Friday, August 30, 2013

Va Flaggers Response to the petition against the I-95 Battle Flag:

Petition Statement
"As we progress through history, symbols change in meaning. Given the extreme controversy over this particular symbol, it does not serve as a positive representation of the city of Richmond, nor does it serve as a positive reminder of the South's determination to keep the institution of slavery for their profit.
The Africans who were brought by force into southern slavery passed on long ago, but their pain was very real. Give these Africans their voices back and let them speak eloquently through our voices by saying no to the hanging of this Confederate flag. We should, in this day and age, be hanging the American flag—not a flag representative of brutality for all to see while passing by Richmond on I-95. This flag does not serve to better the community as a whole, nor society."
We believe that everyone has the right to express their opinion, but find the wording of the petition inflammatory and misleading. It references "Southern Slavery" when the fact is that the institution of slavery was an American institution, legal and practiced for more than 85 years under the U.S Flag, and assert that it is disingenuous to lay the entire sin of its practice and existence at the feet of the Confederacy and her flags. The petitions suggests an American flag is a better representation of our community. We assert that the Confederate Battle Flag IS an American flag, as Confederate Soldiers are American Veterans by Act of U.S. Congress.
With a population of approx. 205,000, the signers of this petition represent less than 5% of Richmond's citizenry. Factor in that the majority of the signers appear to be out-of-towners and the representation is even lower. At the height of the Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States, we believe it most certainly does represent Richmond, which served as the Confederate Capital.
We continue to receive overwhelming support, both locally and nationwide, from those who are anxious to support this memorial, with donations often marked in memory of their Confederate ancestor. After the War Between the States, Union veterans often lent their support to monuments and memorials to the Confederacy. Americans were united in their efforts to remember our dead and honor our Veterans. Sadly, this petition clearly is intended to divide our community and inflame others to act out against a memorial to American Veterans. We are determined that the flag will fly as a reminder that there are many of us who have not, and WILL not forget the honor, valor, and sacrifice of our Confederate ancestors.
Jimmy Jones, Va Flaggers