From: James King <>
Date: Mon, Apr 28, 2014
Subject: [FlagFight] Fw: Flags Theft/Removal
To: "" <>, "" <>

TO: Dan Coleman–SCV GA. Division Judge Advocate
Reference: Confederate Flags Theft/Removal by Public Works Cordele GA.
WALB TV in Albany picked up the Confederate flag theft/removal story and I think they interviewed Commander Jack Bridwell this afternoon. It may have been on 6PM news. I will know later when my camp adjutant lets me know. I was busy and unable to watch the TV and see myself and I was unavailable when WALB tried to contact me for an interview.

Public Works told WALB TV that they still have the flags. Albany SCV camp member Michael Mullis who lives in Cordele is the one who placed the flags. He will go to Public Works and try to get them back and find out who is responsible for the decision and order to remove them.

The cemetery has numerous U.S. flags that have been there quite some time judging by the fading. The Cordele city code on cemeterys does not prohibit flags, flowers, etc. and states that they can only be removed when faded tattered etc. The 27 Confederate flags we placed were new.

The journalist Becky Crissman with the Cordele Dispatch newspaper is a UDC member and she is just as angry about what Public Works did as I am. She went to Florida over the weekend but will be back Wednesday. She plans to write another article with my assistance and publish the Georgia monuments and memorial protection laws and the U.S. Federal law that was passed in 1958 that gave Confederate veterans the same rights as any U.S. veteran.

I may see if I can take out a criminal warrant for the theft and also bring a lawsuit in small claims court–not for money but for the publicity in the newspaper and on TV letting the public know that we in SCV take our Confederare heritage seriously and will not tolerate theft and abuse of our monuments, memorials, anf flags. Either way a criminal warrent or civil suit would be against the individual responsible and not Public Works, Sunnyside cemetery, or the city of Cordele.

Dan, can you give any advice on a small claims lawsuit as I described above?

James W. King
SCV Camp 141 Commander
Albany GA.

From: Dan Coleman <>
To: Dan Coleman <>; James King <>
Cc: Becky Crissman <>; Michael M <>; "" <>; "" <>; "" <>
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2014
Subject: Re: Flags Theft/Removal

It appears that if the City does not prohibit flags, someone lied & the police believed him or her.  There should be some liability for theft of the flags.  I would first confirm that there is no such City ordinance & the look for the culprit.  You should be able to make him very sorry that he did so. What did the City do with the flags?  Can they be recovered?

Dan Coleman, JA


On Sunday, April 27, 2014, Dan Coleman <> wrote:

Fellow Compatriots

As you may know, law is not an exact science. That is why lawyers can argue either side of an issue.  In this matter I think it would be hard to convince a judge that a flag is a monument

A better possibility is the theft angle and even better is the city ordinance.

The first things I would check is ownership of the grave plots and the supposed prohibition of flags. If the families own the grave plot  the church is most likely not be able to prohibit the flags. I doubt that the church has any such prohibition. It sounds like a preacher or elder acting on his own.

You would still have the issue of selective enforcement. Someone is probably exceeding his authority. Try to talk to a member of o aldermen, deacons or whatever committee is in charge.

Dan Coleman

Sent from my iPhone


On Apr 27, 2014, James King <> wrote:


Public Works removes confederate flags from cemetery -Article by Fox 31 Albany GA.
TO: Becky Crissman -Journalist Cordele Dispatch & UDC Member
CC TO;  Dan Coleman   SCV GA Division Judge Advocate
   Southern Legal Resource Center


I am glad you feel the same as I do about this violation. Contact me when you get back and we can decide on a plan of action. My phone is temporarily down due to some changes I am making. E-mail me.

I checked the Cordele city code with reference to cemeteries. This is what it says. I find nothing banning the placement of flags on veterans graves. Objects placed on graves can only be removed when faded, tattered, unsightly etc. Our flags were new.

It appears to me we have grounds for a lawsuit against the city, public works, or the individual who authorized the removal of the flags.

James King
SCV Camp Commander
Albany GA
Cordele City Code-Chapter 7-Cemeteries

The city may remove cut flowers, pot plants, and the containers and stands for the same, when the flowers or plants have become unsightly. For the purpose of this subsection "unsightly" is defined as applying to cut flowers or pot plants when the same have shattered blooms, wilted or dead leaves and blooms, bleached or discolored leaves and colored foliage, to the extent of one-fourth (¼) of the original total of the same. Lots having coping and gravel shall not be maintained by the city, but may be cared for by the owners or authorized representatives of the owners during normal working hours while funerals are not being conducted in the cemetery. Nevertheless, the removal of cut flowers, pot plants, containers, and stands for the same from such lots by the city, as hereinbefore set forth, is hereby authorized.


The city may remove artificial flowers, silk flowers and foliage, artificial shrubs, pictures, stuffed animals, bric-a-brac, memorabilia, and similar items whenever the same have become water logged, scattered, discolored or damaged.


From: Becky Crissman <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2014
Subject: Flags


I am very disgusted with our city. I will be back in town on Tuesday and back in the office Wed. I would like to get with you and Mike and the lawyer if necessary to discuss a plan of action…. I have done some digging even though I am in Florida… I have seen American flags in the cemetery and the local VFW places American flags on memorial and I think vets day as well… There are American flags in Sunnyside, some were in close proximity to the stolen flags and you could tell by their wear they had been there a while… As a proud Confederate woman I do not want this issue to slip through the cracks I want something done and I will be there writing stories throughout….

God Bless our Southern Heritage