I've never endorsed anyone for SCV office before but I am proud to endorse my friend Billy Bearden.
Southern Heritage News & Views
Billy Bearden for Georgia Division Lt Commander North
I am truly honored and most humbled to stand here today amongst members of the still largest State Division in the entire Confederation, to respectfully ask for your consideration of my candidacy for Lt Commander North.
As I look out at the many faces gathered here today, while I don't see very many pretty ones, I do see ones that I have stood shoulder to shoulder beside in way too many heritage battles, from all across our great state, and I am proud such men exist in our organization. I am blessed to have fought in the trenches with y'all, and I must say, sad that we are missing a few, like James Wisham, Albert Jelks, Rodney Waller and Jeff Davis.
It was God that put me next to the Capitol that day in January 2001, where just a handful of folks were gathered, trying to save the 1956 State flag. It was God that gave me the strength and courage to give up what I was doing at that moment to join them there, at that time and place, and it was God that made sure I returned the following day, January 29th, 2001 when the Senate voted to kill the flag.
Prior to those 2 days, I was going about my life not really caring about fighting for my Confederate heritage, but what I saw in those 2 days at the Capitol made me angry. I decided then and there to join the SCV and fight.
I was told early on that "Any time is a good time to advance the colors" and thus has been in my mind as a motivation ever since. My guiding principals are the Charge given to us by Lt General Stephen Dill Lee.
I am certainly not the type of person who seeks to climb the political ladder. I have no agendas outside of defending our Confederate ancestor's good name, protecting his legacy and our heritage, and promoting the truth about the Confederate soldier and his sacred symbols. When my name is mentioned, it is never associated with terms like scalawag, sellout, compromiser, or grannie. I have not ever been involved with anyone or any group that has removed a Confederate flag or symbol, or used it in a hateful manner, nor will I ever tolerate it, be it from outside the SCV, or amongst our own members.
I have not only fought for our heritage here in places like Augusta, Atlanta, Savannah, Carrollton, Tallapoosa, Marietta, and Lake Oconee Georgia, but have fought in places like Memphis, Tennessee, Richmond, Appomattox, Lexington and Williamsburg, Virginia, Auburn, Heflin, and Selma, Alabama & Reidsville, North Carolina.
At the local level, I am current Lt Commander and newsletter editor of my camp – Haralson Invincibles 673. Among the many things I have done outside of participating in Living Histories, Parades, Cemetery Services and festivals, is being 1 of 3 men involved in having restored the Carroll County Confederate monument to it's original 1910 appearance, especially the replacement of the 4 decorative balls that had been missing since 1958.
I had a regular newspaper column discussing Confederate issues, been interviewed on 2 different radio stations about Confederate Heritage and History events, had numerous Letters to the Editors printed about Confederate things, and promoted Camp and SCV events in the local media for years. I also fought alone for and saved the flag display at the cemetery where my Kinfolk are buried. My town adopted and flies a modified 1956 Flag I designed for the City Flag officially since 2007.
On the State level, among the many things I have accomplished are, serving currently on the Confederate Heritage & History Month Committee chaired by Calvin Johnson, of which I have received approx 70 such styled proclamations, one such example was the Lee Proclamation that was read by the Commission Chairman inside the old Chambers of the former Capitol, the first year the Lee Day celebration was restored in Milledgeville.
I led the fight against Ga Power's Plant Wansley to get 7 stolen flags back on Confederate graves in the Battle of Yellow Dirt. I assisted in numerous Heritage fights from the state flag, thru the Augusta Riverwalk 2nd National flag removal and Savannah Council Chambers Confederate portraits removal, to the more recent Cordele flag removals.
On the National level, I serve on the National Confederate Heritage and History Month Proclamation Committee also chaired by Calvin Johnson, and have received 6 such styled proclamations from localities in Virginia and Alabama. Among the numerous things I have done is having served as a member of the National Heritage Defense Committee under 3 Chiefs – Starnes, Hiter and Earnest.
I also assisted in the formation of the Virginia Flaggers.
I have either aided in or led efforts to save the names of and/or symbols used by Jefferson Davis Middle and Robert E Lee Elementary Schools in Hampton, Virginia in 2005, Allen Central High School Rebels in Floyd County, Kentucky in 2006, and Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville Florida in 2007.
My Letters to the Editors and interviews and photos have appeared in newspapers in places like Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee and even County Cork, Ireland.
Cleburne County, Alabama adopted my design of their County flag based on the Hardee Pattern Battleflag, to honor their namesake, Lt General Patrick Cleburne, in 2005, and they have flown it ever since.
My platform, per se, is simple. I promise to report to the Division Commander, to work closely with the Brigade Commanders in the Northern Section, and maintain liaison with Camp Commanders in the Northern Section. I promise to represent the Georgia Division at Memorial Services and other special events in the Northern Section, that pertain to The War Between The States and/or the aims, goals, and purposes of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
I further promise to aid in the expansion of tools and items to educate the public and our own members on Confederate heritage and history, and to assist in any heritage battles. I promise to aid and assist in recruitment of new members.
I thank y'all for your time, and I would appreciate y'all's vote.