Below are a few opinions about the Ringgold Depot Flag dispute. I made an effort to keep them as local as possible.
Letter to the Editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press:
Confederate advocacy group misses the mark in lawsuit
I read that the Sons of Confederate Veterans is suing the city of Ringgold over the display of the “Confederate battle flag.” I am amused because Ringgold displays a Confederate battle flag at its monument. It has a blue background with a white circle in the center. This flag, commonly called the Hardee pattern, was carried by troops who fought at the battle of Ringgold Gap in November 1863 under the command of Gen. Patrick Cleburne. Cleburne and his men were granted special permission by the Confederate Congress to carry this flag because of their reputation as the best fighting troops in the Confederate Army of Tennessee. The flag struck fear into the Union troops when they saw it, with good reason, as Cleburne usually soundly defeated the Union forces whenever he met them. Ringgold Gap was an excellent example.
Thus, I find the position of the Sons of Confederate Veterans that the Saint Andrews Cross Confederate battle flag should fly in Ringgold, rather than the Hardee pattern flag, to be historically ignorant and extremely disrespectful of Gen. Patrick Cleburne and the fighting men of his division, the best of the Confederate army. An odd position for a group that claims to uphold the reputation of the Confederate soldier.
ANTHONY HODGES, Elder Mountain
Some back and fort on the “You Know You’re from Ringgold When….” Facebook page.
Luke Lynch commented here on one of the Ringgold posts
The “Hardee” pattern flag is a fine compromise; the GA state flag is effectively the Confederate First National and flying an additional flag –with Old Glory completing the vexillological trio– to represent & honor Southern defense by Cleburne seems fitting. The SCV and our country’s public may be better served by instead funding the correction of the typos on the paving stones leading up to the current Hardee flagpole: at least three of Cleburne’s brigade commanders’ names are spelled incorrectly. (I recall Granbury and Lowrey, the third typo escapes me).
I believe that every participant, Reb and Yankee, in the Ringgold Gap fight would state that “the Confederate battle flag’ is already flying there now. That is the little blue flag of Cleburne’s division.