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What would General Lee do?

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By The Staff

A Confederate Flag on a private vehicle on the grounds of Liberty High School! Oh my God! Right smack in the middle of a county that supplied over 3,000 soldiers [our forefathers] to the Confederacy and suffered over 400 battle deaths in the war.

The much-vaunted and idolized virtues of diversity and tolerance were on unique display that hectic last day of school. A great number of community leaders [probably at least two or three] were outraged by the flag. A pox on the thousands of descendants of those Bedford soldiers who followed that marvelous flag, the community leaders have spoken. A pox on these rambunctious boys whose Confederate heritage has been oppressed for decades, the "leaders" have spoken. Who are these "leaders" who can dictate what flag can be flown on a private vehicle?

It was clearly the perogative of the principal to act as she thought best, she probably had little choice. The school grounds are unique territory where students must be subject to legitimate authority and must obey that authority, else all order breaks down and chaos reigns. Yet still this whole episode smacks of the "mountain out of a molehill" reaction.

Where's the tolerance? Where's the devotion to diversity? The late professor Sheldon VanAucken of Lynchburg College used to recall that formerly people could be heard saying, "It's a free country, ain't it?" Sadly he noted that that expression is heard much less frequently of late. Do you wonder why?

Therein lies the sting of that troublesome First Amendment to the Constitution--freedom of expression is not appreciated by many who disagree with your particular expression. Many fervently disagree with the crackpot columns of Rick Howell but he's guaranteed freedom of speech. It's definitely your constitutional right to become a political hack for a radical party and write essays defending the ridiculous. But you've got to wonder about the poor soul that still believes in any political party.

The Confederate Battle Flag was a "soldiers' flag," not the flag of the Confederate government. These men were called up by the state of Virginia to defend her borders from invasion by the federal government. Why was Virginia invaded by the federals? Because she refused to supply Lincoln with her quota of troops for the purpose of invading the deep South states who had previously seceded from the union. The grand old union of voluntary states would be replaced by Lincoln with a new union held together at the point of a bayonet. Virginia would have none of it and seceded herself rather than fight against her sister states. Thus she was invaded by her own central government. The troops designed their own "battle flag" [the Confederate Flag] patterned after the St. Andrews Christian flag of Scotland. The suffering and heroism exhibited by the men under that banner is legendary, they hallowed that flag with their life's blood.

So we now learn that wearing obscene T-shirts and displaying a Confederate Battle Flag must be added to the list of things banned at Liberty. A question--how in the world did that marvelous banner symbolizing the South get included on a list with obscene T-shirts?

No slave ship ever flew the Confederate Flag but slave ships out of New England flew the American Flag for decades. Should the American Flag be added to the "banned list?" The Virginia State Flag ["Sic Semper Tyrannis"] was carried by many Virginia Confederate regiments. Should the Virginia flag be added to the list? This demonstrates how ridiculous it becomes when groups begin to censor certain words and symbols. There is no end to the madness.

There are groups and individuals with an agenda dedicated to eradicating the flag and all things Confederate-the heritage of millions in the South. The anti-flag agenda people apply pressure to public officials or politicians who are notoriously lacking in backbone. These people make decisions based on politics or prejudice, not on "right or wrong." Thus the term "pee cee" [politically correct or political cowardice] has entered our language because the average person has seen through the hocus pocus of our "leaders." The agenda is not on displaying the flag but on suppressing its display and relegating it to its "proper context" [museums and reenactments]. It's a free country, ain't it?

Compromises with the anti-flag zealots yields nothing profitable and sometimes results in ironic nonsense. For instance, in a compromise the Bedford County Board of Supervisors gave their permission for a small First National Confederate [governmental] Flag to be displayed at the Confederate Monument at the Courthouse during Confederate History/Heritage Month [April] but ruled out the Battle Flag. The monument already displays the Battle Flag! Which would you call more appropriate, a soldier's flag or a defunct governmental {official] flag?

What would General Lee do? Would anyone who has not been on the International Space Station all their life doubt that Lee adored his soldiers and their Battle Flag? Anyone who thinks they can drive a wedge between Lee and the Battle Flag is dreaming nonsense. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams Lee acting "pee cee?" Yes, let us imitate Lee in our behavior and character and show devotion and love to our Battle Flag just as General Lee displayed.

The Bedford Rifle Grays Camp 1475 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans offers no compromise or apology for the Battle Flag. The Battle Flag was carried by decent, honorable, brave men, our forebears. The Sons have been commanded by a founder, Gen. S. D. Lee, to defend the integrity of the Confederate soldier and to make sure the true story of his war is passed truthfully to future generations. We will do so, God willing.

To suppress or discriminate against that flag implies that it is tainted. That the flag is tainted is a lie. That the flag has been misused by radical groups throws no aspersion on that banner, all symbols have suffered the same insults. There is nothing wrong with that flag and even if there was who has the authority to censor us? "It's a free country, ain't it?"

We will not fall into the sin described by the prophet Isaiah concerning those "who call evil, good, and those who call good, evil." Come join hands with us if you agree and have a Confederate ancestor.

Descendant of men who served under Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet.