J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “monuments”

They Won’t Let Up Till They’re All Gone

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A report, released last week by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), shows that 110 Confederate monuments have been removed nationwide since 2015 when a shooting at a black church in South Carolina. Shortly after the alleged shooting by Dylann Roof, poorly photo-shopped pictures surfaced of Roof posing with the Confederate Battle Flag. The left and the media used these as a catalyst against our flags and memorials.
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Still, according to the report, 1728 known memorials remain nationwide. The SPLC has targeted ALL of them for removal efforts. The Culture War continues.

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TEXAS LEADS THE WAY

 

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Having removed more than twice as many Confederate symbols as any other state since 2015, according to a SSPLC report.

The obviously not-so-great State of Texas removed 31 of the 110 Confederate symbols removed across the country.

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The report, published last week, identified 1,728 Confederate monuments that remain in public spaces, 209 of which are in Texas – the second-highest among all states.

Additionally, Texas is home to 58 highways and roads and 36 schools named after Confederates. These too have been targeted by the SPLC.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, June 8, 2018 ed.)
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The Fight Goes On

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A few weeks ago, a judge in Nashville, Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, ruled that the removal of three Confederate statues from public parks in Memphis, Tennessee was legal and didn’t violate any state law. Although the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act limits changing or removing historical memorials on public property, Memphis found a loophole and sold two of its parks to a nonprofit for $1000 each. The nonprofit company quickly removed the three statues of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes. However, now the tide has turned.
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TENNESSEE AMENDS LAW
Governor Bill Haslam has signed the newly amended Heritage Protection Act, which was proposed in response to the removal of Confederate monuments in Memphis.
The act now requires a waiver from the Tennessee Historical Commission before public property containing a statue is sold or transferred, or a statue, monument, or historical marker is removed.
The new legislation also bans any public entity that violates the law from receiving grants from the Historical Commission and the state Department of Economic and Community Development for five years.
The law also allows for anyone with “a real interest in a memorial” to seek an injunction if they believe the law has been violated.
The act went into effect immediately upon Haslam’s signature Monday, May 21.
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(Courtesy of Southern Heritage News and Views, May 25, 2018 ed.)

State of the Union

Tonight was President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address. I was really hoping he would say something about all the destruction happening to Confederate monuments, as well as many other monuments. He did mention monuments of WWII vets, Lincoln, MLK, and others. Perhaps he will afford protection to all our monuments in the future.

Not only are Confederate monuments being attacked, but recently, a monument to our country’s national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, was attacked. It just keeps getting worse.

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A monument commemorating “Star-Spangled Banner” author Francis Scott Key was vandalized in downtown Baltimore, officials said Wednesday. Photographs show the monument, at 1200 N. Eutaw St., covered with red paint and the words “racist anthem” written in black.

Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D), said police were investigating and determining the best way to remove the graffiti.

 

Remember that it was Mayor Pugh who secretly removed four Confederate monuments from downtown Baltimore this summer which has invited attacks on the city’s remaining monuments. The City’s statue of Christopher Columbus also being recently vandalized.
DA ENCOURAGES DISCONTENTS TO VANDALIZE MONUMENTS
Felony charges will be dropped against eight protesters accused of dismantling a Confederate statue in North Carolina last summer, Durham District Attorney Roger Echols said Thursday.

The prosecution has decided against pursuing felony charges against the defendants and will drop them in lieu of lesser counts, the district attorney told reporters. “I only plan to try them on the misdemeanors,” Mr. Echols told The Associated Press. He declined to comment further.
The eight defendants appeared before a judge Thursday and scheduled to face trial starting Feb. 19, the report said.

The case in Durham revolves around a monument of an anonymous Confederate soldier that had stood in front of the old county courthouse for nearly a century prior to being topped on August 14. , two days after a demonstration surrounding a different statue in Virginia turn
Prosecutors initially charged 12 people in connection with toppling the monument, but three of the accused were cleared in November, and a fourth entered a deferred prosecution agreement the following month.

