Thursday, August 30, 2012

Va Flaggers Update: 2nd Manassas

Va Flaggers Update:  2nd Manassas
Va Flaggers  - 2nd Manassas Sesquicentennial – Flagging the Custermobile with a visit to the Manassas Battlefield and Stonewall Jackson Shrine.
On Saturday, August 25th, several Virginia Flaggers made our way up 95 to Manassas.  Our mission was to flag the Virginia Civil War Historymobile (Custermobile), but we started our day with a visit to the Manassas Battlefield.  There, we carried our flags and visited the markers and monuments around the battlefield.  Although there were no big crowds there, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of people who approached us to ask about the flags we were carrying.  Most were very interested to learn what the Va Flaggers were all about and thanked us for the information.   One man very enthusiastically asked where he could go buy a Confederate Battle Flag, right then!  Sadly, we were unfamiliar with the area and could only offer him an online recommendation. 
Following the visit there, we headed downtown, where Old Town Manassas was hosting a festival…with a living history encampment and our target…the Custermobile!  When we arrived at the Custermobile, we found a few people in line.  As we stood in front of the trailer, we were approached by many people who asked about the flags, why were carrying them, and asked to take our pictures.  For the first hour, we explained why we were there and handed out our literature and were VERY well received.  
Soon, we were joined by Stephen Dunn and  Rusty Jones of the Flint Hill Rangers.  They were a fantastic reinforcement for the Flaggers, drawing even bigger crowds, and giving us the opportunity to talk to more people about the Commission and their blatant disregard for our Confederate ancestors.
The Historymobile staff was very accommodating.  We spoke with visitors when they came out, handed out literature, stayed right in front of the trailer, and were never asked to leave or stop speaking to the public.  I asked one of them why Custer was on the side of the VIRGINIA Civil War Sesquicentennial Historymobile, instead of one of the numerous great Confederates who hailed from Virginia.  His response was that the Virginia Historical Society decided what photos would go on the trailer and that it was a very difficult and carefully thought out process.  He really had no explanation other than that and just threw up his hands when I pressed the matter.  
What we found in Manassas was a public that was EAGER for the truth.  I imagine our flags and soldiers in uniform was the largest Confederate presence ever in the short, but very politically correct history of the Va Historymobile.  This traveling exhibit needs to be flagged in every town that it visits. 
The State of Virginia, through the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, refuses to honor our ancestors.  If you don't speak up for them… who will? 
Severe weather forced the Custermobile to close up early (HOORAY!), but allowed us time to make a stop at the Stonewall Shrine at Guinea Station.  The house in which Stonewall  Jackson died is a must-see.  Standing in the room where he took his last breath, and listening to the Park Ranger relay the details of the hours and minutes before he died, was a chilling, moving, and altogether wonderful experience. 
More information on the Va Civil War  Sesquicentennial Commission:
Here is a LTE from  April, 2011:
Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
I believe I speak for many Virginians when I say that we are very disappointed in the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and its blatant exclusion of any recognition of the 32,000+ Virginians who answered the State's call to take up arms in her defense and never returned home, or the thousands more who survived the war and returned to help rebuild the ruins of the State.
While no one denies that slavery was one of the main issues that led to the conflict and deserves a place in any discussion of the War Between the States, this commission has taken its original focus of inclusion, which we applaud, and twisted it so far as to make slavery/emancipation its main focus, in effect excluding any remembrance of the men and women who so valiantly defended Virginia.
The commission's Facebook page is closed to comments, based on the fact that there were many Virginians who questioned the content as being void of any mention of the rich history of our State and the War, other than that which relates to slavery/emancipation.
Throughout the years the State has made many promises to honor the memory of its Veterans, most of which have been broken. This injustice should be enough to cause an outcry, but this commission, which is funded by the tax dollars from the descendants of these brave heroes, has stepped the offense up from disregarding promises to actually attacking the memory of our veterans.
Even if one has no interest in honoring these valiant men, the economic fallout of the decisions made should be questioned. Virginia is rich in its history, with battlefields, museums, cemeteries and other places of interest, which, if promoted properly, could draw in tourists and revenue. Instead, in the name of political correctness, these treasures are left ignored at a time when additional revenue is desperately needed.
General Patrick Cleburne, CSA said this, in the midst of the War...
"Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision". How prophetic...and how sad that we would see it propagated not by Northern school teachers or school books, but by those who are being paid by the Commonwealth of Virginia to promote the Sesquicentennial.
Susan Hathaway
Commission member contact info. here: