Va Flaggers – Why I Carry the Battle Flag…

Why I carry the Battle Flag…
Just a few months after I began flagging, I was attending a local WBTS event alone, and was carrying my CBF. I was approached by an older gentleman. He introduced himself, and said he wanted to talk with me. He began by telling me that he was proud of what I had been doing and that he appreciated my efforts. He then went on to say that he thought that I would be much better off, and have more success, if I would stop carrying the Battle Flag, and carry the First National instead. He told me it would be much safer, cause less controversy, and would be less "offensive". 
He may have been the first one to give me such a lecture, but he has not been the last. I was told that it was "unlady-like" to walk through the streets of Richmond with my Battle Flag with the SCV at the 2012 Heritage Rally, and scores of folks, mostly within our own Heritage community have urged me to carry a different flag.
My response was, and always has been, that EVERYTHING I do is about the Confederate soldier. I carry the ANV battle flag because all four of my G-G-Grandfathers who fought to defend Virginia from invasion, served under that flag. It is the SOLDIER’S FLAG. I love ALL of our Confederate flags, and often carry different ones for different occasions, but my first love always has been and always will be the battle flag.
Recently, I was advised that we should fly/carry the First National because "no one knows what it is". HUH???? I believe THAT is exactly the kind of reasoning that has gotten us where we are today. By buying into the guilt by association hogwash, our own folks have shunned the battle flag, leaving the impression that we are all ashamed of it and prefer it stay "in a museum", hidden from public view.
For those who think that the First National is a "safe flag", I strongly disagree. There was NO battle flag involved in the display banned in Lexington, Va., and there are many other examples. Once the battle flag is completely gone from public view (and we are getting close to that point) "those people"  will come after every other flag, until all traces of the Confederacy are removed.

We Take Our Stand (by Carolyn Kent, Southern Cross Chapter #2578, UDC)
"The Battle Flag has suffered much abuse and we, the descendants of the Confederate heroes whose honor that Cross verifies, must continually do battle with ignorance and defamation from those who choose to misunderstand our heritage. We, whose ancestors gave us that centuries-old Cross, have a duty to protect it, to restore it to its position of dignity and respect, and that we must do. The Confederates were neither cold nor timid…neither can we be.
It is a privilege to have inherited the Southern Cross, to have such an honorable standard with which to align our hopes and dreams for the future. Just as the Southern Cross has become popular in other countries and is used by them as a beacon of courage, so to, will there surely be a renaissance in our own country…a renewal of things good and noble and pleasant and right. The time will arrive when ALL people are allowed to honor their history, yes, even Southerners. The day will come (and IT WILL) when people learn what we already know. They will realize where the true patriots of freedom thrive, and their eyes will turn Southward. And the Southern Cross, as it has for centuries, will lead us all Deo Vindice."
Susan Hathaway
Va Flaggers