Monday, July 21, 2014

Washington and Lee University Update

In response to the recent removal of Confederate Battle Flags from the Lee Chapel, The Va Flaggers have followed up with a letter to W&L President Kenneth Ruscio and other key W&L personnel.  In our communication, we make the following key points: 
*Experience has proven that compromise with those who make such demands is always fatal.  If these 6 students are "offended" by the presence of 8 historically significant Confederate Battle Flags, displayed for over 83 years in the sepulcher, who is to say they won't be "offended" when they visit the museum in the basement, where the flags are to be displayed, or even by a portrait of Lee hanging in the Chapel?  What will be their next demand, now that they were able to easily manipulate the administration?
*Even so, the removal of the flags and desecration of the Chapel was a direct violation of Virginia State Law, which states that it is "unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same…"  We intend to pursue the prosecution of this violation to the fullest extent of the law.
*Further, from the W&L By-Laws. Section 2 designates the building as the "Lee Memorial Chapel":  2. "The Lee Memorial Chapel. The chapel on the University grounds, erected during the presidency of General Robert E. Lee and under his direction, shall be known as "The Lee Memorial Chapel." This chapel may be used for the commencement and other University exercises and meetings, but it shall not be used for any meetings or purposes not in keeping with its consecrated character and the memorial and sacred purposes to which it is dedicated."  We believe that displaying the honored battle flags of the men who fought and died under General Robert E. Lee is certainly "in keeping with its consecrated character and the memorial and sacred purposes to which it is dedicated".  Removing them to appease a half dozen agitators, on the other hand, is not.
We let them know, in no uncertain terms, that we expected the reproduction flags, originally donated by the SCV, to be returned to the sepulcher immediately, and that there would most certainly be demonstrations and protests if the flags are not returned.
Hundreds of you have contacted us about your desire to gather and protest at the University.  We are actively planning and coordinating these efforts, and will have all details in place and plans ready in the event that the flags are not returned.
At the same time, we are developing several other points of attack, including organizing alumni and student groups to have the flags returned and having those responsible for removing them removed from office, as well as several additional avenues that are currently in research.
1)  We need to make sure the University hears from AS MANY PEOPLE as possible over the next few days and weeks.  PLEASE take the time to contact every person listed below.  Use telephone, email, and mail to convey to them your feelings about the desecration of Robert E. Lee's final resting place.  If you are an alumni or donor, make sure you let them know that your donations will cease until the flags are restored to their rightful place.
Light up the W&L early, and often!
2)  Please forward this email to EVERYONE on your email list, especially to and W&L alumni or students you may know.  It is imperative that we spread the word QUICKLY.
Washington & Lee University Contact Information:
Mr. Kenneth Ruscio
Washington and Lee University
204 West Washington Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450
(540) 458-8700
Daniel Wubah
Washington and Lee University
Washington Hall 214
Lexington, Virginia 24450
Secretary of the University:
James D. Farrar, Jr.
Washington & Lee University
203 Washington Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees:
Katherine Brinkley
Washington & Lee University
202 Washington Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
Thank you, in advance, for your diligence in this matter.
Please watch for more emails, as we have much more information to share in the coming days. 
Grayson Jennings
Va Flaggers
P.O. Box 547
Sandston, VA 23150