Absent felony charges, the eight remaining defendants will only face misdemeanor counts of defacing a public building or monument, conspiracy to deface a public building or monument and injury to real property, Durham’s WRAL reported.
LAWSUIT FILED IN MEMPHIS
The family of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a petition Wednesday seeking legal action against the city of Memphis for its role in taking down three Confederate statues last month.

The petition, filed with the Tennessee Historical Commission, accuses the City and nonprofit Memphis Greenspace Inc. of violating “numerous” state laws on Dec. 20, when Greenspace removed the Forrest statue from its pedestal atop his and his wife’s graves in Health Sciences Park, and statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and war correspondent and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes from Fourth Bluff Park.

The petition asks the commission to rule that the city and Greenspace violated the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which requires commission approval prior to removal of monuments from public property; laws against misconduct by elected officials; and laws prohibiting the desecration of gravesites.

“You can’t disturb graves,” said Sons’ attorney Doug Jones. “They knew that but conspired to rip it apart despite knowing state law. They ripped the top off the grave. They damaged that, and they can’t deny that.”

The city has maintained that the grave markers inscribed with the names of the Forrests remain at the base of the pedestal and that the statue wasn’t the headstone.

“The city has not been served with the lawsuit but I have reviewed it and remain confident all of our actions with regard to the sale of the parks and statues are legal,” said City Attorney Bruce McMullen.

City attorney Allan Wade didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment, and Mayor Jim Strickland’s communications team said he wasn’t available for an interview.

Separately, the Sons’ Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp 215 filed a lawsuit Thursday in Chancery Court in Davidson County seeking a temporary restraining order and an injunction to prevent the city or the nonprofit from selling or harming the stowed statues.

If granted, the restraining order and injunction would require court approval for any further actions related to the statues; their former homes, Health Sciences and Fourth Bluff parks; or the graves of the Forrests.

The petitioners included Forrest descendants listed in the petition were Walter Law Jr., Sidney Law, Brooks Bradley, Thoms Jesse Bradley III and Kevin Bradly, the “closest living relatives” of Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery Forrest.

The Sons also asked that the commission consider bringing official misconduct charges against city officials, who advised and assisted Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner as he created Greenspace and raised funds to buy and maintain the parks.

“They would like for this to be over,” Jones said. “But it’s not close to being over.”

LITIGATION ALSO PENDING IN ALABAMA
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo has scheduled a hearing for April 13 on a state lawsuit challenging the City of Birmingham’s decision to shroud the stone obelisk of a Confederate monument in plywood.
The judge’s decision comes after the state attorney general’s office and the city filed a document agreeing to certain facts about the case. That includes the history of the 113-year-old memorial and its location in a downtown park.

The city built a plywood structure to hide inscriptions on the base of the monument amid national protests over Confederate memorials. The state filed suit claiming the move violates a new state law that bars the removal or alteration of historic monuments.

The Judge has ruled that the plywood structure can remain until the hearing.

(Courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Jan. 19, 2018 ed.)

Live Radio Interview

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Last week, I was featured on ArtistFirst, a radio program that spotlights artists and authors. It’s a bit ironic that my discussion with the interviewer included the destruction and/or removal of Confederate monuments. Since then, several events have taken place in the assault against Confederate monuments. Here is a link to the interview:

http://www.artistfirst2.com/Authors-First_2017-08-08_JDR_Hawkins.mp3

 

Horses in Gray Cover

Our discussion focused on my new book, Horses in Gray. This is my first non-fiction book, and highlights Confederate warhorses. Here is the purchase link for the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Horses-Gray-Famous-Confederate-Warhorses/dp/145562327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503026776&sr=8-1&keywords=horses+in+gray

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Please support me on Patreon. It is very similar to Kickstarter, but it is an ongoing sponsorship. I would be eternally grateful for your support! Anything you give will be rewarded with fun gifts! You can commit to as little as $1 a month. Here is the link:

https://www.patreon.com/jdrhawkins

Confederate Monuments Under Attack

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Recently, the editor of the Dallas Morning News put the paper on record demanding the removal of Confederate monuments in Dallas. One of the paper’s soon to be unemployed writers used his column to challenge the editor’s.

