Sunday, December 14, 2014

Political Correctness Rears Ugly Head in Pensacola

Commissioners vote to remove all flags, but American, from Pensacola Bay Center

Updated: Friday, December 12 2014, 12:02 PM CST

For years, the Pensacola Bay Center has flown the Confederate battle flag.  The most well known flag, with white stars atop diagonol blue bars and a red background, was never an official flag of the Confederacy. It was used by soldiers, in battle, but not by the government itself.    
Aubey Smith, Commander of the Pensacola Sons of Confederate Veteransa, says "it's our heritage. It's our ancestry. The 600,000 men, women and children who died during that conflict, it's not something that can be swept under the rug by not showing that flag."

Others see something far more sinister in the flag.

Katrina Ramos says "what I see from the Confederate flag is oppression. What I see from the Confederate flag is slavery. So who's heritage are they talking about."

In 2000, the city of Pensacola voted to stop flying the battle flag. They replaced it on city buildings with a national flag of the Confederacy. At the time, the Escambia County Commission voted unanimously to keep flying the flag.

One resident said "as a citizen of this county, who's money, along with all these other folks, goes to support our public buildings and our government, this is a very inappropriate symbol."

Thursday evening, the Commission heard arguments from supporters of the flag, and those who want it down. Dozens of county residents attended and spoke out. After nearly an hour of discussion and debate, the commission voted to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Pensacola Bay Center .. and all county government buildings. Their new rule says that only the American flag may fly. The only exception is the flag of Florida, and only if it is already in place.

Says Ramos, "we have so much racial tension in our country right now. And so what I want to see from Pensacola is, let us be the first to be an example. Let's start removing these things that are creating racial tension."
The vote passed four to one, with only district one Commissioner Wilson Robertson objecting.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Confederate Flag License Plate Case Gets U.S. High Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether Texas officials must issue a license plate depicting the Confederate battle flag, accepting a free-speech dispute with implications for dozens of states with similar specialty-tag programs.
The court today agreed to review a ruling that Texas violated the Constitution when officials rejected an application by the state chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans while issuing more than 350 other specialty plates. Those include tags that say “Stop Child Abuse,” “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and “God Bless Texas.”
The case will determine how much power states have to control the topics and designs of their specialty plates. A federal appeals court said officials can’t favor one viewpoint over another in choosing which proposals to approve.
That ruling will have “untenable consequences,” Texas officials led by Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott argued in their appeal. “After this ruling, it is not apparent how the state could exclude profanity, sacrilege or overt racism from its specialty license plates.”
The case will test a court that in other contexts is broadly supportive of speech rights. Most federal appeals to consider the issue have said states can’t discriminate on the basis of the message a group seeks to convey on a license plate.

Extra Fee

Texas has a board that approves every license plate design before it is issued to the public. Drivers who want a special plate pay an extra fee, with the money going in part to state agencies and in part to charitable and nonprofit groups.
The disputed plate design consisted of a battle flag surrounded by the words “Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896.” The Texas board said many members of the public found the design offensive.
The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state in a 2-1 decision.
“By rejecting the plate because it was offensive, the board discriminated against Texas SCV’s view that the Confederate flag is a symbol of sacrifice, independence and Southern heritage,” the majority said.
A central question will be how the court classifies license plates. Texas contends they qualify as government speech, immune from any requirement that they be viewpoint neutral.
The Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans urged the Supreme Court not to hear the case. The flag “is a symbol that should be a topic for open debate, without the government censoring one side or the other,” the group argued.

Virginia Ruling

The same issue has arisen in the context of the abortion debate. In February, a three-judge panel said Virginia was violating the Constitution by distributing plates that say “Choose Life” while refusing to issue ones that bear an abortion-rights slogan. The state is one of 29 that issue “Choose Life” plates.
The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the Supreme Court to review that decision. The justices today took no action on that appeal and probably will defer acting until they resolve the Texas case.
The court will hear arguments early next year and rule by June in the case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, 14-144.
To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Oster at Mark McQuillan, Laurie Asseo

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Mississippi Eyes Ballot Measure Preserving Confederate Heritage, Making Christianity State Religion, English Official Language

If passed, a measure being considered for Mississippi’s 2016 ballots would make Christianity the state religion, English the official language, and, according to its creators, preserve the state’s Confederate heritage.
 That’s not all — the measure aims to ‘restrict or define’ Mississippi’s heritage in a number of areas: state flag and nickname, and even university mascots.
It’s currently officially defined as ‘Initiative 46,’ but proponents of the plan call it the ‘Heritage Initiative.’ If the petition garners enough response, it should show up on the Mississippi ballots in   the 2016 election.
Promoted by the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign, the initiative proposes to do the following:
  • Acknowledge Mississippi as a “principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state” and the Christian Bible as a “foremost source of her founding principles, inspiration, and virtues.”
  • Declare English the official language in the state, and require all government and
  •  public communications to be in English only. (There is an exception for foreign language instruction, and those places where Latin or French are traditional, such as in medicine and law.)
  • The flag adopted in 1894 and confirmed by vote in 2001 will be declared the state flag. (See below.) The salute will be “I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”
Mississippi Eyes Ballot Measure Preserving Confederate Heritage, Making Christianity State Religion, English Official Language image mississippi christian state confederate heritage
  • Declare ‘Colonel Reb’ (depicted in stained glass below) as the official mascot of the University of Mississippi, and affirm that teams will be called “The Rebels.” (The measure also defines mascots for two other state universities, and forbids forcing a list of other universities to merge or consolidate.)

