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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: The Southern Legal Resource Center eU P D A T E

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Southern Legal Resource Center eU P D A T E

November, 2008

Published electronically by the Southern Legal Resource Center
P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711/(828)669-5189/


Judge dismisses charges against SCV member Who hung Battle Flag in hotel room window

CONCORD, NC – A local court judge dismissed charges of criminal trespass against Basil D. (Bazz) Childress, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member who allegedly refused to remove a Confederate flag from his hotel room window when the management demanded that he do so.

The incident occurred at the Wingate Hotel in Concord during the SCV’s 2008 annual National Reunion (Convention). Childress, a bank officer from Lexington, KY, said he had placed the flag in his window to identify his room as the site of an annual social gathering. A desk clerk telephoned the room and asked Childress to remove the flag. Childress said that when he asked the hotel’s manager to explain how having the flag in his window violated his room rental contract, the manager became angry, called police and made the criminal trespass charge. Childress was released on his own recognizance and checked into another hotel.

Prosecution witnesses from the hotel were a no-show at the hearing, so the court dismissed the case.

Childress was represented by Charlotte attorney Christopher McCartan, with Kirk D. Lyons of Black Mountain as co-counsel. Lyons, who is Chief Trial Counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center, said Childress is now preparing to sue Wyndham Hotels, Inc., which owns the Wingate unit.

Ringgold defendants insist Depot display

Should not be interpreted as a memorial

RINGGOLD, GA – Attorneys for the City of Ringgold are insisting that the area in front of historic Ringgold Depot where the Confederate Battle Flag once flew is not a memorial in the legal sense of the term.

The city made its position known in its attorneys’ response to a first request for admissions submitted by attorneys for the Ringgold Sons of Confederate Veterans camp and the SCV’s Georgia division, who are co-plaintiffs in the case. The SCV, through the SLRC and local attorneys, is suing the city to have it replace the flag, which it removed in 2005 and replaced with a relatively unfamiliar Hardee pattern Confederate corps flag. The SCV contends that the area is indeed a memorial, that the battle flag was intended to be a permanent fixture there, and that the city, by removing it, violated the integrity of memorial.

In responding to the 52 separate requests for admission, the city’s attorneys denied a total of 16 times that the display area at the depot is a memorial. “It’s certainly clear that the city is staking a great deal of its defense on the concept that the monument area at the depot is not to be considered a memorial,” said SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons, “In fact, after the suit had already been filed, and three years after the fact, the city council adopted a resolution saying they never intended for that area to be a memorial.”

That resolution, which was passed on April 28, 2008, just three days after the suit was filed, also maintains that “flying of the Confederate battle flag … was only a temporary flying for a special purpose and should not in any way be construed as a permanent flying …” However, Ringgold Mayor Joe Barger and councilman O. C. Adcock, both of whom were serving at the time the battle flag was removed, declined to endorse the resolution. “That [the language of the resolution] is not true,” Adcock said at the time.

Congressman who didn’t vote for slavery apology

Says ‘just moving on is best’ for Southerners

A Kentucky congressman who was not a co-sponsor of last summer’s congressional apology for slavery has nevertheless sidestepped a constituent’s request to introduce a similar apology to the descendants of Confederate noncombatants.

In all, 121 members of congress co-sponsored the apology resolution, which was formally adopted by voice vote in July. In August the SLRC wrote to the Southern co-sponsors – 28 in all – and asked if they would, in a similar vein, consider an apology, and possibly reparations, for the families of Southern civilians who suffered loss of life and property at the hands of Union military forces during 1861-65. In its September newsletter the SLRC reported it had not received a single reply to its letter.

Several SLRC supporters indicated they had put the apology/reparations question to their Congressional representatives individually. One such reader was John W. Young of Kirsey, KY, who contacted Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) by letter on September 3. Whitfield’s response, dated September 19, is a model of the balancing act many Southerners say they have come to expect from their elected officials when they are confronted with Southern heritage issues:

“I certainly appreciate your suggestion to offer this legislation [an apology to Southern noncombatants] in light of the House of Representatives passing a resolution apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow laws. Of course, there have been many dark days in the short history of this nation. Such tribulations reflect trying times for the United States, and many in Congress believe we must continue to be apologetic for the actions of our forefathers. While I believe that forgetting history almost ensures we repeat it, I also believe that just moving on is the best way to deal with these things, so that we may address the pressing issues of today and tomorrow.”

In a cover letter to the SLRC, Young said, “May I suggest that you urge individuals to write to their own representatives … Although the SLRC should be commended for initiating this important dialog, I believe it will have more impact for the concerns to be voiced by individual citizens.”

Two words for readers of our newsletter:


In 2002 the ironically-named Southern Poverty Law Center (estimated endowment: $152 million) gleefully reported that the SLRC had sent out an urgent plea for funds to keep its doors open. Two years later, in a similar vein, the SPLC stated that we were “financially shaky.” Well, we sure can’t argue that. And since the inhabitants of the Poverty Palace eagerly keep tabs on the SLRC’s doings, they have no doubt seen and are gloating over our latest fundraising appeal (September-October Update) in which we reported that the state of the U. S. economy and resultant consumer belt-tightening is making our own financial situation even more precarious than usual.

And, as fate would have it, the SLRC’s – and the country’s – cash crunch is occurring at the very time when the task of defending Southern heritage and culture, which has become increasingly challenging with each passing year, is about to become more arduous still. Most analysts agree that as the country’s political axis shifts further and further to the left, anti-Southernism in America will become fully institutionalized. Southerners who suffer adverse action for seeking to assert their Southern-ness will find that about their only chance for redress is through the courts. And the SLRC is the only organization on the planet devoted exclusively to advocating for wronged Southerners.

This newsletter’s circulation is about 2,500. If everybody on our mailing list contributed $10 a month, we would be able to meet our expenses and even begin to grow to meet our challenges, but usually our response rate is less than 10%. Please, if you can, help us get that percentage up by sending us a contribution for as much as you can spare today. To paraphrase what we usually say about ourselves, if you don’t help us, who will?

-- Roger McCredie
Executive Director

The Southern Legal Resource Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and contributions to it are fully tax deductible. Credit card and PayPal donations may be made at our website by clicking on “How You Can Help.” Checks payable to the Southern Legal Resource Center should be mailed to P.O. Box 1235, Black Mountain, NC 28711. “Thumbs Up for Dixie” stickers are available for SLRC and local heritage fundraising projects. Contact us for details at, (866) 564-8747 (toll free) or (828)669-5189.


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