The following appeared in the Dallas Morning News:
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In these very – I mean very – weird times of ours, few phenomena appear weirder than what I would describe as the mania for pulling down or otherwise removing memorials to dead Confederates. New Orleans has done it. My own University of Texas has done it. Dallas now talks of doing it, as my respected one-time colleague at The News, James Ragland, informs us.

I feel the urgent need to inquire of the iconoclasts, the breakers of images: Why? To what purpose? With what sensible aim in view?

The reply generally comes through clenched teeth: Hmmmph! On account of slavery, isn’t that clear enough? The promoters commonly think it is. Why, these unconscionable rebels – Jeff Davis, Robert E. Lee, John B. Hood, and so on – betrayed their country and fought to preserve slavery. Their images defile and deface the American community, sowing disharmony, perpetuating racism.

I find it’s generally a waste of time to interpose between Lee’s grave, bearded image and the wreckers’ wrath any information respecting the old general’s meritorious character and, equally to the point, his postwar commitment to healing the nation’s self-inflicted injuries. (During the war, his name for the soldiers of the North was always “those people.”) The statue wreckers are seldom interested in the kind of historical detail that schools used to impart about the war itself: with due attention paid to the diligent measures required over many years to heal the gaping, bleeding wounds of war.

Let’s go back to where we started. What are we trying to do here? We’re out, are we, to heal by destroying and displacing, thereby rekindling divisive passions? What an odd conceit, that we should forcibly replace old pieties with new ones, and expect thanks for it! I am sorry to inform the wreckers that, as we say in the South, that ole dog won’t hunt.

I can appreciate, as I think everyone must, that 1) the abolition of slavery represented an enormous gain for civilization, that 2) the sooner blacks and whites learn to function as a united people, the better for America, and that 3) the modern South teems with folk – Vietnamese, Cubans, Chinese, Mexicans, Californians – who wouldn’t know “Dixie” from a Mesopotamian funeral chant.

I am not in favor of, as many seem to be, re-fighting a war that ended 152 years ago. I am for continuing to absorb the experience all of the country went through then and forging even a larger unity than existed before this statue nonsense arose.

The whole enterprise of taking down statuary to appease the ideological passions of a talkative handful is silly. I cannot think of a better word for it. It’s ridiculous: unworthy of a mature and sensible people.

Once the statues are down, what have you got besides some suddenly vacant pedestals? Well, not moral unity, that’s for sure. You’ve made a lot of people mad who weren’t previously mad at you. You’ve called into question your intellectual bona fides by twisting historical facts to fit a manufactured and distorted narrative. To espouse a silly cause is to run the risk of becoming known as silly.

The matter goes still further. So Dallas goes along with unhorsing Gen. Lee, right there in the park bearing his name (which name, of course, has to be changed to something appropriately anodyne). Yet that’s hardly the logical end. The revolution is hungry. We have to wipe out school names, street names, fort names redolent of the late Confederacy. And not just the Confederacy. The American slaveocracy was large; it was powerful. Among its members: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, with their large monuments and even larger legacies. What makes Robert E. Lee a likelier target than the Father of Our Country?

This business of digging up the dead and exhibiting their shortcomings has no predictable end. Today’s heroes and heroines become fair game for great-grandkids: topics for future ridicule and disrespect. Seldom in our history – alas – has the counsel to look before you leap seemed more relevant, or more ignored, than right now.

(Courtesy Southern Heritage Newsletter, July 28, 2917 ed.)

