in the early 1960s, thousands of new copies of the ordinance were distributed.

Read more:

Confederate Day Remembered

1897 Confederate Day a memorable occasion
By Charles Culbertson/contributor
October 2, 2010

On June 5, 1897 — 33 years to the day after Southern forces lost the battle of Piedmont in Augusta County — the fairgrounds in what is now Gypsy Hill Park was the site of Confederate Day, in which the area's aging warriors got together for food, games, music and reminiscing about their contributions and sacrifices during the War Between the States.

It was the idea of the old soldiers themselves and sprang out of a May meeting of the Stonewall Jackson Camp of Confederate Veterans. Committees were formed to handle arrangements and many of the area's most prestigious, valorous old soldiers were named to head the committees.

They included Maj. Jed Hotchkiss, Stonewall Jackson's cartographer; Capt. Thomas D. Ranson, a Staunton attorney who had served with Jackson; Capt. T.C. Morton, whose remembrances of the war included receiving a rare chewing-out by Robert E. Lee; and Capt. James Bumgardner, who saw vast amounts of action with the 52nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy and many sons of Confederate veterans also assisted on the committees.

Former commanders were requested to "call their old men together" for the event.
By all accounts the day was a full one. With perfect weather to assist them, the celebrants were serenaded in the morning by the Stonewall Brigade Band and in the afternoon by the Blackford Band.

Much hilarity surrounded a pie-eating contest and a potato race; a baseball game was won by the cadets of Augusta Military Academy; and children enjoyed a merry-go-round and an exhibition of the multi-spool spinning wheel known as a "spinning jenny."
The festivities also included a bicycle parade, foot race and a trap-shooting contest. Picnic tables groaned under the weight of food prepared by the ladies of Staunton.

But the day was, of course, designed by Confederate veterans for Confederate veterans and portions of it contained decidedly martial aspects.

For the rest of the storty see:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Removal of Southern Symbols

Southern shame, Southern ghosts
September 30, 2010

By Franklin Raff

The University of Mississippi has terminated its mascot, "Colonel Reb." The mascot, an archetypal Southern gentleman with a hat, cane, and a little bow-tie, is of course racist.

Affable, bearded and jaunty, with a bright costume that cleverly foiled his dark history on the plantation, Col. Reb, when he was alive, looked rather like that other infamous slave-driver, Col. Sanders, whose inscrutable and permanent smile these days (in markets where he still shows his face) offers only a faint clue as to the fortunes he's made in his long, post-war masquerade as a peddler of fried chicken.

"We just want it to be over," said one Mississippi student on the subject of Col. Reb's execution.

Watch your back, Sanders.

There is of course nothing sacred about a football mascot or a corporate brand, and nothing particularly sad about the disappearance of either one, except for the fact that now there is nothing left of Southern symbolism to erase. Some time ago, you see, most Southerners started believing that fried chicken, football games, NASCAR and maybe a handmade basket or two were among the only cultural 'treasures' they could, or should, be proud of.

And now we learn that what legions of Americans consider to be a transcendent symbol of extraordinary military leadership and valor, states' rights, indefatigable heroism, enduring pride and strength in the face of terrible odds and calamitous defeat – the Confederate battle flag – is now officially deemed a symbol of hate by the U.S. armed forces. Prospective members of all branches of the armed forces who happen to have a "Confederate flag" tattoo are automatically rejected.

Red crescents, Ankhs and the like are a "go" as are satanic pentagrams with bleeding goat-heads, inverted crosses, Vishnus and Virgin Mothers doing just about anything anywhere you can imagine, but not a star-studded blue cross (or saltire) over a red field. That image is un-American, hateful and now officially equivalent to the swastika.

Americans who sport the Confederate battle flag – many whose ancestors fell under the flag, who are buried with honor on American soil beneath the flag, whose fathers and great-grandfathers flew this flag with patriotic pride over homes, and seats of government, and even U.S. Navy ships at war – and who want to serve our country under arms, are no longer deemed compatible with our armed forces.

The Confederate battle flag has been appropriated by hate groups of one kind or another for racist reasons, but it is also, indisputably, the reigning symbol of Southern history and pride. Why would Southerners ever surrender this treasure? Why would they have it erased from a state flag, as Georgia did in 2001? Why would they allow America's "best and brightest" to ban it as a universal "symbol of hate" without even putting up a fight?

Historians disagree about whether the war would have happened "with or without slavery." Slavery was a national evil, the great mainstay of the agrarian South and a catalyst for polarized politics and violent action on both sides. But even Southerners have now forgotten about the enormous and complex roster of constitutionally based complaints regarding tariffs, direct and indirect taxation, the extraordinarily significant issue of nullification, innumerable federal impositions and more, and more, which led the Confederate states to draft their declarations of secession. These short, concise documents are not only fascinating, they are of obviously incalculable value to any free citizen whose aim is to know the history of his state, his country and his constitution. Do you know of even one young Southerner who has studied any of these documents in school?

