Nothing is more indicative of the ongoing degradation of American  culture than the fate of the once noble Commonwealth of Virginia—not long ago widely admired as the mother of States and Presidents—inseparable from Patrick Henry, Washington, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Lee and Jackson.

Now shallow, opportunistic politicians ignorant of American foundations swarm in every Southern State. In Virginia they have gained unusual power from the effluvium of arrogant, overpaid bureaucrats swarming out of D.C. into their mini mansions poisoning the beautiful Virginia countryside. Monument Avenue, a National Historic Preservation site, has been destroyed.

So it behooves us to remember how  Virginia was once regarded, and the movies, as always, are an indication of American popular culture.   The most recent good example I can find is a delightful 2004 film, “Crazy Like a Fox,” in which a traditional community resorts to unorthodox methods to prevent Yankee developers from destroying a historic plantation, home to the same family since Revolutionary times. The dishonest invaders are appropriately called Sherman. The Welsh actor Roger Rees plays the lead Virginian with perfect accent and demeanour.

Brits and Aussies do good Southern accents when required in the movies. Yankees never get it right. Even some Southerners who have been in Hollywood too long mess up.

For an even better example, “The Vanishing Virginia,” 1942, with many of the top stars of the time.  It is set in 1913.  The film begins with a tribute to Virginia, indicating that it is “a better place to live.”  It treats family adjustment to “modern” times, including a little bit of reasonable feminism, gently and sympathetically.

The there is “The Virginian” (1941) with Fred MacMurray as “Stonewall Jackson Elliott,” who, as in “Crazy Like a Fox,” foils a cynical Yankee takeover.  And he converts the new New York owner,  played by the great English actress Madeleine Carroll, to help defeat the cynical Yankee capitalists.

These are real communities with good real people, black and white.  Racial relations are portrayed as familial and mutually supporting and the black Southerners  are admirable. That is not the whole story of Southern race relations by any means, but there are a few of us old enough to remember that it was once real.

Even as late as 2014 we have a pretty good Virginia entry, Wish You Well, in which  plain folk save their land from bad mining corporations. And it is realistic about the chronic Southern poverty and the occasional bad man to be found in the South, like everywhere else.

Anyone who is interested could find a similar story to tell about nearly every other Southern State. Kentucky was as honoured in film as Virginia. Remember North Carolina in the “Andy Griffith Show”?   Won’t some more folks tell this tale for their commonwealth? You would be striking a blow against the hateful lies with which Southern people are now portrayed in the media.

Clyde Wilson

Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews and is co-publisher of, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books.


  • Gordon says:

    Goings on against a “Remnant” of Virginia today, April 9 near Appomattox….

    Waking early, I scan the internet for news whether the governor signed, vetoed or ignored bills to eliminate my “RE LEE” license plate and to revoke the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s state tax-exemption; last night, 11:59pm, was the deadline, ignoring would see the bills pass. The gov. neither signed, vetoed nor let them pass without action. He submitted for amendments this session to be taken up again 2025.

    The next order of business was to attend a hearing at the Prince Edward Co. Court House to decide whether private property owners could exercise their rights of free speech by flying a large Confederate flag by a four lane highway. The case has long descended from a case of constitutional rights, becoming a matter of whether the board of supervisors were properly notified of filings by the property owners. By design it’s complicated to achieve the desired outcome. Finally, a couple years and $100,000 of tax payers’ money later the desired outcome has been achieved.

    Well attended by the Virginia Remnant, it seems we never stood a chance.

    • Scott Thompson says:

      if the private property owners want to fly their flag….they should be able to if it inst blocking a red light.