Wonders Never Cease

The debacle over removing four Confederate monuments in New Orleans hasn’t been enough ridiculousness lately. It seems some groups just can’t have enough political correctness or they will never be happy. Not only are several other areas sporting the idea of removing their monuments (Florida, Maryland), but street names and other landmarks are also under attack. Personally, I find it all disgusting and disrespectful, not to mention idiotic, and a true indicator of certain groups being misinformed and uneducated.

Now a student petition is circulating Louisiana State University to change the “Tigers” mascot. The petition claims that the mascot is “the most prevalent Confederate symbol in the United States.” How stupid is this!

The petition also states that the mascot was chosen during the Civil War by “powerful white males” as an homage to the Confederate “Louisiana Tigers” regiment. Huh? According to the petition, the regiments’ members “were known for their propensity for violence on and off the battlefield.” Um, excuse me, but there was a war going on, after all.

Another reason the petition is trying to replace the mascot is because “It’s also cruel to cage a wild animal for the amusement of privileged white people…It is incredibly insulting for any African American to have to attend a school that honors Confederate militantism. It is already hard enough to be black at LSU, and these symbols must be changed.” Where to begin with this paragraph? Somebody is way too sensitive for their own good. I’m confused about the reference to a wild animal being caged for the amusement of privileged white people. What wild animal? Is the petition referring to the cute tiger cartoon on the logo? By the way, that sentence screams racism all over it! Here’s a news flash: there were black soldiers in the Confederate army! And why is it so hard to be a black student at LSU, anyway? This petition sounds a bit whiny to me.

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The petition concludes with a quote by Dr. Charles Coates, who was an LSU administrator from 1893-1939. He explained how the Tigers mascot originated in a 1937 alumni newsletter. LSU began its college football program in 1895. According to Dr. Coates, the team name was chosen because of Louisiana’s heritage, and he found it appropriate because the Louisiana Fighting Tigers were known for “getting into the hardest part of the fighting and staying there, most of them permanently.”

Because of this explanation, the petition claims the tiger is a “symbol of white oppression” that must be eradicated. I don’t know how the petition’s author got that from Dr Coate’s opinion. White oppression? Seriously? Sounds more like football to me. The petition proclaims, “We must speak truth to power, and continue to march toward justice. That day is coming, the day when every symbol of white oppression is torn down.” Okay, wow. Just wow. Not only do they have their facts twisted, but apparently, their panties are twisted in a wad as well. This isn’t the day of Malcolm X, for crying out loud! No one is being oppressed because the LSU logo has a tiger on it! This is certainly some sort of crazy.
Stay tuned for more bizarre, historically inaccurate accusations coming from your favorite places in the South! (Thank goodness Alabama has some sense.)

Purging the Past is a Bad Idea

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One year after a terrible tragedy sparked a national wildfire of political correctness, the Confederate battle flag is still under attack, as well as Confederate monuments around the country. However, one Congressman refuses to bow down to political correctness. He is Steve King, a Republican Congressional representative from Iowa, where he has served for the past 13 years. Rep. King is not afraid to go against the tide of political correctness. While Congress is purging the flags from Capitol Hill, Rep. King has reacted by displaying a Confederate battle flag in his Capitol office.

This is in direct opposition to a bill in Congress calling for a ban on Confederate flags from National cemeteries and Virginia cemeteries. A resolution by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was originally issued in 2000 in support of the Confederate battle flag. The SUVCW reaffirmed their support of the flag last year after the wave of controversy swept across the country. The resolution is as follows:

RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT DISPLAY OF BATTLE FLAGS OF THE CONFEDERACY 119TH NATIONAL ENCAMPMENT OF THE SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR LANSING, MICHIGAN AUGUST 19, 2000

