Washington and Lee University expressed regret Tuesday for the school's past ownership of slaves and promised to remove Confederate flags from the main chamber of its Lee Chapel after a group of black students protested that the historic Virginia school was unwelcoming to minorities.
President Kenneth P. Ruscio's announcement was a surprising move for the small, private liberal arts college in Lexington, which has long celebrated its Southern heritage. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee served as the university's president after the Civil War, his crypt is beneath the chapel, and the school has gingerly addressed its ties to the Confederacy and its having profited from the possession and sale of slaves.
The Confederate banners - battle flags that Lee's army flew as it fought Union forces - have adorned the campus chapel that bears Lee's name since 1930, and university officials said they were a nod to history and not a message intended to offend anyone. Others, however, see the flags as hate symbols representative of slavery, racism and grievous times in the nation's history. [The Washington Post, July 8]
This afternoon, I have spoken with Ben Sewell and Brian Sharp at Hqs. and L. Tracy Clary (VA Division Commander). Also I have contacted Susan Hathaway with the Virginia Flaggers and she replied. At this time, there are no formal plans to address the issue at Washington and Lee University at Hqs., Virginia Division or Virginia Flaggers.
There is a DEC meeting of the Virginia Division this Saturday to discuss the situation. We will know more of the plans to combat the situation at Washington and Lee University after Saturday.
In the meantime, what can Texas do to support Gen. Lee? I have included contact information that may be useful. Remember, any email sent should be professional.
Be sure to read ALL links listed below before sending any email to Washington and Lee University. Send the email as a concerned citizen.
1. A Message to the Community - President Ruscio's Message to the Community on April 16: http://www.wlu.edu/presidents-office/messages-to-the-community/president-ruscios-april-16-2014-message
2. A Community Conversation - President Rusico's Message to the Community on April 21: http://www.wlu.edu/presidents-office/messages-to-the-community/president-ruscios-april-21-2014-message
3. Continuing the Community Conversation - President Ruscio's Message to the Community on July 8: http://www.wlu.edu/presidents-office/messages-to-the-community/president-ruscios-july-8-2014-message
WITHOUT HIS FLAGS!!!!