J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Washington D. C.”

War Waged Against Everything Confederate in Florida

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According to a letter from David McCallister, the Florida Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Heritage Chairman, there are three pending initiatives in the Florida Legislature. Mr. McCallister believes these initiatives would greatly affect the SCV.

The most dire initiative would make it illegal for anyone in the state to display any Confederate flag or emblem on public property. This includes courthouses and courthouse squares, the Capitol, state parks, museums, libraries, cemeteries and parking lots.
It includes all Confederate flags, not just the battle flag that has recently come under attack across the country. The initiative also includes re-enactments, festivals, such as the Battle of Olustee, or Rifles, Rails and History in Tavares. If anything Confederate is displayed, citizens would have the right to sue.
The initiative is classified as Senate Bill (SB) 154 and House Bill (HB) 243. This is alarming, to say the least, because if these bills are passed, there will be no stopping such atrocities from happening in every state. It is an unfunded mandate from Tallahassee and is imposed on all other governmental entities of Florida. If passed, it could cost Florida residents millions of dollars.
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The second initiative is just as appalling. It proposes to remove the statue of General Edmund Kirby Smith as Florida’s representative in Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. This initiative was sponsored by a history teacher from Pasco County. Apparently, this teacher has never studied Southern history and has no idea who Smith was. The bills are HB 141 and SB 310.
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The third bill proposes to change the Florida State Senate Seal by removing the Confederate flag from the five historical flags display. The argument for this bill is that the CSA was not a sovereign nation, but this is false. The bill is SB 1026.
It is nothing less than shameful that certain politically correct special interest groups are pushing to remove all things Confederate, and thus, attempting to erase a significant part of Southern history and identity. The bills are offensive and discriminatory against Florida veterans and residents.
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Tomorrow is Flag Rally Day!

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Two flag rallies in support of the Confederate battle flag are slated to take place this Saturday, September 5. One will be held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. H.K. Edgerton will be on hand to speak before the event goes mobile. (He is pictured below.)

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Scott D. Hall, Camp 87 Commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Sevierville, Tennessee, said, “We sold about 115 battle flags in about 1 and a half hours before the Campbell County Rally.  With the latest shipments, we still have an inventory of about 220 Battle Flags for sale. They are a hot item and we could sell them all if we set-up a roadside stand.”

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Another significant rally will be held in Washington D.C. this Saturday. Thousands are expected to show their support for the Confederate battle flag. It should be a fascinating, historic event. I don’t know if President Obama will be there to witness it, however. As of this writing, he is hiking around in Alaska.

Hundreds Rally in Support of Confederate Flag

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Last Saturday, hundreds upon hundreds of Southerners showed up at Stone Mountain in Georgia to support the Confederate battle flag at a rally. Stone Mountain is the country’s largest Confederate memorial, and has been targeted by the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP for removal.

One of the rally organizers, Thomas Jewell, a black man, said that he rallies to the flag because it represents his Southern heritage. He is not offended by it, and knows that the flag has been misrepresented in the past.

“If you look a little deeper, you’ll find out what it was all about,” Jewell said. “The flag was never meant to be racist. It’s a heritage thing. It’s a Southern thing.”

Billy Armistead said he came to the rally “to honor the memory of his relative Lewis A. Armistead, who fought for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War.”

Joel Colston said, “It’s not about hate. People are trying to take our flag away from us and that’s not right. We’re trying to do something about it.”

Jimmy Creek, a rally organizer, said, “We do rallies, not protests. We just do it peacefully. We don’t want trouble, but we’ll back each other up [if there is].”

Many more rallies are scheduled in the coming weeks. One is scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. on September 5, and I’m sure it will have a huge turnout. This just goes to show how more people are defending the flag than are protesting its existence.

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.

The Case of the One-Armed Soldier

It is no mystery that thousands of men lost appendages during Civil War battles. One of the many horrors of that war was the arms and legs that were amputated to prevent gangrene from setting in. Old photographs show some of the gruesome piles of body parts, and many veterans were photographed later with their arms or legs missing.

One of the most famous amputees was Union General Dan Sickles. After he lost his leg at Gettysburg, Sickles (who was a little sick in the head, if you ask me) insisted on keeping the limb, so he sent it to the U. S. Army Medical Museum (now the National Museum of Health and Medicine) in Washington, D. C., with his calling card, “Compliments of D. E. S”. For the rest of his life, Sickles frequently visited the leg.

Bones and remnants of long- lost warriors are constantly being found. The forearm of one of these soldiers was discovered by a local farmer after the Battle of Antietam. Nearly 150 years later, an anonymous donor gave it to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. The right forearm appears muddy, and the skin and hand are still attached.

After the farmer discovered the arm, he kept it in a barrel of brine until he gave it to a local surgeon, who preserved it in embalming fluid. Eventually, the arm ended up at a private museum in Sharpsburg, and was displayed for years in a glass-topped pine case, with a placard that read, “Human arm found on the Antietam Battlefield.” The elbow joint appears undamaged, but the skin and tendons look to have been violently twisted.

Forensics experts are examining the limb to try and determine the nationality of the owner, as well as his diet and age. It is highly unlikely that they will ever discover who the arm actually belonged to, but who knows. The case could someday be solved.

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