Sons of Confederate Veterans
July 28, 2014
GEORGIA DIVISION NEWS
ACTION REPORT FOR THE GEORGIA DIVISION
Men of the Georgia Division and friends,
Thanks to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the battle to preserve our Southern Heritage is alive and well! Like the Georgia Division, our compatriots in other Divisions are engaging the enemies of our heritage in their own efforts. It is, indeed, a good day to be a member of the SCV!
1. Washington & Lee University. Most of you undoubtedly have already heard that the current president of W&L ordered the removal of the Confederate flags from Lee Chapel in response to the "demands" of six students who hate Southern symbols. Initial investigations indicate that the students may have enrolled at W&L for the express purpose of soliciting attacks upon Confederate connections with the school. This weekend, the SCV sponsored a rally at the University with plenty of Confederate flags to protest the removal and to demand that they be restored. The call has also been put out for those who wish to see the flags returned to call and email the leadership at the University; apparently school officials have commented that they expect the disapproval to die out and go away shortly. If you’d like to voice your opinion to the contrary, below are the contacts that would like to hear from you as often as you have time to communicate with them.
2. Texas SCV License Plates. In case you missed our press release from this past week, the Texas Division was denied their request for their own specialty plate like we have here in Georgia by the Texas DMV; and a federal judge handed down a decision against them in their court case. Fortunately, though, a judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the federal district judge’s decision and has ruled in favour of the Texas SCV. The current attorney general in Texas has said that he intends to appeal the appeal (yes, that’s right); he is a Republican candidate for governor and seems to believe that it will win him votes with minorities who hate Southern heritage in Texas. Nevertheless, the outcome of the appeal court decision means that the SCV has won the right to have a specialty plate in every single state where a court battle has ensued. Rebel yells to the Texas Division!
3. Ringgold Battleflag Lawsuit. It has been six long years ago since the Georgia Division and local then-commander Tom Poteet filed suit against the City of Ringgold to have the Confederate battle flag returned to the Depot as part of the memorial to the soldiers from the War, just as it was originally designed and put in place at its inception. The city had voted to replace the battle flag with the Hardee Corp flag, which was one of the flags at the Battle of Ringgold Gap, after some of the usual suspects complained about our battle flag. The case was scheduled to have been heard this past Friday but has been delayed likely until the first week of November. I joined Tom Poteet at the city council meeting two weeks ago as he proposed a settlement agreement that was both reasonable and should have been acceptable to both parties; he proposed that since the 34-star federal flag flies opposite the Confederate flag pole at the memorial, the Second National flag of the Confederacy (our national flag at the time) should fly. I spoke on behalf of the Division after Tom and stated that it is the desire of the Division to have the battle flag of the common soldier, represented by the St. Andrews Cross, returned to the memorial but that we felt that Tom’s suggestion was something that we could accept if the City agreed as well. The City Council may still decide to accept the proposed settlement before our court date; otherwise we will be going to court to demand the return of the battle flag. After making a Freedom of Information Act records request, we discovered that the taxpayers of Ringgold have now been forced to pay in excess of $45,000 in legal fees for the decision of the city council. It is quite possible that once enough taxpayers in Ringgold find out how much of their money is being spent in legal fees to defend an already unpopular act anyway, the city council may change their mind. Hats off and many thanks to SCV member and attorney Martin O’Toole for the many hours that he has spent on this case on behalf of the Division, most for which he has never even billed us. Thanks to the efforts of our local camp commanders near Ringgold, I have had the opportunity to conduct two media interviews for us this past week, one with the Catoosa Times and one with the Chattanooga Times.
4. Online Grave Registry. Our Division online grave registry is now up and ready for us to add the graves of your Confederate soldiers in the counties served by each of our camps. Please email your date, preferably in an Excel spreadsheet to your brigade commander or directly to myself at RayMcBerry@aol.com. Since getting our registry online, we have received an offer from a compatriot in another Division to possibly build a website for our data which is more appealing to the eye; we hope to have something new for you to see soon.
5. Communications. Camp commanders and adjutants, please begin at once preparing a spreadsheet to send your brigade commander which will include a roster of all your members, plus their phone numbers and email addresses for everyone that has one. We are working to modernize and make more efficient our ability to communicate with all of our members. Your help is essential in this effort to make us a more effective organisation in the fight for our Southern Heritage.
6. Renewal Time. You should receive your renewal forms sent out in the mail within the next week or two. Please assist your camp adjutant by getting them turned in as soon as possible. Division Adjutant Tim Pilgrim has spent a great deal of time making sure that these go out to help with our retention; let’s make good use of it. The Georgia Division is working hard for the Cause of our heritage; it is impossible to continue without YOU!
7. Georgia Division Youth Camp. The EC will begin comparing potential sites for next summer’s youth camp here in Georgia at our meeting in September. We are inviting ALL MEMBERS to send the names and locations of potential camps for us to rent for a week to Brigade Commander Don Newman who is collecting and collating the information. Please let him know of any possible camps near you even if you don’t have any details about them. Don’s email address is email@example.com
There are a lot of positive things going on in your Division.
I challenge everyone to jump in and find something to do!
For Georgia First,
Ray McBerry, Division Commander
Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans