Washington and Lee University flag fiasco update.
Folks, please be aware that the SCV’s National Chief of Heritage Operations, VA Division Commander, VA Division Heritage Officer, the Lexington, VA SCV Camp Commander and I, the ANV Heritage Coordinator, have been working on and monitoring this situation since early April when the "Committee of 7" issued their demands to the school.
The question was asked, "What are the SCV and UDC doing about this?" I cannot answer for the UDC, but the SCV has been involved since the first notice was issued. As late as last Thursday, we were informed by an SCV member close to the University that, and, I quote, "There has not been any further action based upon the threats and demands by the commie "committee" at W&L. We do anticipate the issue will flare up again towards the end of August as September 1st was the deadline for their demands to be met before they committed "civil disobedience." The recent announcement by the President of W&L to remove the flags was not expected.
My questions in a previous post about Commonwealth Statutes relating to the desecration, tampering and removal/theft of items at a gravesite were for gathering information which may be useful. Currently, we cannot ascertain without legal advice if such a Statute(s) exists in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Division SCV will hold a Division Executive Council meeting on Saturday, July 12, to discuss the W&L situation and the possibility of retaining an attorney to research the Statutes. The VA DEC will notify National of any actions that are decided upon and if any assistance is required.
Surrender is NOT an option. We must keep in mind, however, Washington and Lee University is a private institution, on private property. The President, Board of Directors, some faculty, the Lexington Mayor, City Council and the demographics of the Lexington business owners are against our Cause. Send correspondence (letters preferably), email or call the university to lodge your complaints. Be polite, tactful, but adamant about your concerns. If you are a contributor to the University in any capacity, stop sending your money. Instead, send your contributions to the Virginia Division Heritage Defense Fund or the National Heritage Defense Fund.
In a recent, similar situation at the Citadel in Charleston, the violation went in our favor when the SC Adjutant General ruled that the flag in question was protected by South Carolina’s Heritage Preservation Act. The school did poll the callers and found that over 50% were in AGREEMENT to removal of the flag. Should our efforts to retain the flags in Lee’s Chapel, let’s turn those same efforts into getting statutes passed to protect our gravesites.
I have said it before; we MUST be united in these heritage violations. The SCV, UDC, OCR, Flaggers, MechCav and MOS&B have a greater Cause than their individuality. Divisions need to support each other in these fights. The proverbial snowball is moving too quickly down the hill and it will take all of us who believe in our Confederate heritage to stop it.
Ronnie S. Roach