The March To East Tennessee State University – An Open Report

On Wednesday July 26, I would travel across the mountains to the world famous Dixie Barbeque Restaurant where I would park my sisters car and began the some ten mile march to East Tennessee State University carrying the glorious Christian Cross of St. Andrew(the Confederate Battle Flag). It would take longer for me to make this journey than any other ten mile trek I can remember, because of the large number of people who just wanted to know why I was marching up Roan Street carrying the flag, or just to take a picture of me, or with me.

I told them as I would tell the reporter and photographer of the Johnson City Daily Newspaper that my reasons for marching today was two fold: 1. I was preparing myself for the March that I would take on October 14, 2006 from the Dixie OutFitter franchise store in Lynchburg, Va. to Washington, D.C.. The date was chosen because it just happened to be the 3 year anniversary date of the Historic March Across Dixie. 2. I was marching to the University where I would register a formal complaint against Professor Andrew Slap because of his public humiliation of T.K. Owens in a class room session whose topic was centered around the War Between the States. Professor Slap would ask T.K. as he had asked other students, what the Confederate Battle flag meant to him ? T.K. would respond that his opinion would be different from many of those he had heard because his great grand father had been a Confederate Soldier who had earned a place of honor under this great banner, and furthermore had just recently been honored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in a memorial service . Professor Slap wasted no time in telling the class that T.K.’s family history was wrong, there had been no Black Confederate soldiers, and further that the Sons were only trying to improve their tainted image and had used T.K.’s family to do so.

I have made longer marches, but none was more gratifying as I was met and accompanied by several of my babies from Maryville, Tennessee who were now students at the university. Along with the press we made our way over to the Presidents office where his very, very nice assistant directed us to how we could lodge our complaint. I was told to contact Dr.Colin Baxter, the History Department Chair , and if I did not receive a satisfactory response, to continue on to Dr. Gordon Anderson, the Dean of Students, and if still no workable solution, to please come back and see Dr.Bach, the President. Along with my babies Andy, Ty, Hooper, Adam the reporter and his photographer, we made our way over to the History Department where we were told that Dr. Baxter was not in. I told a nice gentleman that would call or return on another day until my complaint had been heard. I presented each of the students with one of my historic tee shirts from Dixie OutFitters Modern Day Heroes line, and they promptly hag on the wall of Pike House on the campus. I returned to Dixie Barbecue with my babies and met with Commander Jim Maddux, the Brigade Commander of the Tennessee Sons, gave him a report on the days activities while all my babies met Mr.. Howell the owner who just happened to be a Candidate for Congress and a much liked philanthropist in the community.

Return to the E-mails Archives