Mississippi Eyes Ballot Measure Preserving Confederate Heritage, Making Christianity State Religion, English Official Language image mississippi christian state confederate heritage colonel reb
  • April would be declared Confederate Heritage Month, acknowledged by schools and used to guide curriculum, and the last day of that month would be Confederate Memorial Day, on which government offices would be closed, and employees would recieve an unpaid holiday. The week before would be Dixie Week. The Confederate Flag must be displayed on State Capitol grounds.
  • Borders would be restored to ‘original’ boundaries, erasing wording established in 1990.
The measure would also ensure that state identification, license tags, and other materials reflect the nickname, state flower, and flag (yes, all state id cards would bear a flag that includes the Confederate flag as a portion of it), protect the flying of flags over veterans’ graves, and officially protect and preserve any publicly owned or held Confederate memorabilia.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, the initiative is endorsed by such prominent Mississippians as former Miss America Susan Akin, author Julie Hawkins, and former State Representative Mark DuVall.



City of Danville denies request to remove confederate flag

Updated: Nov 06, 2014 9:28 PM CST

DANVILLE (WSLS) - The Danville City Council voted 7 to 2 to approve a resolution directing the city manager to notify the Board of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History that the council cannot, under Virginia law, consider its request to remove the confederate flag from the grounds of the museum.

Dozens of people packed the council chambers. At times, emotions ran high as residents from both sides of the debate shared their views on the issue.

On September 30, 2014 the city manager received a letter conveying the museum's board of directors request that the city remove the Confederate flag.

Those who support the removal of the flag said the flag is offensive to African Americans and other groups because it represents a symbol of discrimination and racism. On the other hand, members of Sons of Confederate Veterans said the flag honors those who fought for our country and should not be removed.

The city council's resolution to deny the request to remove the flag means that the flag with remain at the museum.



Controversy Over South Arkansas Monument

El Dorado-- Built by the Daughters of Confederacy in 1909, this confederate war monument stands in plain view in front of the Union County courthouse in El Dorado, some say in its rightful place.
Camp Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mark Williams, says this monument stands as a memorial in honor of fallen soldiers.
"Roughly 10 infantry companies and 2 cavalry companies came from this county, and that's approximately 1200 men. I'm not sure how many came back, but probably 30 to 40 percent didn't come back," says Mark Williams, Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Though this monument has a historic representation, there are those in the community that say not all things in history need to be represented.
That includes Pierce Moore, Pastor of El Dorado's First Baptist Church.
He believes the statue is racist.
"Who would want to put a statue up that commemorates the worst, the worst of American History. I mean, I think there more things that we could do to be a little more civil, and all of this. I think sometimes people don't always think that way," says Pierce Moore, First Baptist Church Pastor.
Historian, Carolyn Williams, agrees.
She thinks the African American community needs to focus on the positive aspects of the confederacy, not the negative ones.
"The only thing he can do now is stand out here just like he is, in the rain, the sleet, in the snow. No harm to you. Tell your kids about the positive. Tell everybody you know the positive. The Confederates lost, they lost," says Carolyn Williams, Historian and Owner of Quilted History.
This isn't the first time this confederate war monument has been at the center of controversy.
It was referenced in a Supreme Court case ruling to justify allowing county funds to restore monuments like this one, all over the country.
For now, the monument stays put, with or without public support. 


Historical Flag, Yes, Battle Flag, No

When the Harrison County Board of Supervisors voted four to one to put all eight flags back up on the beach display at the foot of Debuys Road, they had to know it would spark another debate. A group known as Keepers of the Pledge rallied at the display on the beach Saturday, protesting the fact that supervisors have decided to put the flags back up.
"To me it shows that our Board of Supervisors lacks integrity," Keepers of the Pledge member Judy Whitfield said. "They're giving in to the pressure to do the wrong thing."
Judy Whitfield says, "If we're going to use a flag that represents the confederacy, which it was a governing body, there's no problem with putting something here, but it wasn't a battle flag we're not at war and so a battle flag has no place here."
Donna Jones spent her afternoon at the rally supporting the protest and says, "Me being young and being black I believe that it's just not right to have to pay taxes on something that I don't believe in and that's why we're here today."
Their frustration comes with what they say is a simple case of right and wrong. The Supervisors took the flags down for a reason and this group says they should stick to it.
"The Board of Supervisors agreed that if the historian told them that the battle flag was the incorrect flag to be flying they would take it down," Whitfield said. "Every historian in the country has said it's incorrect and yet they choose to put it up anyway."
Dixie Daniels also came out to the beach display to show her support.
"To me the supervisors are making this strictly political decision here by saying we're going to go back on our word of what we said when we said we would listen to the historian that they hired and fly the correct flag," Daniels said.
Rozenia Lamell thought that showing her support for her peers and community to see.
"They know this is the wrong flag to put up and they have done it anyway. Some people say we need to go ahead and let it go, but we don't, because you know who needs to let it go, the Sons of Confederate Veterans need to let this go, it's ridiculous and if they know this is wrong, it should end."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bids for Hosting 2018 Reunion Due January 15. 2015

Reunion Bid Deadlines for Hosting 2018 Reunion:

Preliminary bid packages for those wishing to host the 2018 reunion are due January 15, 2015. They should be sent to Chairman Joe Ringhoffer at    1211  Government  St.  Mobile,  AL 36604 or emailed to

Bidders should include in their proposals information such as the cost of guest rooms at the hotel(s), any parking fees, host hotel flag display policy, meeting facility layout, and projected registration cost. This information is needed in addition to the bidders plans for tours and events and information about attractions in the area.      

The Guidelines for hosting a convention can be found at:

Questions regarding the Guidelines should be directed to Chairman Ringhoffer.

The place and date of the meeting of the Convention Planning Committee where bidders will make their formal presentations will be announced after receipt of the bids. 

For more information contact Chairman Ringhoffer at 251-402-7593.