Updated: Sons of Confederate Veterans criticize McDonnell, Allen
The Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold a news conference Tuesday to outline the "ongoing failures" of Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to deal with a variety of history and heritage issues in Virginia.
Brag Bowling, a spokesman for the group, said their complaints extend beyond McDonnell's apology for declaring April 2010 "Confederate History Month," which the group had requested in the spring. He said it will include a variety of other issues, including the ongoing dispute over the flying of the Confederate battle flag outside the Confederate Memorial Chapel behind the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
"It has been estimated that over 2 million Virginia citizens can trace their ancestry to a soldier who fought in the Confederate army,'' said B. Frank Earnest, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. "The Civil War was a defining moment in our history and, as we enter its sesquicentennial year, it is fitting we honor the memories of the men and women on both sides whose sacrifices are part of our heritage. However, to put it candidly, under Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia's history has become political football."
"We call on Governor McDonnell to remember that he is the governor of all Virginians, that he honor the memory of those who died in defense of our commonwealth, and that he rethink ... his position and honor the forthcoming petition which will begin today."
In September, McDonnell said he would declare April 2011 "Civil War in Virginia" month as he offered a second apology for his proclamation last year that failed to mention the role that slavery played in the state that was home to the capital of the Confederacy.
The International Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold the news conference Tuesday afternoon in Washington. Bowling said the event will also include criticism of former governor George Allen, who is expected to announce soon that he is running for U.S. Senate in 2012.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin declined to comment. Allen spokesman Tim Nussbaum did not immediately return a message seeking comment Monday.
| January 17, 2011; 12:39 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, George F. Allen, Robert F. McDonnell
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