A resolution in support of the display of the Confederate Battle Flag.
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, condemn the use of the confederate battle flag, as well as the flag of the United States, by any and all hate groups; and
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, support the flying of the Confederate battle flag as a historical piece of this nation’s history; and
WHEREAS, we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, oppose the removal of any Confederate monuments or markers to those gallant soldiers in the former Confederate States, and strongly oppose the removal of ANY reminders of this nation’s bloodiest war on the grounds of it being “politically correct;” and
WHEREAS, we, as the descendants of Union soldiers and sailors who as members of the Grand Army of the Republic met in joint reunions with the Confederate veterans under both flags in those bonds of Fraternal Friendship, pledge our support and admiration for those gallant soldiers and of their respective flags;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in 119th Annual National Encampment, hereby adopt this resolution. Dated in Lansing, Michigan, on this nineteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord Two thousand.
This resolution of support of our flags, symbols, and monuments which was issued by the Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War on August 19, 2000 was reaffirmed in 2015 by SUVCW Commander-in-Chief Tad D. Campbell through SUVCW General Order #26.

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After a recent vote, it was determined that the majority of residents in New Orleans are in favor of keeping the monuments that have recently come under fire of the politically correct hailstorm. This was also the case in South Carolina and Louisville, Kentucky. So if everyone wants to keep the flag, monuments, and other reminders of the Confederacy, why are the complaints of only a few being heard? I think it goes far deeper than just removing these reminders of our American past. In my opinion, it is all part of a larger movement to force a more restrictive government upon us.

“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevents their history or denies them their symbols, has sown the seeds of their own destruction.”
Sir William Wallace, 1281 A.D.

The Destruction of History

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It has been brought to my attention that a group in Montgomery, Alabama, calling itself the Southern Poverty Law Center, is in the process of mapping out all Confederate monuments and statues in the United States. Their intention, I’ve been told, is to eradicate these markers and monuments, and thus do away with any reminders of the Confederacy. The S.P.L.C. is not a government agency, and therefore, does not have any legal right to do what they are doing.

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I find it alarming that such behavior is being allowed. Talk about discrimination! If they were targeting any other group in America, I’m sure everyone would be up in arms. But since they are attacking Confederate monuments, suddenly everyone thinks that those monuments and statues are “racist.” This is purely ignorant, to say the least. Confederate veterans were declared American war veterans, and a law was passed to establish this in 1958. Desecrating their graves and markers is a federal offense, and should be dealt with accordingly.

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Hate groups such as the S.P.L.C. and the N.A.A.C.P. are trying to take away Southern heritage, and to me, that’s just plain wrong. They claim that the Confederate battle flag is racist, but that is merely an excuse to accomplish their hidden agenda, which is to take away heritage reminders. By doing this, history can be erased and new symbolism can be put in its place. There has been more racial unrest in the past year and a half than there has been in fifty years since the 1960’s. It’s shameful that our illustrious president has nothing to say on the matter. It’s almost as if he wants to stir up social unrest by remaining silent. The groups that are crying racism need to take a serious look in the mirror. They are the biggest bigots.

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The South has every right to retain its own rich, unique, and diverse history. Our politicians need to stop backing down and start standing up for these rights. One person eloquently referred to it this way, and I agree. What’s taking place in America is a modern day witch hunt.

An Open Letter & Open Report/ Talking With The Black Folks, from H.K. Edgerton

I thought this was a very succinct way of explaining the current events taking place primarily in the South. Mr. Edgerton, who previously served as president of the Asheville, North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, is a well-known figure in the Civil War community, so I wanted to share his thoughts: 

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In two separate radio interviews (Dallas & Atlanta), I would tell the predominantly Black audiences that before the White boys from the North come to the South spray painting Confederate soldier monuments with the message, “Black Lives Matter”; they should buy as many mirrors as they can and place them in every Black community, starting with Obama’s and Emanuel’s Chicago, before they are caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“And then they should go to the Capitol Mall in Washington, DC and spray paint that message on the monument of Lincoln and every Union soldier monument they can find. I would tell them about a letter written to Lincoln by a Black woman, Ms. Hannah Johnson, and delivered by her White friend, Ms. Carrie Coburn, begging Lincoln to instruct his Union doctors to care for the wounded Black soldiers of the 54th Regiment of which her son served. The doctors refused to touch the Black soldiers. Ms. Johnson went on to ask that the Colored troops also receive equal pay.

