Part 1: Stealthy Cultural Cleansing

Part 1:
Stealthy Cultural Cleansing hits 
the City of Five Flags

How long has the underhanded stealth campaign against the battle flag been going on behind the scenes at City Hall?  And what ever happened to Florida's "government in the sunshine" laws?

by Connie Chastain Ward
On Tuesday, February 1, 2000, the local media in Pensacola, Florida reported that City Manager Tom Bonfield had announced he was removing the Confederate battle flag from the Pensacola's "City of Five Flags" displays and replacing it with the Stars and Bars, for "historical correctness." 

It was reported that a local civil rights group, "Movement for Change" had visited Bonfield and asked him to take down the battle flag, although Bonfield said he made his decision two days before the request by the group.  It was also reported that the City Council backed Bonfield's

A storm of protest arose from the public.  Phone calls to City Hall  ran 75% in favor of leaving the Confederate battle flag in the displays.  City council members received so much email on the subject, they reportedly shut down their email accounts.  The controversy was the subject of local talk radio programs for days.

Shortly after Bonfield's decision hit the news, the Stephen Mallory Camp 1315, Sons of Confederate Veterans, got a call from the Pensacola News Journal wanting to know if they were going to remove the battle flag from the gravesite of CSA Secretary of the Navy Stephen Russell Mallory in historic St. Michael's Cemetery, located in downtown Pensacola.  I don't know if the SCV's answer was, "Not just no, but h--- no!" -- but it coulda been, shoulda been, and probably was.

A concerned public speaks

The SCV also ran radio spots urging the public to attend the February 10th meeting of the Pensacola City Council and convince the members to reverse Bonfield's decision.  I went to that meeting.  The chamber was overflowing.  Over 300 people came out to support the flag, almost all of them from Pensacola or Escambia County.

These people were neither ignorant rednecks nor violent racists -- the kind of folks Big Media likes to associate with the flag.  They were ordinary citizens and good people -- your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors. 

Over 30 people requested time to speak to the council during Open Forum.  All but a handful supported leaving the battle flag in place.  They may as well have been attempting to explain nuclear fission to a mule.  The minds of some city councilpersons seemed rigidly made up well in advance. 

The final 7 to 2 vote will result in the Stars and Bars replacing the battle flag in the city's Five Flags displays.  But the people who voted are, after all, politicans, so they left themselves a back-door crack to weasel out of in the future, should it become necessary.

A slip of the lip?

During the meeting, a very interesting thing happened.  Councilman Mike DeSorbo mentioned that the city manager first had reason to question the historical correctness of the battle flag about three months ago, and he had his staff start researching it then.  He even asked Bonfield if that timeframe was correct, and Bonfield indicated it was. 

During this very short discussion, the demeanor of both Bonfield and DeSorbo looked funny to me -- as if DeSorbo had accidently let something embarrassing "slip out."  It was obvious that the discussion was heading somewhere they didn't want it to go, and they dropped the subject like a hot yam.

This brief conversation did clear up one thing for me.  Tom Bonfield is still rather new to Pensacola, having taken the job of city manager only 18 months ago.  Now, either he arrived in Pensacola with a question about the flag's "historical accuracy" already in his mind, or something put the question there subsequent to his arrival.  Despite the brevity of the exhange between Bonfield and DeSorbo, it indicated not only that something put the issue in Bonfield's mind; it told me when that happend -- three months ago.  Unfortunately, it  didn't identify who or what put it there.

How long has this been going on?
Three months ago was November 10.  I did a quick replay of my last three months memories on this subject and realized that November 10 was not very long after local journalist and media personality Kenneth E. Lamb showed up on a WBQP-TV talk show saying the Confederate battle flag should be removed from city displays and replaced by the "correct one." 

The host of the show remarked that this situation was similar to renaming part of Alcaniz Street, changing it to Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive.  There was a huge controversy over the issue that lasted for months.  The host said that after the street was finally renamed "the world didn't end," and it wouldn't end if the Confederate flag was taken down.

It was a call-in talk show, so I called in.  I asked who was behind the idea to remove the Confederate battle flag.  Neither Mr. Lamb nor the host would say.

I had occasion to see Mr. Lamb at work the next day, and I asked him who wanted the flag removed.  He said he couldn't say names but it was just a "few people who were talking about it over lunch."

So, I called the city's daily newspaper of record, the Pensacola News Journal, and editor Carl Wernicke said he'd heard nothing about a movement afoot to change the flag displays.  I called the city of Pensacola and spoke to an assistant city manager, who said nobody had brought it up to the city council and none of the council members had brought it up themselves.

Lamb then wrote an egregious anti-flag column that appeared in the November 26th issue of  The Florida Sun, where I am employed as a staff writer.  I would see him in the office occasionally, and I asked him a couple of times who wanted the flag to come down.  He again said he couldn't say names because, "they want to get re-elected."  He did allow that someone at the Civil War Soldier's Museum was "hot to change the flag." 

I tried to find out what I could about the issue.   I requested information from the city -- even went to City Hall, talked to someone in person, and filled out an official request -- but never heard a peep back from them.

For me, that's where the issue stayed until February 1, when Bonfield unilaterally made the decision to remove the flag from city displays.  Now the city council, in an example of the slippery, writhing political maneuvering that gives politics its well deserved bad reputation, have backed him up.   For now.

But it's not over, folks.  It is far from over.  Whoever is behind this campaign of cultural cleansing will be found out, and their motives, strategy and tactics will published for all to see.

Meanwhile, Southrons in Pensacola and Escambia County should speak out!  Remember, SILENCE = CONSENT.

Confederate battle flag in Pensacola's "City of Five Flags" bayfront display.
Is the flag not "historically correct?"  Or not "politically correct?"  Read about the origins of the Cultural Marxism we call political correctness.   Dixie isn't the only part of America in deep danger.
Residents of Pensacola and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans gather at City Council meeting.
Seemingly determined to dishonor our Confederate ancestors, the City Council blindly stuck to their full-of-holes "historical correctness" argument.

Over 300 people fill City Hall, all but a handful there to support keeping the battle flag in place.
About half were city residents.  The other half were Escambia County residents.  Fortunately, the Escambia County Commissioners had just voted to keep the Confederate battle flag flying in their "Five Flags" display at the Pensacola Civic Center.

The Stars and Bars, flew at Ft. Pickens before it fell to Union troops.
Yes, but did it fly over the city of  Pensacola?

Stephen Russell Mallory
Pensacola resident and Secretary of the Navy, Confederate States of America

Confederate battle flag -- and naval ensign -- flying over the gravesite of Stephen R. Mallory in historic St. Michael's Cemetery, downtown Pensacola
Are the Heritage Police plotting to take down Mallory's flag?  Are they plotting to remove his headstone, as well?
Confederate Memorial on Palafox Street in Pensacola.
To honor President Jefferson Davis, Secretary Mallory, and Captain Perry and his gallant Pensacola Rifles.  Is a stealth campaign to remove this memorial already taking place in some political backroom somewhere in our town? 

The Confederate battle flag in front of City Hall.
 Target of a stealth campaign of cultural cleansing?

Original content Copyright © 2000 by Connie Ward, Perpetrator. All rights reserved.
February/March 2000

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