Archived Story

Let’s avoid displays of discord

Published 10:14am Friday, April 26, 2013

To the Editor:

It is indeed sad that our wonderful and traditional local “Shad Planking” political event has become “too partisan” as reported recently in the media. The Wakefield Ruritan’s intent in hosting this annual party was to have an open political forum wherein all groups are welcome and attendees pay to support local volunteer emergency services. This is a truly noble and worthy cause.

The Ruritans mistake was, perhaps, being a little too welcoming by inviting fringe groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and allowing them to prominently display their Confederate “battle” flags. The display of such flags is intended to offend and that, of course, is exactly what it does. My SCV friends like to say they are about “heritage not hate” but the display of the Saint Andrew’s Cross flag of the Army of Northern Virginia in very inappropriate settings sends the exact opposite message.

The ANV battle flag, as we all know, is not the Confederate National Flag under which Southern soldiers fought and died during the War between the States. The display of the battle flag disrespects the proud memory of those who do respect the heroic endeavors of the many brave Confederate soldiers and sailors who fought for a cause in which they so passionately believed.

If the SCV members were truly about “heritage” they should be careful to only display some of the various historically correct Confederate States national flags. I would suggest a better choice would be the very appropriate “Stars and Bars” rather than the racially charged hate symbol that the battle flag has unfortunately become. The Confederate battle flag’s true historical meaning was distorted by it’s despicable co-option by sundry white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party during our very regrettable “Jim Crow” era of politics here in Virginia as well as elsewhere in the South.

The Wakefield Ruritans must refocus on their original laudatory intent of providing a lighthearted political gathering where one may hear sincere but respectful “roasting” of prominent Virginia political figures and parties. By disallowing other groups whose main motive seems to be discord and division, the Wakefield Ruritans may once again enjoy a wonderful and unique tradition that brings in well-intended donations to their volunteer emergency services.

I might also add that especially during this Sesquicentennial era of sincere and honored remembrance of all who participated in that great and decisive conflict which defined our nation and eventually brought us all back into one union, we should strive to avoid displays of divisiveness and discord.

Albert P. Burckard

  • rdarden

    After reading his comments on the SCV last week, I only thought of one term:


    Mr. Burckhard do us all a favor and move if you do not like the South. Trust me, we would all be joyful at your decision. I would also ask the Tidewater News to auto-delete any future comments from this individual. His remarks are not only idiotic, but they are far-left and out of the mainstream. To me, it cheapens the newspaper and makes it less appealing to subscribe to and read.

    Suggest Removal

    • mbrya023

      Yeah I forgot that newspapers are only supposed to print a point of view that you agree with.

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    The writer is the same guy who piled dirt and rocks on a Confederate flag on the ground at Isle of Wight Courthouse a few years ago, in front of the media, to “bury” it. Whacko.

    Suggest Removal

  • FromHere

    Ignorance is bliss.

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    I guess he would condemn the use of the Christian flag and US flag as well, since they were used by the KKK in their marches as well, also becoming symbols of “hate?” And, ask the Indians if the American flag led the way in the slaughter of an entire continent of Indians? Tell the WHOLE truth, OK?

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  • Sedley Sam

    Lets just say that Mr Burckard has no idea what a “fringe” group is if he believes the SCV to be one. They do nothing but cherish the memory of their ancestors who fought for the south. The reason the “battle” flag is used is too many reasons to list here, none related to racism or slavery though.The SCV would be glad to have Mr Yankee sit in on a meeting and see what really happens. This letter writer is just stirring the pot with no clue. If he is not “comfortabale” at the Shad Planking because of the SCV and its heritage agenda and wants it stopped….he is the one promoting “hate”!!!!!!!

    Suggest Removal

    • MasonTaylor

      Of course the SCV is not a fringe group. However, those who are not interested in truth do not care. I find it very interesting that someone who obviously knows nothing about the SCV would try to put down on paper what their intent was in displaying flags. The other item that sticks out like a sore thumb in this letter is the ludicrous statement that the Battle Flag of the ANV did not fly over soldiers. That is a contradiction in itself. Of course a battle flag flew over soldiers in battle. I think what the writer meant was that the First National flag should be flown, because it’s not as well known, and not as controversial. The battle flag is only controversial to those who do not understand history, or want to use it as propaganda for their dubious cause. Neither case should ever prevent someone from honourably flying a Confederate flag. A clear case of the need for education….Southern education.

      Suggest Removal

  • chilimac72

    Please do not use that reference because it is so easily defeated. Those Republicans that did so were taken over by Democrats. The southern Democrat racist separationist members moved from the Democrat party to Republican party. Look up Jesse Helms political history.

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  • handkusp45

    It should be noted that the KKK was founded by democrats who wanted to keep slavery alive in the south. Abraham Lincoln and other people who wanted to abolish slavery were republicans. Now 99.9% of blacks vote democratic. Interesting.

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    • Maxdoubt

      No, It really should not be noted. It is of no importance at all and from your continued racially motivated postings you are proving yourself a bigot. You know very well that the Democratic Party later opposed Jim Crow and the white racially motivated voters in the south moved to the Republican Party because that party in the modern age was opposed to racial integration in the US.

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      • Albert P. Burckard

        Everyone needs to sit down, take a deep breath and read “Managing White Supremacy” – Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia, by J. Douglas Smith, 2002, University of North Carolina Press. This history book should be required reading at the high school level here in our beloved Commonwealth.

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