Lincoln did not respond to her letter, but told Fredrick Douglas that the employment of Colored troops in the first place was a great gain to the Colored people, but their enlistment was a serious offense to popular prejudice. To not receive the same pay as White soldiers seemed a “necessary concession” to smooth the way to their employment as soldiers (putting it mildly).

In the integrated Confederate army where they were not even there legally, the White Confederate soldiers divided up their pay so that the Colored troops would receive the same pay. And just as they were attended by the same White doctor before the War, they continued to receive the same care during the War. I would tell them that the only people to ever care for the lives of the African people in America was and still is the Southern White folks, bar none. God bless you!

Your brother, HK

Chairman Board of Advisors Emeritus

Southern Legal Resource Center

Defending the Heritage

Date: July 9, 2015

(Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp #1452, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Vol. 39, Issue, 9, September 2015)

The Case for the Confederate Battle Flag

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Controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag continues to escalate. Some feel that stashing away the flag is a solution, but I believe the flag should be reinvented as an historic symbol, rather than automatically being associated with racism. The flag has been used by certain hate groups in the past, but these groups have also used the American flag. The Stars and Stripes flew over slave ships, not the Confederate battle flag. If one element of our society is deemed offensive to particular groups, then it will inevitably lead to other banned elements. Removing the Confederate battle flag from government property and national parks is only the beginning. Certain groups are already calling for the removal of all things Confederate, including flags, school names, monuments, movies, books, and television shows. They even want to relocate Civil War soldiers’ bodies. To me, this is offensive, and it is also censorship. Although I understand how the flag might upset some people, to others, it is a sign of Southern pride and heritage. Either way, censoring items doesn’t do away with deeper issues.

Passing laws to remove the Confederate battle flag might seem like a perfect remedy, but in reality, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Racists will still find a symbol to use. People will still lay blame on inanimate objects, instead of blaming the true source of hate. Guns, flags, and photographs don’t commit atrocities. People do. That is why we need to change our attitudes toward these objects, or it will lead to far worse consequences down the road. I’m sure there are people who are offended by the Nazi flag, the Japanese flag, the rainbow flag, or whatever. If one flag is done away with, then all the others should be, too, including the American flag. It flew while thousands of Native American Indians were being slaughtered, after all. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of Stone Mountain, Mount Rushmore, every statue in Washington D.C., and any reminder of Confederate soldiers or slave owners, including our founding fathers. Let’s rename all the streets, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s namesakes, because it’s only fair.

By taking away our symbols, this country is denying our freedom of speech and expression. In a recent Newsmax poll, 88% wanted to keep Confederate flags on government property. And in the small town of Gettysburg, South Dakota, the police chief has fallen under scrutiny for deciding not to change the officers’ uniform patches, which depict the American and Confederate flags crossing over a cannon.

Of course, someone will be offended by something sometime. I’m offended by numerous things, like those mud flaps with nude females on them and sexist lyrics in songs. But to deny their use is going against our Constitutional rights. As U.S. citizens, we need to take a stand against allowing this issue to elevate further, or we will end up having complete government rule, and that is exactly what Southerners fought against during the Civil War.

My upcoming novel, A Rebel Among Us, a novel of the Civil War, discusses this topic in-depth. It delves into the lives of two people – one from the North, and one from the South. Their opinions and differences repeatedly collide, making their relationship all the more compelling and complicated.

As it was in the past, we are facing these same conflicts today. We are one country with many different attitudes and backgrounds, which makes us diverse and unique. To take away just one element of expression opens us up to complete censorship and governmental control in the future.

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