  • James Persons says:

    Poor Virginia. Cursed by a pandemic of Federal government contractors and employees all of whom are from the North, the Mother of Presidents now sags under the weight of these non-producers like the back of a Union Cavalry horse. Only a little over 25 years ago Fairfax County was a reliable Republican place. No more. It is an epicenter of Democrat wokeism. Populated by Karens, and hipsters and numerous other types of leftists. Fairfax is pretty much a freak show overflowing with obnoxious people. One third of the voters in Virginia live in Northern Virginia {Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William Counties primarily.} They clog the roads, pollute the air, gobble up land like locusts with ever more housing developments etc. Whatever happened to the green movement of these lefties? They should all be sent back to NYC, Philly, North Jersey or wherever they came from so they can telecommute. The Dems got real mad at VA about 30 years ago and deliberately decided to infiltrate the state. Before that they all wanted to live in MD. Plus, when the Dems moved in they got a tax break at the same time, not that Virginia taxes are low, they are not, but they are lower than The People’s Republic of Maryland. But for all the d*m* Yankees that just keep coming Virginia could be a happy, optimistic and prosperous for everyone place. Instead, it’s just another place not quite as bad as Jersey, yet, and on its way to becoming like Atlanta. Egad. God help Virginia.

    • Richard Scott Farris says:

      Here’s to Old Virginia..our true Mother State. (NOT Massachusetts!)
      “Truth, though crushed to earth–is still Truth!”

      Thanks again as always Mister Clyde.

      DEO VINDICE [God Vindicates]

  • CS says:

    I grew up in Virginia. Nearly all of my high school teachers were from Pittsburg. I spent the last few years in other states. Every time I think of going back to Virginia, I see something new that reminds me that my home is run by people who hate it.

    Virginia will be a one party state soon, and everything that made it great will be gone in another generation.

  • Great comments above. I’m a “round about Virginian.” My ancestors were from Isle of Wight Co and Amelia Co, but left for the frontier in SC and TN a long time ago. I came “round about” at age 6 as an Army Brat moving to Arlington. Grew up there and in Europe. Served in the Army and came back “round” to Tidewater Virginia at age 39. Now, I’m 73. Virginia is my dear home to me. I love Virginia. People, culture, history, and geography.

    125 cities and counties are still more Virginia than foreign – Yankee or overseas. 8 cities and counties swing the Commonwealth in elections. We are closer to 50:50 than really Blue (Commie). Where I live we get many good Yankees who are retired military. They hate socialism, taxes, and know government sucks.

    When it comes to race, since 1989 I have not been to a single wedding or funeral that wasn’t racially integrated. The only all-white affair I’ve attended since ’89 was in Boston, MA. Unfortunately, the schools and race pimping pols and preachers pollute the minds of many Blacks with the racism of DEI and CRT, etc. The Virginia NAACP declared the Confederate flags as an objective in the early 90s because they didn’t have an issue to motivate voters.

    I teach my grandkids as best I can. We aren’t winning. And, we haven’t lost yet. I have hope – know hope isn’t a method – and believe the Truth Will Out.

  • I’m stuck here in Metropolitan Chicago unfortunately, two generations removed from the Earth. But I have beautiful antiques from my ancestral home, Castle Hill in the Southwest mountains which I am blessed to possess. When we were down there last summer, the owner at Castle Hill let us in to see our ancestors cemetery, and gave us a marvelous tour of the grounds and Dr. Thomas Walkers relative modest home – quite modest actually (the original portion that is). There was a most prominent grave there however, of a black gentleman who was born a slave and died free in 1888, and desired to be buried with the Walkers and the enslaved graves in the forest. His marker said “Y’all done good & faithful servant”. So it was with my people then. I am encouraged by the convention of States movement at least. Perhaps some day the Southland can lock arms with the middle and mountain west and govern from the center! Kick States out, like Massachusetts and California, for starters.

    There is a small home in a very quiet, pastoral neighborhood near my golf club in Indiana, near the Shoreline of Michigan City. I pass it on the way. Its in a black neighborhood – the owner flies a beautiful flag – a hybrid of the Stars and Stripes, and the Confederate Stars and Bars!.. I’ll take anything right now so as to dream of a better day and this helps. I want to believe that todays youth aren’t as gullible, and if they can pay attention to alternative views they will see all the solutions that the Southland represents, and they are abundant

    • Scott Thompson says:

      thats fantastic. as i dug into my genealogy, if its true, i found that I had freed slave ancestors from the Tidewater region who moved to Duplin Co. NC circa 1740….they bought and owned slaves, and I think were the 3rd largest landowners in the county at the time. on my moms side, if true…a freed slave in I think edgecombe county nc from a mill owner who received the mill at his death and married into my mothers maternal lineage….i have more black DNA than my parents…lol!

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