How H.K. Edgerton spent Memorial Day

by H.K.Edgerton in Vol. 16 / Iss. 46 on 06/09/2010

On Saturday morning, May 29, I would don the uniform of the Southern soldier and station myself at the corner of Main Street in the beautiful city of Black Mountain, North Carolina. I had been there for an hour or so basking in the love of those who passed by waving, blowing their car horns, shouting out my name, and bringing me libations as I stood there with the Southern Cross in hand when suddenly I was approached by an angry middle age white man.

Nigger, he would retort. Why are you standing there with that Confederate flag. Didn’t we win that war? You’se should be ashamed of yourself, he continued. I should take that flag from you and whip you with it.

I hope that God forgives me, because as he came closer as if to carry out this proposed threat. I hit him right across his mouth with the bamboo pole that supported my flag. As blood gushed from his mouth, he again cursed me, and threatened to call the police and have me arrested. Proclaiming that he had a First Amendment right to say what he pleased to me, and that I had no right to strike him. I told him that the police station was less than 100 yards behind me and that two mighty fine police officers had just left after giving me a hand salute. He stormed off still cursing. I would remain for several more hours without incident as the spirit of my Southern family appeared so uplifted by my presence.

On Monday, Memorial Day, May 31, I would once again don the uniform of the Southern soldier and attend the Asheville-Buncombe Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans stadium in the City of Asheville, North Carolina. I was overwhelmed by the more than gracious reception I received by not only the many citizens who had come but by the Cub and Boy Scouts and their commander who fussed over me as he insisted that I partake of the water that he offered me, and the young Cub Scout Mark, who stood by my side for most of the program and recanted the love that he had for his grandfather who had passed away not long ago, and who was in the military. And the hand salute that I received by the Navy Admiral Vasilik who would give the keynote speech.

While the mayor would pass less than two feet from where I stood with not even a glance in my direction, I would shake the hand of the county commission chair, the chief of police, and many of his men, the Chair of the Committee for Veterans Affairs, and nearly all the veterans in attendance. I was so pleased when I heard a stanza of Dixie played on a recording of military music, and even more so as so many participants like the lady who came before me with tears in her eyes, thanking me for posting the Confederate Battle Flag .

I would leave the ceremony and station myself on the bridge over Interstate 40. It would suddenly began to rain, but I could not leave the arena where I was receiving so much love. Not even as thunder and lighting began in earnest on this day would I leave. I could only think about how God had protected me on so many occasions while out with my flag. I just didn’t think that he would let lightning strike me on this day. And while it continued to rain, the sun would come out and a rainbow would appear on the horizon. It had been a great day in Dixie. May God bless all the soldiers of today and the past.

— H.K. Edgerton

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