The grave of William E. “Bear Bill” Harvey has been in Steamboat Springs Cemetery for nearly a century. After a recent discovery of his possible history as a Confederate States of America soldier during the Civil War, local veterans plan to place a Confederate flag on his grave during Memorial Day remembrances this week. The idea drew strong disapproval from the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Photo by John F. Russell

The grave of William E. “Bear Bill” Harvey has been in Steamboat Springs Cemetery for nearly a century. After a recent discovery of his possible history as a Confederate States of America soldier during the Civil War, local veterans plan to place a Confederate flag on his grave during Memorial Day remembrances this week. The idea drew strong disapproval from the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Veterans to post Confederate flag at Steamboat cemetery

The Memorial Day plan, intended to honor a veteran, draws rebuke

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Memorial Day events

■ Steamboat Springs

Thursday: Placing of flags on graves of military veterans at Steamboat Springs Cemetery, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: Army physical fitness test at 9:30 a.m. at Emerald Park. The event is free, but donations for the American Legion are accepted. The test is two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a 2-mile run. Event organizer Tina Kyprios said participants don’t have to complete all three portions. The test is meant to raise awareness for soldiers serving our country.

Monday: Coffee and doughnuts at 8 a.m. at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4264, 924 Lincoln Ave.; ceremony practice at 9 a.m. at Steamboat Springs Cemetery; shuttle service to cemetery begins at 10 a.m. at Stock Bridge Transit Center; Memorial Day ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at cemetery.

■ Hayden

Friday: Placing of flags at Hayden Cemetery, 6 p.m.

Monday: Memorial Day ceremony, 6 p.m. at Hayden Cemetery, with 21-gun salute, flag lowering and presentation for citizens; public reception and meal at the Benjamin J. Hofstetter American Legion Post 89, on Third Street in Hayden, after the ceremony

■ Yampa

Monday: Memorial Day ceremony, 11 a.m. at the Yampa Cemetery, with traditional bugling and reading of names of veterans buried at the cemetery.

— Local veterans plan to place a Confederate flag this week, for the first time, on the grave of a veteran buried at Steamboat Springs Cemetery.

Confederate States of America flags have been placed for years, and possibly decades, on the graves of two Civil War veterans buried at Hayden Cemetery. U.S. Air Force veteran and longtime Hayden resident Sam Haslem said that’s never caused friction, to his knowledge.

But the new decision by Steamboat Springs veterans — after the recent discovery of a soldier’s likely history — could, on the cusp of Memorial Day weekend, raise the local profile of an issue that long has sparked protests across the South and is grounded in the nation’s history of racial conflict and civil rights movements.

The story starts with a rancher.

William E. Harvey was born Feb. 4, 1839, and died Sept. 27, 1914. He rests on a downhill slope on the cemetery’s eastern side, in a beautiful spot that has a view of Steamboat Ski Area and is near numerous graves of people born in the 1800s. Harvey’s tombstone looks to have weathered the storms of nearly a century very well, belying its apparent age. But cemetery board member and veteran Jim Stanko, whose family plot is nearby, said that he remembers the stone from the early ’60s and that it likely dates to not long after Harvey’s death.

“I would bet that headstone is from somewhere in the ’20s,” Stanko said.

It bears a simple inscription: “Killed 56 bears in Routt County.”

Harvey was a rancher near Pleasant Valley and Sidney and, according to an obituary written shortly after his death, “one of the oldest and best-known pioneers of the Bear River Valley.” The obituary said that in his later years, Harvey lived alone in a small cabin on Missouri Avenue in Old Town Steamboat Springs.

He died of cancer-like symptoms in what was then the Steamboat sanitarium and now is Old Town Pub on Lincoln Avenue.

Little else about his past is known, including details of his history as a soldier. But a recent compilation of obituaries about local veterans turned up an article by Dave Combs that, quoting pioneer Clay Monson, said “Bear Bill was an ex-Confederate soldier, a bachelor, a storyteller, a rancher and most of all, a bear hunter.”

Combs could not be reached Tuesday.

Stanko and Harmon “Buck” Buckland, who served with the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War, told Routt County commissioners Monday that because of that article, they plan to place a Confederate flag — the crossed blue bars with stars inside — on Harvey’s grave Thursday.

“I think we might get some static over it,” Buckland acknowledged. “But he’s a veteran.”

