Update: I’ve included a table of contents for this series below.
(H/T) to David Tatum for bringing this to my attention. For those of you that do not know, back in the early 2000s community leaders renovated the historic depot in Ringgold, Georgia. Part of these renovations included a memorial to the men/boys who left the depot to fight in the Civil War. Additionally, the memorial commemorates the Battle of Ringgold Gap. Adding to the luster, renovators constructed two flags in front of the depot: 1, a U.S. flag in remembrance of Gen. Joseph Hooker and the Union soldiers; and 2, a Confederate flag in reverence to Patrick Cleburne and his Confederates.
Controversy soon followed with citizens of the black community in Ringgold (an extreme minority) asking the city council to lower the flag. In 2005 (not 2008 as the article says), the Ringgold City Council reached a compromise on a 3-2 vote. The city lowered the Confederate Battle Flag, replacing it with the Hardee Corps Flag, famously flown by Patrick Cleburne. I can remember not too long after that, speaking to a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at the local 1890s Jamboree. He told me then that the SCV planned on bringing a lawsuit against the city. Well….better late than never.
Now in 2014, Tom Poteet filed a suit against the city on behalf of the SCV. He states that “the city was wrong in removing a piece of history, and that it is discrediting a number of soldiers who fought for the country [CSA].” I have never met Mr. Poteet as far as I know. There is a chance I might have, but I am horrible with names; I digress. The case is set to be heard by Judge Kristina Cook Graham on July 25. Lt Cmdr. Ronald Eslinger of the GA SCV claims that the group will be well represented at the trial, bringing in hundreds of members for support. Effectively, this will turn my small town into a circus of ignorance.
In the coming days, I will provide a bit of a background to this flag issue and the history it revolves around. I will also inject my personal opinions on this small town flag controversy. I think this will be a fun break to cut up the monotony of thesis writing. Plus, it gives me a chance to visit home for a bit.
Table of Contents: