By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday June 24, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) ordered all Confederate flags to be removed from State grounds. There was no vote of the people, no public hearings, no court case, no vote of the Alabama Legislature. Gov. Bentley just gave the order and workers began immediately removing all the Confederate Flags, including their poles from Confederate Memorials in Montgomery. There was no fanfare, no ceremony, no bugler, no reverence for history or moment of silence as the flags were taken down.
According to original reporting by the Alabama Media Group, Gov. Bentley said “This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”
Governor Bentley has been claiming that the state needs $531 million in new taxes since February. He failed to convince the Alabama Legislature that the people are undertaxed in the Regular Session so is expected to call a special session in August to pressure legislators into giving him his taxes.
Supporters of the flag across the State were outraged.
Phillip Giddens from Gadsden wrote, “Mr. Bentley, after learning of your call to action to remove the Confederate flags from the State buildings this morning, it’s obvious to us, as citizens of this great State, that we, as your constituents, were not consulted. In efforts for political correctness, it seems that you have offended those in your own backyard. As an elected official, it is your job to act on our behalf, and we were surprised, to say the least, to know that you acted hastily and chose to not be a voice for those without your platform. Return our flags. Do not apologize for our history and do not give into media propaganda. The South, and especially Alabama, is above conformity. Honor the past of those you represent. Give us back our flags.”
Giddens started an online petition at change.org asking that Bentley return the flags. As of this writing (3:02 am) Giddens petition had already garnered 6,067 signatures.
The Southern Historical Society Facebook page reports that they have accumulated over 24,000 page likes……thousands of them in just the past few days.
A “Bentley Put Our Flags Back Up” Facebook page has already been made and in less than 14 hours has accumulated 4,169 Likes.
The Coordinator of the Alabama Constitutional Conservatives group, Deanna Frankowski told the Alabama Political Reporter: “No matter what is taken down, what is banned, what is done, evil and racism will live on! It’s a mindset, it’s not about a flag or any other object and until this is acknowledge the problem will continue to exist!! The only people benefiting from this are the ones that “never let a crisis go to waste” and the people who have Confederate Flags to sell because the people calling for the flag to be removed have only made the flag more desirable, not less.”
One of the organizers of the Facebook page spoke to the Alabama Political Reporter on condition of anonymity. She told us, “A lot of us are not happy.”
She said that they don’t see the Confederate Flag as being racist; but rather as heritage. “I have some great great uncles who fought for the Confederacy. Are they going to remove other monuments?…Or are they just discriminating against Southerners?”
She said that the question of the flag’s future should go to a vote of the people. She voiced fears that the State may try to remove the large Confederate Battle Flag on I-65 next even though that is on private property. “Are they going to take our Bibles next?”
The Alabama Legislative Watchdogs wrote on Facebook, “Dear Governor Robert Bentley It isn’t about a flag! It’s about CONTROL. You fell right in line. What next, The 10 Commandments, oh wait! God gone from the classroom, same sex marriage, The EPA regulating our Energy sources? Oops! Looks like Tyranny just snuck right on in to Alabama! Next thing you know we will have a Republican Governor wanting to raise taxes and agreeing with and raising the pay of a Common Core BOE Super! CONTROL REALLY IS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT! (can I still post this on social media?)”
Civil Rights groups, city councils and community organizers across Alabama and the country are now discussing removing decades old Confederate Memorials from parks, public buildings, and roadsides.
Director Frankowski said, “With regard to the Confederate memorials, most are placed to commemorate the men who fought for the Confederacy and, thus, are a part of the History of the United States of America and whether good or bad should be left to stand.”
Noting how rapidly political correctness has changed regarding the Confederate Flag, Frankowski asked, “When Clinton-Gore used the Confederate Flag in 1992 during the Presidential election where were all of the protestors??”
Former Republican candidate for State Senate and Cleburne County Republican Party Chairman Tim Sprayberry said on Facebook, “Voices resonate from the grave! I live in a county named for this particular Confederate General who gave his life in the war of northern aggression. His portrait is proudly displayed in the rotunda of our courthouse and we’ll keep his name, Thank You!”
Sprayberry continued, “Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne just didn’t know how accurate he was when he spoke these words… “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late…It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision…The conqueror’s policy is to divide the conquered into factions and stir up animosity among them… ….It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.”