Stanko said local Boy Scouts won’t be asked to place the flag Thursday, when Scouts will place U.S. flags on military veterans at the cemetery. Stanko said he and a couple of other adults plan to place the Confederate flag at Harvey’s grave afterward.

“He was a veteran, he fought, he was a soldier, and I think he needs to be recognized for doing that,” Stanko said about Harvey. “I hope it doesn’t cause anything. I hope people finally realize that here was a soldier that fought for a cause that he believed in, and he needs to be recognized for that stand.”

Rosemary Harris Lytle, president of the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said Tuesday that the flag’s local appearance is surprising.

“Although some people say that the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern heritage and of Southern culture and an embracing of that, … I and the Colorado Springs branch of the NAACP do not see it that way,” she said. “I would think that a progressive place like Colorado, and a place of such beauty like Steamboat Springs, would not want to deface itself with the ugliness of segregation and separatism as shown through that flag.”

Symbols and recognition

Harris Lytle said the Colorado Springs NAACP chapter is the largest and most active in its three-state region of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. There’s a newly reorganized NAACP unit in Denver, she said, but none on the Western Slope.

Coincidentally, she was traveling for personal reasons Tuesday in Montgomery, Ala., the first capital of the Confederacy and the site of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a social and civil rights protest in 1955.

Harris Lytle said she sent a letter Tuesday morning to the editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, the city’s newspaper, after noticing the prominence of what she called “the Rebel flag” — a red cross on a white background, which is Alabama’s state flag and reminiscent of the Confederate battle flag — throughout the newspaper.

Harris Lytle said that experience led her to research Tuesday on Confederate flags of all stripes, including the flag planned for a Steamboat grave.

“We see the Confederate flag as a symbol of the past that should stay in the past,” Harris Lytle said. “It’s a symbol of the past that stood for racism and has been used by violent, separatist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and other groups.”

She said the Aryan Nation, a white supremacist group, uses the Confederate flag as a symbol.

“I’ve never known the Confederate flag to be used as a good thing or as a thing of peace or of justice,” she said.

Stanko said Tuesday that cemeteries across the South decorate graves with Confederate flags.

“I just don’t see it as a big issue,” he said. “We just thought it was overdue that we recognize this guy as a soldier.”

Harvey’s obituary said he was born in Kentucky and, as a young man, drove bull teams across Texas and New Mexico. The obituary said he came to Routt County about 25 years before his death, which would be about 1890. But Stanko and Harris Lytle noted, in separate conversations, that much of Harvey’s personal background is uncertain.

“As a very patriotic person interested in history and the full history of this country, I embrace those who fought,” Harris Lytle said. “We don’t know that soldier’s real story. We don’t even know if in today’s world, that soldier or that soldier’s family would be accepting of the Confederate flag, or if they would see it as so many people do, as a sign of division instead of a sign of unity.”

She suggested a different honor could be bestowed in remembrance of Harvey’s service.

“I think a true honor for a soldier, no matter what war that soldier fought in, would be an American flag,” she said.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Scott Wedel 2 years, 11 months ago

Considering he died in 1914, he clearly died as an American, not as a confederate soldier. It also appears he was not some sort of ardent confederate soldier that clearly would have wanted to be recognized as a confederate soldier.

So, if his service is to be honored then it should be with an American flag.

The same logic of honoring a person's service by putting the flag under which they fought would suggest that someone whom immigrated, but had previously fought for their country, should be honored with the flag of their birth. Which also makes no sense for someone buried here.

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beentheredonethat 2 years, 11 months ago

what's next, white hoods? it is astounding how racism still thrives and goes to show that ignorance is easier to maintain than enlightenment is to achieve.

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John Fielding 2 years, 11 months ago

.

It seems from the article his great achievement and life's passion was bear hunting. That would be an appropriate commemoration.While I hold great respect for those who defend their nation, one's military service is not necessarily what one would wish to be honored for, often it was compelled against the soldiers wishes. Would we place a Nazi flag over the grave of a German immigrant who served his native country bravely in WW2?

.

