We have received several inquiries regarding the reports out of Rockbridge County of alleged code violations regarding the 60 West Lexington Roadside Memorial Battle Flag that was raised on Lee-Jackson Day, Saturday, January 14th.
Apparently, someone notified the county on Wednesday afternoon, January 11th, that a Confederate flag was scheduled to be raised on Lee-Jackson Day weekend. By Thursday morning, a letter had been drafted by the Rockbridge County Office of Community Development, warning of several alleged violations and threatening fines and other action if the pole was installed. Three different VDOT crews came out Thursday and verified that two of the alleged violations were false, and the Director of Community Development, came out to the flag site and made it clear to the shop owner that he did not approve of the fact that he was raising a Confederate Flag. By the end of the day, and after reviewing the information given, we concluded that county officials were simply trying to intimidate us and prevent the pole from being installed. It was installed late Thursday, January 13th, according to the same state and local building codes followed at the two previous installations in Rockbridge County.
The 20’ x 30’ Confederate Battle Flag was raised in a ceremony the morning of Lee-Jackson Day. Hundreds showed up in the cold rain to see her dedicated to the Glory of God, and in memory and honor of Generals Lee & Jackson, and all of our Confederate heroes. On Tuesday, January 17th, The Va Flaggers, the landowner, and the shop owner, all received notices from the Office of Community Development with (new) alleged code and/or zoning violations. Our attorney is reviewing the letter and state and local codes, and at this time we do not believe we are in violation. We have scheduled a meeting with county officials next week to further discuss the matter.
After that meeting, and upon further review, we will decide whether to file an appeal and/or work with the county to bring the site into compliance IF any of the alleged violations are determined to be legitimate. In the meantime, the publicity brought by this remarkably swift and forceful action by Rockbridge County has stirred up many county residents who don’t like the appearance that the county is coming down hard on one of their citizens for flying a Confederate flag on private property. Since the news broke, we have received offers from no less than 4 landowners for additional flags sites in Lexington, and expect more to follow. We are confident that this matter will be resolved within the 45 days allotted, and that the 90’ pole (or perhaps one even higher) WILL be flying a Confederate Flag on 60 West for years to come.
Photo Courtesy Tredegar Droneworks