“Very late in the war, when defeat seemed inevitable, Northern generals were complaining that the Confederate soldier refused to give in and admit defeat, that Southern women remained indomitable in spirit….” – Dr. Clyde Wilson, “Rethinking the War for the 21st Century,” The Abbeville Review, September 14, 2016

“God bless…ALL who boldly defend the good name and honor of our gallant Confederate dead against the slander and violence being perpetuated by the Godless left” –The Virginia Flaggers Blogspot

Several years ago United Daughters of the Confederacy officials barred the Virginia Flaggers from the grounds of UDC Headquarters and on one occasion reported their alleged trespassing to the Richmond police.  The Daughters cannot accommodate them, they explain, because providing in-kind support to “political activists” would jeopardise their 501 (c) (3) designation.  More likely what lies at the heart of the UDC’s desire to disassociate themselves from the Flaggers is the fact that they make the Daughters uncomfortable.  Though they say that it has long been their tradition not to display the flag casually because they do not wish to trivialize it, UDC’s reluctance to wave the old Southern banner seems more rooted in its adoption by hate groups, real or imagined.   Regrettably, UDC leaders have been reduced to mere supplicants, begging this “great nation and its citizens” to “let” them fly the Battle Flag once in a while, to allow them to memorialize their ancestors in peace.

If vandalism and vengeful street mobs are a concern, the UDC’s president general has determined that caution is advisable and that sometimes resorting to less incendiary flags, such as the First National or the Stars and Stripes, or no flag at all, “will best protect the history and memory of the soldiers.”[i]  The Virginia Flaggers, on the other hand, run up the “notorious” colours in spite of threats.  While the UDC capitulates to the criminal element and the cultural cleansers, the Flaggers openly defy them, leasing land along busy highways and raising mega Battle Flags.

     UDC leading lights have been ceding ground to the South haters for decades.  In 1993, after even “conservative” Southern senators, chastised and threatened with a filibuster by Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, voted against the extension of the UDC’s registered trademark, the Daughters removed the Battle Flag from their insignia replacing it with the First National.  Inevitably, of course, the Cultural Marxists will fix their sights on that flag also, demanding that it be furled and hidden away. 

And now that the words “Dixie,” Antebellum” and “Confederate” have all been labeled offensive by the Twitterverse, will the UDC at some future point be forced to abandon not only the First National as more people learn it’s significance but the very name United Daughters of the Confederacy?  Even complying with that outrageous demand will not stop these CMs from harassing the UDC.  As Dr. Boyd Cathey explains, their attack on the historical South and its symbols serves for the present the purposes of a far grander scheme that exploits human failings and the desire for retribution:

“It is all about the progressive template which posits that ‘race’ is the central motivating factor in history….The historic ‘colonialized’ peoples, black and brown….according to this narrative, are a downtrodden underclass, oppressed…by the European white patriarchy who have brutally amassed their fortunes and power at the expense of those black and brown peoples.”  —“Song of the South and the Assault on Culture,” The Abbeville Blog, July 25, 2019

The protestors who, in the fall of 2018, shut down the dedication of a flagpole and a plaque at UDC National Headquarters, allegedly included “several” descendants of Confederate soldiers, but the crowd more closely resembled the types of people seen at Earth Day rallies in Seattle.[ii]  Among these demonstrators against “shrines to white supremacy,” were Trey Peters, president of the Richmond Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America; Black Lives Matter activist and University of Virginia associate professor of religious studies Jalane Schmidt; and, caricaturing the Southern belle in overdone peach, UVA associate professor Anne Garland Mahler, there, she said, to “[take her] Southern heritage back.”  The author of From the Tricontinental to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and Transnational Solidarity, Mahler has a pronounced Northern accent (and, as her lectures bear out, a liking for the academe-speak of the present age).

When confronted by Mahler and the others that weekend, the Daughters had quickly cancelled their dedication ceremonies because UDC leaders say that they wish to maintain a sedate detachment from “public controversy.”  Accordingly, in the wake of the events at Charlottesville in the summer of 2017, leadership had refused to speak directly to journalists.[iii]  Subscribing to the news media’s pro-Antifa accounts of what took place in the historic Blue Ridge city, the UDC issued a statement denouncing divisiveness.  Currently, the Daughters’ website declares that diversity makes America “stronger” and that the UDC does not align itself with racists, virtue signaling that, according to The Washington Post’s Peter Galuszka, amounts to little more than “lame excuses that [the Daughters are] misunderstood.”

To their credit, the UDC has been involved in litigation to safeguard Confederate memorials and to stop the re-naming of buildings on college campuses, but the organisation’s overall tendency to take the path of least resistance has created resentments on the part of some its members.  UDC leaders, however, discourage dissent and expect them to keep a low profile.  Their questions are answered—if they are answered at all—with measured words and legalese.     

Predictably, Peter Galuszka attributes to the UDC a vapid and “rosy view of Southern chivalry and grace in defeat.”  But, to the contrary, the Daughters have a rosy view, not of the old South, but of the new America, oblivious, apparently, to the fact that the time for dissolution is imminent.  At the 2018 rally in Richmond, one UDC member, venturing out among the protestors to talk to them, was so rudely disabused of her notion that they were just friends and neighbors with a different perspective, she later commented to the media, “I’ve never encountered such hatred.”[iv]   This should not have come as a surprise because these foot soldiers in the global revolution have been plainspoken about their designs.  Hopefully, considering all that has happened in the last two years, the UDC has learned that their PC rhetoric and less provocative flag protocols serve only to encourage the forces arrayed against them—they certainly failed to prevent the George Floyd “protestors” from vandalizing and burning UDC Headquarters in late May of this year.  In the wokester’s world, there is no room for well-brought up ladies who wish to celebrate their Southern heritage no matter how charitable those ladies are, no matter how much distance they put between themselves and unreconstructed Southerners like the Virginia Flaggers.  

 Note:   The author is a descendant of two Confederate soldiers, one from Maryland, one from Virginia.

[i] Email message dated June 18, 2019 to UDC division and CWND presidents from President General Nelma Crutcher, posted June 26, 2019 on the “Replace the Forsyth City Cemetery Flagpole” Facebook Page. 

[ii] Lisa Provence, “Uninvited callers: Activists confront United Daughters of the Confederacy,” www.c-ville.com, November 5, 2018.

[iii] Peter Galuszka, “The Women who erected Confederate statues are stunningly silent,” The Washington Post, October 13, 2017.

[iv] Provence, November 5, 2018.

J.L. Bennett

J.L. Bennett is an independent historian living in Maryland and the author of Maryland, My Maryland: The Cultural Cleansing of a Small Southern State.

One Comment

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    Perhaps in their name came the defeat. The name should have been Mothers of the Confederacy. Mothers fight.

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