Sharing the Stars & Bars: Conservatives’ Contrasting Responses After Posting the Confederate Flag

(“If, by ‘white nationalist,’ that’s what you mean, count me in” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

A blog post promoting a “Militia Second Amendment Rally” in Virginia made the rounds of Colorado conservative social media in mid-December. The event, scheduled for January 20, Martin Luther King Day, uses the Confederate Flag as its logo.

Of the people and group pages sharing the post, two were relatively prominent: The Montrose County, Colorado, Republican Party, and KNUS 710-AM radio host Randy Corporon.

Their responses to inquires about the post, however, were decidedly different.

The Montrose Republican Party immediately removed the post, while talk show host Corporon reaffirmed his support for the event, the post, the Confederate flag, and even for a (narrow and specific) definition of “white nationalism.”

The Montrose GOP’s post was noticed by Michal Rosenoer, who was one of the Facebook commenters who expressed concern about it on social media.

Reached by phone, Montrose GOP Chair Ray Langston said that as soon as the post came to his attention he asked his social media person to remove it.

“It just becomes all about the flag and that becomes a distraction,” Langston told the Colorado Times Recorder. “I shared it myself on my personal Facebook, and I read the article. The person who shared thought it might be of interest since we’re dealing with red flag laws here, but all the attention gets drawn to the flag. So once I knew about it, I said we need to take that down, because the message is about the rally and not about the flag.”

Rosenauer, who serves as executive director of Emerge Colorado, an organization that trains Democratic women to run for office, elaborated on her concerns.

“Calling on white nationalist militias to show up covered in guns on MLK day is so blatantly and obviously a show of intimidation and racism that it’s hard to describe how it’s not,” said Rosenauer. “I was concerned because of recent news about the rise of hate crimes in Colorado specifically. We’re seeing synagogues vandalized and the FBI taking down potential terrorists, and Colorado more than other states has dealt with real people with real guns shooting children or abortion providers or women, and so to nonchalantly post a call from essentially Neo-Nazis to rally about gun rights, especially in a climate where gun violence is a real and everyday problem for Coloradans.”

The post itself made the since-debunked claim that the Governor of Virginia is going to use national guard troops to confiscate private citizens’ weapons. In doing so, it invoked the name of the Confederate Army while speaking of “battle lines.”

BATTLE LINES DRAWN IN VIRGINIA! RICHMOND JAN 20!! ARMY OF NORTHERN VA! NUT UP OR SHUT UP TIME!!! “The Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam (babykiller), is planning on deploying the Virginia National Guard to seize weapons in 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties.”

The Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, was the Confederate Army’s largest fighting unit during the Civil War.

Asked why he shared the post and if he had any concerns about it being perceived as racist or supportive of white nationalism considering the image (Confederate flag), the date of the event (MLK day), and the post’s militia/Confederate Army language, Corporon provided a statement to the Colorado Times Recorder.

CORPORON: “I shared the post because I and my law firm (Law Offices of Randy B. Corporon PC, ) are presenting seminars on, writing about, and closely monitoring Colorado’s unconstitutional Red Flag Law. How the citizens of other states are responding to Red Flag is of great interest to me and to those who follow my legal, radio or social media information and commentary. “I have no concerns about ‘being perceived as racist or supportive of white nationalism’ because the original FB poster used a variation of a Confederate Flag as background for their post. I scoff at those who interpret a Facebook repost that way. I’m not racist. I’m white (is that wrong now?). And, I fully endorse the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page on Nationalism. If, by “white nationalist,” that’s what you mean, count me in. “I stand up (no kneeling!) for and honor the United States of America’s flag, in part because I revere American history, warts and all. Confederate flags are part of that history and I pay no attention to people who, for political reasons, are trying to erase or alter America’s history. We are the only nation, ever, that fought a deadly war with itself to eliminate the scourge of slavery, and I am proud of that. To back away from the hard parts of that history dishonors those who fought bravely and were injured or died as part of that arc of history. “I know nothing about the self-described “veteran-owned free speech community” that made the post and did not pay close attention to what you describe as “militia/Confederate Army” language in it. After now reading the post closely, I have no complaints about it. The event they are referencing (Virginia Citizens’ Defense League Lobby Day) apparently occurs annually on January 20th. If that’s true, then it’s a coincidence that this year it is also MLK Day. Also, apparently, the Virginia Legislature will be in session that day and available for lobbying on 2nd Amendment rights.”

