Confederate Memorial Park Flag Rally 4th July
The flag rally as hosted by the Judah P. Benjamin camp had a duel purpose; Rally the SCV/UDC folks after the terrible week of “All Things Confederate” cleansing to return our symbols to the public view and also harness the public momentum of the NAACP’s Confederate phobia. Our harnessing effort was the chartering of “General Lee’s Dukes of Hillsborough.”
The Confederate Memorial Park rally brought together two camps well known for their differences; the Benjamin camp 2210 SCV, recipient of the SCV’s Dr. George R. Tabor “Most Distinguished “ camp award & the Jubal A. Early camp 556 SCV. A truce has been called to JOINTLY RESPOND TO ATTACKS FROM OUR COMMON OPPONENT. While there was no “love fest” occurring, there was a very well run PUBLIC event receiving extensive media coverage while gathering hundreds of attendees along with mutually beneficial results such as raising funds in support of the Park. I hope this effort might serve as an example to other stubborn Southerners to temporarily set aside differences and rally for common good.
We had 4 speakers totaling less than an hour at the microphone. Due to the close proximity of Tampa Bay’s well known summer thunder storms and standing next to the “World’s Largest Confederate Lightning Rod” we did abbreviate the speaking. After a call out to the audience, announcements returned that folks had traveled from across Florida to attend. SCV, UDC, ORC, SCV-MC, Hard Core Confederates and many others were present and counted.
Past Early camp CMD Mike Herring spoke about the history of “Flags Across Florida” effort and the founding of Confederate Memorial park. CMD David McCallister of the Benjamin camp spoke of the background cause of the public disdain for all things Confederate; The NAACP’s “Odious Blight” resolution from 1991. This resolution defining all things Confederate as hateful, racist and condoning slavery. Since the media, corporate America and spineless politicians swallow this definition without question, no wonder we have friction over the flag. CMD McCallister called for the retraction of this hateful resolution. William Pew, the gentleman who organized the effort of public flagging in response to Conferderatephobia, had a few words to add. Wrapping up the presentations was 1st LtCMD Phil Walters of the Benjamin camp, the organizer of the event, spoke of the “intellectual dishonesty” associated with the NAACP’s resolution and the need to educate people concerning the issue. Prior to the looming cloudburst, we produced the “Charter” for General Lee’s “Dukes of Hillsborough” Southern Heritage Flaggers. The Charter contains specific terms of honorable conduct along with a “call to action” whenever or wherever a dishonorable attack occurs to anything disparaging the Confederate soldier’s good name within Hillsborough County. William Pew accepted this challenge associated with the charter. Additionally, a call out was made to those in attendance, in honor to the Patriots of July 4, 1776, to step forward and attach their signatures to this document to inform our elected officials that they too will step forward to defend our honorable heritage for attacks. The 17x11 charter was completely chocked full of signatures.
Overall, the event went smoothly, we had 200-400 folks show and to our luck, avoided a downpour and/or a lightning strike. It was a good day for Liberty.
General Lee’s “Dukes of Hillsborough” Southern Heritage Flaggers Chartering
After the tidal wave cleansing of all things Confederate from public view as advocated by the NAACP’s horrible “Odious Blight” resolution, The Benjamin camp decided pushback was in order. Additionally, with public outrage over this cultural cleansing motivating people to peacefully “Take to the Streets,” I saw opportunity to utilize this energy for a higher purpose.
William Pew organized via social media a pro Confederate vehicle rally on June 26, drawing hundreds of cars & concerned citizens along with extensive media coverage. CMD McCallister & myself attended the event, contacted Mr. Pew and offered to share our experiences in becoming an effective advocate for our common cause. The concept of Susan Hathaway’s Virginia Flaggers was at the core. Recognizing this situation we immediately called for a flag rally hosted y the Judah P. Benjamin camp at Confederate Memorial Park for the 4th of July and invited Mr. Pew to “accept a higher calling and challenge,” that of organizing his hastily assemble concerned citizens into an effective “ pro Confederate public view” movement, all conducted within the spirit of “The Charge” of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
No doubt, William’s crew of hundreds is a motley assortment of citizens; young, free spirited, blue collar, passionate and agrarian (lots of 4x4’s) in need of leadership, focus & direction, similar to the motley assortment of independent citizen soldiers that assembled in the South during 1861-1865. Believing the Benjamin camp & SCV has something to offer this group such as leadership and focus, the Benjamin camp presented a charter or commission for the formation of the “Dukes of Hillsborough” with a battle cry of “They even BANNED the General Lee!” Within the commission is a specify code of conduct and direction for the “Dukes.” Additionally, the Benjamin camp will be providing Compatriots as mentors with the goal of forming these recruits into an effective and passionate force to advance the colors within the public’s view.
While success is not guaranteed, this truly is an opportunity to influence a demographic not common to the SCV and to synergize the public to our cause. Since we of the SCV have studied for a lifetime the history and lessons of one of the world’s most renowned fighting force, it is OUR DUTY to share with these “green and passionate” Southerners our experience to shape them into the image of the soldier they too are descended from, to the best of our ability. The time is now…………..
The “Dukes” are not SCV. They are a separate organization at arms length to us. Our aim is to “organized, educate, motivate and suggestively direct them to assist us in execution of “The Charge.” Our immediate plan is to to them outlines of how to organize, codes of conduct & appearance, media talking points and discussion of the next event. Hillsborough County is considering removing a 3rd National flag from the County Center and I believe this is the next event. I’m calling upon the “Dukes” to provide speakers at the Commissions’ next meeting and a flag rally against this measure near the Commission’s meeting location. Additionally, the theme the politicians are “embarrassed” by the Confederate heritage of their constituents and wish to regulate us to the closet” will be expounded. I’m cautiously optimistic we can form into a positive wave with this effort. I’ll be reporting back at a later date.
St Pete (fish wrapper) Times http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/confederate-flag-supports-rally-beneath-their-banner/2236180
TBO/Tampa Tribune http://tbo.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?ArtNo=704009998&Category=ARTICLE&Date=20150704&Profile=1088&Ref=PH&Site=TB
St. Pete wrapper: Related Brandon 4th Parade http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/at-brandons-fourth-of-july-parade-a-more-muted-display-of-confederate/2236156
Chanel 10 CBS News http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/2015/07/04/confederate-flag-supporters-willing-to-fight-for-their-flag/29724907/
We pushed hard to expose and question the NAACP’s “Odious Blight” resolution to the media, resulting in little if any coverage. This resolution MUST BECOME THE FOCUS of our EFFORTS. Maybe there is a reason the media did not report this often repeated issue?
Additional pictures: Lunelle Sieigel Facebook feed: https://www.facebook.com/lunelle.siegel
My Facebook feed: https://www.facebook.com/
If you wish to have a copy of the “Dukes of Hillsborough” charter, drop Phil Walters a line Gatorstick@tampabay.rr.com
If you have an outpouring of public sympathy for CONFEDERATE issues in your area, gather your BEST LEADERS & MENTORS and HARNESS THIS ENERGY by hosting a flag rally. I’ll assist or advised if contacted.
Capt. Phil Walters
Dixie Gator Trappers
Sons of Confederate Veterans-Life member
Safari Club International-Life Member
National Rifle Association-Life Member