Thursday, September 11, 2014
College named after Robert E. Lee removes Confederate flags after students complain
Ruscio said he had support from the Lee family, citing a letter he received from Lee's great grandson Robert E. Lee IV, which said: “It is clear to me that president Lee would wholeheartedly support your goals of making Washington and Lee a welcoming environment for all students who choose to come there today. As a proud alumnus, I, too, support those goals. In my view, removing the flags from the statuary chamber is overdue. I am proud of my alma mater. I am certain that my great-grandfather would be proud of the institution he once led.”
While retaining the flags had received little support on campus, the same can't be said of residents of the town of 7,000, Forman writes. Brandon Dorsey, commander of Camp 1296 of the Lexington-based Stonewall Brigade of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, "said it doesn’t matter that a distant relative of Robert E. Lee supported taking down the flags because it wasn’t right in the first place. To him, Lee deserves to have flags of the nation he fought for hang in a building memorializing him."
Dorsey told Forman, “It’s disrespectful. There wouldn’t be a Washington and Lee University if there hadn’t been a Robert E. Lee. He deserves to have that recognition remain there. Just because you have a family member that takes a position doesn’t mean that has any reflection on the father or grandfather’s views. It’s neat that he’s a descendant, but he didn’t know Robert E. Lee.” (Read more)