It is commonly held even among schoolchildren in the South that the war was fought in the wake of a glorious national Emancipation Proclamation, when of course Lincoln's proclamation very belatedly only freed Southern slaves. Northern slaves were freed even later (the last in New Jersey at the very end of the war), as the cause of emancipation became a public-relations boon for Lincoln, for conscription and for the North internationally. To be sure, there were more slaves in the South than in the North, and the Emancipation Proclamation was a very important and effective document, but "The Great Emancipator" plainly admitted he would free all, or none, of the slaves if it would save the Union. Why must these truths be ignored?

All Americans understand that scores of Union soldiers fought proudly and honorably "to free the slaves," but now Southerners seem to have started to believe, en masse, that their Confederate ancestors raised their battle flag "to defend the institution of slavery." In fact only a miniscule percentage – I have seen estimates lower than 2 percent – of Confederate soldiers were members of slave-owning families, lived or worked on plantations, or were otherwise part of the "antebellum" life painted by Hollywood. Anyone who knows their history knows exactly what most Confederate officers would have told you in the field: "We have no desire for conquest and, as clearly stated by our political leaders, every wish for national reconciliation. The Confederate battle flag represents the fighting spirit of the citizens of these states who are proudly and patriotically rebelling against a central government which has become tyrannical."

Have you ever asked a Southern high-schooler or college student what the Confederate battle flag represented to the men who fought for the confederacy? I've done it many times. The answer is usually: Hatred. Slavery.

And who spoke out against slavery? Many on both sides, of course, and probably many more in the North than in the South, but also Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy; his secretary of state, Judah Benjamin; Gov. William Smith of Virginia; Reps. Barksdale and Kenner (once one of the largest slaveholders in the South) as well as the highest-ranking CSA generals Joseph Johnston and none other than General Robert E. Lee. The Confederate battle flag was Lee's flag, the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. On slavery, he said: "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."

The dirty, not so-little secret of the war, you see, is that slavery had become morally, politically, and (because of the industrialization of agriculture, labor disputes, etc.) financially untenable in both the North and the South, and it was on its way out. Still, Congress did not consider an abolition amendment until 1864. At that time, the Southern states were long absent from Congress. Even then, shamefully, it did not pass and was not adopted until after the war. The North was obviously as tragically intertwined with the institution of slavery as the South. But what Southern youngster knows it?

And who defended the freedom of the press and information in this terrible time? More than 300 Northern newspapers were suppressed during the war and the Northern press was known to have been heavily censored, while, for instance, even Jefferson Davis endured astonishingly dark personal attacks from even the Southern press, but unlike Lincoln, refused to limit their freedoms. In short, scholars agree that "dissenters" had freedom of speech only in the South.

It would seem important to keep these facts in mind as we review a tiny part of the historical record and ponder the present near-universality of the South's acquiescence to a comically simplistic and largely inaccurate "victor's history" of the war. But perhaps facts no longer matter.

The long, arduous road toward national reconciliation and equal rights need never have included cultural annihilation: historical, symbolic or otherwise. Yet that is what Southerners face today, and it is their own fault.

By failing to educate their children, or by allowing others to mis-educate their children, and as evidenced by their willingness to repeatedly allow the definition of their cultural symbols – from the Confederate battle flag down to a bow-tied, fancified Southern colonel in a funny suit – as symbols of "hate," they are ultimately, finally, characterizing their forebears – soldiers, yes, along with doctors, lawyers, philosophers, scientists, and farmers, free blacks (including slave-owners), businessmen and politicians (many of whom were abolitionists) – universally, as the simple, hateful hicks federal propagandists once made them out to be.

By abandoning these most sacred and most benign symbols of Southern heritage, they admit a deeper commitment to ignore and let others define, their past. Worse perhaps, they turn their backs on the legacies and souls of real American patriots and heroes.

When they once again encounter their ancestors, which I believe they will, how will so many Americans account for their feeble treachery?

Maybe, like the Mississippi student, they will say: "We just wanted it to be over."

I wonder what some of those old heroes might say in reply.

What about:

And here you are, my spiritually impoverished progeny, 300 years after the first war in which we fought and died that you might be free from a tyrannical central government, and almost 200 years after another great and terrible war, the worst imaginable, in which we fought our brothers and died for the very same cause. You have now willingly disgraced not just this cause – which might have been understandable given the terrible complexity of the time – but you have also disgraced almost every vestige of our memory, corrupting even the flags on our graves.
The degree to which you are now indebted to, and dependent on, your federal government is a most bitter reminder of our failure. But you have failed in a deeper sense. You, like many Americans, have in your ignorance abetted in the practical destruction our founders' Constitution. Having surrendered liberty, you are no longer entitled to its blessings. So please do not speak of slavery. You have stripped yourself of your knowledge, pride and heritage. You have shamed and prostrated yourself, and, to no small degree, it is you who are now enslaved.

I shudder to imagine what the ghosts of the past, black and white, will say to us when we join them.

And then again, maybe it won't be so bad. After all, you know what happens to those who do not remember their history.

One way or another, by reverence or ignorance, history is destiny.


Franklin Raff is a Virginian. He lives in Mount Vernon, Va., and Jerusalem, Israel.