Sleight of Hand: The Virginia Flaggers try to distract from their failure to file a lawsuit in Charlottesville...


(Images courtesy of the Virginia Flaggers)





File this under #FakeNews. Via the Virginia Flaggers:




"We have received numerous inquiries for updates on the legal proceedings and other plans for Charlottesville after the vote to attempt to remove the RE Lee statue and rename LEE Park.  We have some new information to share with you… 
From a legal aspect, we promised Charlottesville that there would be a heavy price to pay and we intend to deliver on that promise.  Our friends at “Friends of C’Ville Monuments” have been busy preparing the first lawsuits, and we expect that they will be filed in the next few days.  In the meantime, our attorney sent a letter to the City Attorney and City Council outlining our plans to follow up with more litigation over the next two months. 
On his advice, we will be setting up a separate fund that will be used not only to fund whatever legal action we deem necessary over the next few months, but will be a general fund which can be used to fight any and all future attempts to remove monuments in the Commonwealth…and to erect new ones to add to the landscape. Stay tuned for more information on how you can help."




This is all hooey. The Flaggers promised that lawsuits were ready, and were going to be filed following any attempt to remove the statues. So where are they? They appear to be letting the Friends of C'ville Monuments do all of the heavy lifting while they sit back and watch. I thought the Flaggers were leading the charge? Guess I was wrong. In reality, they're just bringing up the rear.





Restoring the honor!




Comments

  1. Rob, you should check the version of the law that applied when the city decided to "authorize and permit" the construction of the statue (which is not a war memorial anyway, by the way). The law didn't apply to memorials authorized and permitted by cities until the 1990s. The reference to the year 1904 is misleading, because the law certainly did not look like that quotation in 1904. And the reference to the legislature having "upheld" something in 2016 is bizarre, because the legislature is not a court and hasn't changed the law since 2010. Really, what does the letter do? It asks the city to do the neoconfederates' work for them.

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    Replies
    1. Well, the letter DOES set the stage for a lawsuit. It is probably meant exactly as it is being seen, a threat to the city and a warning that they will face litigation if they continue to move forward, but that isn't really what the Flaggers promised. They have been repeating that the lawsuits and injunctions were ready to be filed, obviously they weren't (or they would have done it by now). There's really nothing stopping them from filing right now. If I had to guess, they are going through the motions of this long, drawn out stall game, in the hopes that the city will change course and they won't actually have to go through with the promised litigation, because it's actually going to cost THEM a shit ton of money. I do not myself believe that they have the kinds of funds readily available to properly litigate this right at this moment. That's my personal belief, but that is also just a guess. No one really knows how much money the Flaggers are sitting on, because they have not sought non-profit status like the majority of Confederate Heritage organizations, and their finances aren't open to public scrutiny. Honestly, the way that the Flaggers are structured as an LLC, leads me to believe that their financials are probably disclosed on Susan Hathaway's personal income tax returns. I have long wondered how much the Flaggers actually pay in taxes (if at all). All I m saying is that a group like the Flaggers would certainly benefit from paying little to no taxes because they would be able to spend the extra money on expensive ventures (such as raising 26 flags across the Commonwealth). I am surprised that local reporters haven't wondered where the Flaggers get all of the money to do this, but I can assure you it isn't from bake sales and t-shirts.

      Susan Hathaway has repeatedly and emphatically stated that the monuments are not going anywhere and that the law is settled. On the first point, she cannot know whether or not they are going anywhere unless she can see into the future (which she cannot). On the second point, law isn't settled. They believed the exact same thing when the Heritage Preservation Association sued Danville and lost.

      Most believe that the law only applies to monuments erected after 1998. Mr. Taylor conveniently forgot to mention that the law has been through many revisions over the years and is not actually the same law today that it was when it was first introduced. That could be important. Additionally, I question what standing groups like the Flaggers even have? They have no rights to the monument. The city owns it, not the Heritage groups. It is their land, and the monument belongs to them. I don't get what standing they have to be able to bring any lawsuit at all. Perhaps it is my legal naivety.

      I just think this theatrical production is really sad. Either you are going to file a lawsuit, or you aren't. If you are, what are you waiting for? Again, just a guess, but I do not think they want to spend the kind of money required to fight this. Additionally, I think they are afraid of the perception of being on the losing end of the suit. If they lose this after promising up and down that they aren't going anywhere, they are going to look like total fools. I think they are anyway. I think the Flaggers are just a huge con. Look at the Monument Guard. Does anyone in their right mind really believe that they have people sitting out there tonight guarding those monuments? They likely dispatch someone to go by every few weeks, snap a photo for Facebook, and drive away. Smoke and mirrors people.

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