 

Corporon also responded to questions about whether the Montrose GOP’s decision to remove the post, or the recent controversy involving a producer at his radio station KNUS being let go following accusations of being a white nationalist, affected him in any way.

 

“I am disappointed that the Montrose GOP thought it necessary to take down the post.” wrote Corporon. “Political correctness is an effective tool, sometimes a sword. Succumbing to it, if that’s what Montrose GOP did, is a weakness. Perhaps they didn’t do any of the analysis of the original post that I provided above. But I certainly don’t care what they do and it doesn’t impact what I do. Given that and my other comments above, you can imagine that ‘the controversy involving a KNUS producer’ likewise has no impact on my decisions and, no, I won’t take my repost down. But, thanks for asking!”

 

The video on the event page shared by Corporon calls for militias to gather January 20 at the Virginia state Capitol for a “show of force” in defense of the Second Amendment.

Organizer Philip Van Cleave, of the Virginia Civil Defense League has said he expects as many as 100,000 to attend. The Washington Post reports that anti-government extremist groups, such as the Oathkeepers and the “Three Percent Security Force” militia are planning to attend.

If Van Cleave’s estimates are even close to being accurate, this would be the largest gathering of militia groups in Virginia since the 2017 “Unite The Right” rally, which resulted in the murder of Heather Heyer by a white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

The Virginia event has generated so much online attention and misinformation that the Washington Post published a lengthy feature debunking many of the wilder falsehoods circulating on social media. Among them, that the Governor plans to cut the power and wifi to prevent gun activists from organizing, or that he’s already called on the National Guard for help, or even that United Nations troops are being deployed for “shock troop gun control.”

From the Washington Post:

Far-right websites and commenters are declaring that Virginia is the place to take a stand against what they see as a national trend of weakening gun rights… Virginia Civil Defense League [VCDL] president Philip Van Cleave said he is keeping lines of communication open so all sides are prepared. “Hopefully it’ll not be another Charlottesville,” Van Cleave said, blaming police and state planning for the violence that erupted during 2017’s Unite the Right rally around a Confederate statue. Counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people. Van Cleave has appealed to his supporters not to come bristling with intimidating long guns — including assault-style rifles such as the AR-15 — and politely suggested that militia members are welcome but do not need to provide security.

 


Rally Organizer Philip Van Cleave, of the Virginia Civil Defense League

Van Cleave is best known for his on-camera support of Sascha Baron Cohen’s satirical “Kinderguardians” program in which he proposed arming preschoolers and teaching them to shoot people with guns decorated as stuffed animal toys.

76 Shares

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DENependent says:

    Randy Corporon’s name sounds like the strawman bad guy in a liberal writer’s political novel. Thanks for making sane firearm owners look bad, Randy.

    P.S., glad you’re not worried about seeming racist because you seem pretty damn racist.

  2. Arvadonian1Arvadonian1 says:

    Geez, I hope Wal Mart stocked up on tiki torches for their little rally and cross burning.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    With Chuck & Julie, the neo-Nazi producer, and now this, KNUS seems to be developing a serious image problem. Yes, there will always be a percentage of the populace that will tune into stations like KNUS. But if I was an advertiser, I would not want my business's name associated with a station with programming like that of KNUS.

  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    "Does the @cologop stand by this overt racism and call to potentially-violent action?"

    Yes.
    Not called the Party of Hate® for nothing.

  5. MADCO says:

    " …(narrow and specific) definition of “white nationalism." )

    America is for white people.

