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Dallas, Texas Visit

Dear Mr. Reaves,

I too regret not having the opportunity to speak with you while in the greater Dallas area. The speech that you allude to, with the permission of the restaurant management, I would deliver to not only the small group gathered , but to an open restaurant because the enclosed rooms had been overbooked by the restaurant management. Not long into my speech, I watched as the many patrons including some of the restaurant staff began to focus their attention on the message that I had began to deliver; many turned in their chairs to get a better vantage point. However, as to be expected, a gentleman of perhaps Northern persuasion would tire of my pro-Southern rhetoric, and interupting me in the middle of my speech , stepped forward and demanded that I lower my voice, or leave the restaurant. I asked if him, if he was management? His reply was no, but that he ate there everyday and was not going to listen to me anymore. I paused for a second as he walked away; waiting patiently for management to break their word that I could speak in this open area , as if I were behind closed doors. God Bless them; they stood fast behind their word, and with the Christian Cross in hand, I delivered a rendention of Dr.Bradley's(State Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans) "I Am Their Flag," with as much bravado as I ever have.I shall ask the State Commander to consider presenting the Restaurant an award from the Sons and in kind I shall ask the Daughters and the Order of the Rose as well as the Daughters of the Republic to act in kind as well for the courage and honor they depicted on this night when they could have done as many have done before; knuckled down to the shouts of political correctness. The irony here is that with the permission of the host Camp of the Sons, one of your peers from a local television station would not only conduct an interview with me, but would also be given privy to film the entire aforementioned proceedings, to your viewing audience would only share a 5 second thought on my presence in the Dallas area.

The next morning at approximately 6:30 AM , I would find myself stationed at the corner of military and Rodeo Drive with my Battle Flag in hand, waving, posing for pictures and in conversation with not only the many passerbys, but also with a significant number of the Mesquite Police who came to express concern for my safety and hear of my story that would carry me some 1,606.1 miles while walking 20 miles or more a day , 6 days a week to the State Capitol in Austin some five years ago, and to boot dressed in the uniform of the Southern Soldier and carrying the flag that I now held as we spoke. I did not have the heart to tell the two young plains clothes police officers of Mesquite as they wished me well and enquired of the plaques on the Supreme Court Building that had in part promted the Historic March; on this very morning, a man would stop and tell me that he had once worked on Governor Perry's re-election campaign, and knew first hand that the Governor would never support the plaques being put back. A red pickup truck would pull alongside me as I stood there, a young Black man driving and a young black girl on the passenger side. He would immediately began hurling a variety of nasty expletives my way, while wanting to know why I was standing on this corner with that flag. I told him that I certainly didn't mind answering his questions, but that he should at least show some respect for the young child in his truck with the language he was using. This only promted him to hurl more words at me that no child should have to hear, let alone a gray head old man who should have been shown the kind of respect that would have been given to his grandpa who likely carried the same flag alongside a man he not only called Master, but family and friend.The young girl would look at him in some disbelief, and I knew that from the expression on her face, forever in this childs mind; the battle that just taken place on rodeo and military, for a handsome old man carrrying a beautiful flag, the day had been won.

Tuesday morning, December 25, 2007 (Christmas Day), as I stood adorned in the uniform of the Southern Soldier, brandishing his glorious flag, on the over pass of Interstate 40 in my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina listening to the sounds of the passerbys, I would hear the sound of the Rebel Yell sang out and I could swear it was the same young girl who had sung it to me as I stood on the overpass in Van, Texas embracing a young Black girl who who swore to me that she had never seen a Black man carrying the Confederate Flag , or wearing his uniform, and on this day I had filled her with a sense of pride, and for this reason she had stopped to speak with me.

As the sun sets on this Re-Union, the credit cards of my little brother are maxed out, and I am strapped with a $6,000.00 debt for the undertaking, I shall forever delight in the love shown to me and the many awards and honors bestowed, and the knowledge that no matter that Hillary finds the Battle Flag on the Capitol gorunds in Columbia, South Carolina too Southern, no matter that Romney would not in his words fly that thing, no matter the shame of the words of John Edwards, no matter John McCain leading the ban for her in the National Park,no matter that Thompson vacillates in her accord, no matter Obama walking in the shadow of Lincoln, no matter the Bill France ban of her at NASCAR, no matter the fear placed on the education system to tell the truth about the War Between the States and the events that led up to it, or the bad press given to her and her people; the ovation that I have personally experienced for the Flag that I have carried all across this land and especially into the Republic of Texas speaks volumes for her and those of us who call ourselves Southern.

HK Edgerton