Monday, April 9, 2001
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

The Sons of Confederate Veterans grumbled when Gov. Jim Gilmore "turned his back" on the state's Confederate History Month proclamation.

The group wanted revenge, and leader Henry Kidd was willing to fork over $7,000 of its money to get back at the governor.

Tomorrow in The Times-Dispatch, a full-page, in-your-face advertisement taken out by the Sons of Confederate Veterans outlines what Kidd calls the "true history of the South." Penned by Kidd himself, the ad - released early to The Times-Dispatch news staff - proclaims April as Confederate History and Heritage Month "from this day forward to eternity."

"We are sending a message loud and clear to Governor Gilmore that he has turned his back on people who have Southern heritage," said Kidd, Virginia division commander for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "He has turned his back on people of Southern heritage, and we fully reject his proclamation."

Lila White, Gilmore's press secretary, said the governor has been "very respectful" of the views of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

"He believes very strongly in the proclamation that he wrote and that it's time for all Virginians to pull together," she said.

Last month, Gilmore scrapped his controversial Confederate History Month proclamation from last spring and opted for a more neutral one called "In Remembrance of the Sacrifices and Honor of All Virginians Who Served in the Civil War."

The original proclamation was more complimentary in its description of the Confederacy. The NAACP threatened to boycott the state's tourism industry. Gilmore met with representatives several times last year to discuss rewriting the proclamation.

NAACP Executive Director King Salim Khalfani praised Gilmore on the rewritten state proclamation. Khalfani could not be reached for comment about the Sons of Confederate Veterans advertisement.

Tomorrow's advertisement consists mainly of the text of the Sons of Confederate Veterans proclamation. At the bottom of the page are two Confederate battle flags, and behind the words is a Confederate color bearer, sketched by Kidd.

READ the text of the Virginia Division SCV proclamation

"This is the way most of us in Virginia feel about our ancestors. We are honoring men who were warriors and shed their blood for Virginia," Kidd said. "The Sons of Confederate Veterans have always acted like Southern gentlemen. We take the high road and tell the truth about our ancestors."

READ a related story from The Washington Times

Return to Virginia Division Archives