    Not much narrower or specific to be.

    ps
    Stars & Bars is the losers’ flag.
    I get heritage an shit. But losers’?

     

     

  6. RHECcornbreadRHECcornbread says:

    Nothing like a flag to bring out the Snowflakes from their safespaces.So if the stars and bars is RACISTS so is the Stars and Stripes as it had Slaves under it far longer than the stars and bars which is a fact The Stars and Stripes is  also the KKK flag of choice Damn another fact. This is about the 2a not about a Damn flag that isn't going anywhere talk about lost causes people are RACISTS not flags.

    • Genghis says:

      Nothing like a flag to bring out the Snowflakes from their safespaces.

      True, but not for the reason you seem to believe. laugh

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      No…I must challenge your conclusion.

      People are bigots…flags are racist.

    • kwtreekwtree says:

      The Confederate Flag is a symbol of the Confederacy of Southern States, which seceded from the Union in order to maintain their practice of holding African American people in forced slavery. The Comfederacy lost the war. All the nostalgia about the "Southern Way of Life" is just longing for an economy based on exploitation of laborers for free.

      So of course the stars and bars is a racist symbol. 

    • DENependent says:

      It would be nice to live in a world where bygones could be bygone. That, like the English Civil War, the bitter hatred and massacres could be forgotten because the Puritan cause is dead and so is the belief in the divine right of monarchs (mostly). The thing is that even that more than 300 ago war can bring out quite loud and angry opinions if you bring up Cromwell in Ireland. Are Irish representatives wrong to take offense if shown into a room with a portrait of Cromwell on the wall? (Bertie Ahern in 1997 ref: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ahern-says-he-did-not-leave-cook-s-office-over-cromwell-1.893792 He did not walk out, but expressed his opinion of Cromwell in a “forthright reply”.)

      As with the troubles in Ireland, it is hard to let the past just be colorful history if the consequences are still happening now. Discrimination against Catholics in N. Ireland was legal right up to 1976 amoung other things.

      Likewise, I would love the Confederate battle flag to just be another bit of colorful heritage. But it is embraced by real racists TODAY. Some of my ancestors fought for the union and others for the rebels. I will never put a Confederate flag on anything and that flag needs to not be used until racism is really dead in America.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Puritan cause is not dead, at least the style of Puritan that settled in Massachusetts Bay colony. Where do you think our "beloved" Christian nationalists of today come from?

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          May I recommend to all an episodic story entitled, "Saints and Strangers"(Netflix, I think)?

          It is a very detailed and historically honest telling of the events surrounding the arrival of the Mayflower. The intolerance, hypocrisy, and cruelty we see in todays' Christian evangelism came on that boat. But so did human compassion, tolerance, and honor.

          Funny thing…they found all the same human characteristics they brought with them in the humans they found here. Just different legends.

        • DENependent says:

          There is a relationship between some of the Puritan beliefs and those of present day fundamentalists. There also are significant differences. Compared with Puritans, the hubris of fundamentalists in regard to their salvation is quite striking. Also the comparative lack of education of fundamentalists.

          A fun book about Puritan New England and what parts of their beliefs live on today is “The Wordy Shipmates” by Sarah Vowell.

    • MADCO says:

      Stars and strips is  racist. But, it is the flag of the USA

      The stars and bars was a battle flag that has come to represent the Confederacy.
      Confederacy = losers who tried to destroy the Union. Racist losers.

       

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        "Save your confederate money boys, the South is gonna rise again"….

        ….heard more times than I can remember in my youth. My dad joined the Klan in the early sixties. He quickly thought better of it and did not attend a second cross burning.

        I invite any engagement from any racist asshole who wants to re-educate me about racism. The stars and bars represent the rebellion against the United States based on the economic repercussions of the abolition of slavery. It did then and does to this day.

        In my opinion, the subject of our discussion is perhaps much more a symbol of racism today than it was then. What else now does that flag represent?

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account


You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.