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babette dickson 2 years, 11 months ago

Mr Stanko~ It would be very interesting to imagine an African-American Vietnam Vet soldier, such as my late husband, to be buried next to Mr Harvey and contemplate the symbolism you are about to create.... In fact my late husband was cremated, therefore his memory is all around us and I would be very offended, as a widow of a war hero, to witness such a "faux pas" under the name of "History"... As John F wrote, let's also place a Nazi flag on all German veterans of the 2nd WW... Your reasoning does not make sens. I sure hope you will reconsider your choice of flags before Monday. Thank you.

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Jon Quinn 2 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Stanko, your dedication to honoring those who have served our country is admirable; however please find a way to honor those who have served in a way that does not dishonor the values our bravest men and women fight for today. The only thing you can accomplish by using this very inappropriate image and symbolism is controversy and that certainly does not bring honor to Mr. Harvey.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 11 months ago

Hmm, since he was a bachelor then maybe that was just code for being gay and a gay rights group should put a rainbow flag on his grave.

Or maybe the living should respect the dead and not put anything on anyone's grave that is not clearly part of that person's wishes.

The man died 49 years after the Civil War and now 97 years after that then it is decided by people that did not know him to put a Confederate flag on his grave?

To be historically accurate, he probably fought more under the flag of his state, maybe Kentucky, than under the Confederate flag.

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1999 2 years, 11 months ago

You have no idea what Mr. Harvey fought for or against.

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sledneck 2 years, 11 months ago

beenthere, Yep, ignorance is easy. When you automatically assume that behind every Confederate flag stands an "unenlightened racist" you reveal your own.

If someone today says they are "gay" it does not mean what it did a century ago. For that reason we no longer use the word gay to mean happy. Likewise, the Confederate flag should probably not be placed on this mans grave. NOT because people are correct in their ignorant assumptions of the true meaning of that flag but rather because the argument that even now is beginning is an unbecomming way to honor the mans grave. Especially if we are unclear as to his wishes

How would you treat your wife if you knew she could NEVER leave you? Anyone who really wants to know what the Civil War was about can start by answering that Question, for that is the dilema that the Southern States faced in 1860.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 11 months ago

It seems that Mr. Stanko & Co. are making assumptions re: Mr. Harvey's wishes based on very nearly zero evidence.

I had a great uncle to whom I was very close, who served honorably in WW2. I was unaware of how honorably until after he died, and stumbled quite by accident upon his Silver Star and Purple Heart. Had he not been survived by my aunt, we might have been tempted to inter his remains at a Veteran's cemetery, with military honors to accompany the service. Fortunately, my aunt was here to set us straight.

Mr. Harvey has no such advocate to advise us in the here and now. The presumptions being made on his behalf seem a little like hubris, to me.

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rhys jones 2 years, 11 months ago

Just asking for trouble, if you ask me. He was a Reb for 2 years, and an American for 73 years. Why stir the pot now (no pun intended)? Or is someone advancing their own agenda? Smacks of racism to me, just what this ethnically-starved community needs.

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housepoor 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree with Sep, what makes anyone think they know Mr Harvey would be honored in by placing a confederate flag on his grave??

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sledneck 2 years, 11 months ago

Frankly, with all the knee-jerk racist comments, I would not be surprised if even a small Confederate emblem resulted in vandalism to the mans grave.

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Stewart Beall 2 years, 11 months ago

As a Vietnam Veteran, and a veteran of summer visit to Mississippi in the 1950s as a young boy, where I witnessed extreme residual Civil War bigotry against African Americans, I am not enthused about placing the flag of the Confederacy in our cemetery. I usually attend the Memorial Day remembrance at the cemetery. This year I will have to find other means to honor our Veterans, for I would feel anger and anguish with the introduction of the Flag of the Confederacy in the cemetery.

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow, the intolerance and bigotry by many of the commenters here is simply amazing. None of you seem to realize that Confederate Veterans are considered American Veterans by the US Government and the placing of a Confederate flag on his grave is as logical and fitting as would be the placing of a US flag. He served in the Confederate Armed Forces so a Confederate flag would be fitting.

How in the world can placing a flag on the grave of a Confederate Veteran smack of racism? Seems that may of you are simply intolerant to a small token of respect that is being considered by placing the Confederate flag on this grave.

I hope that they follow through with putting the flag on the grave, as I do for my great great grandfather every year. If anything goes awry, it will be because of intolerant people who claim they want diversity and understanding, when they themselves are not willing to give any to Americans who simply want to pay respects to a Confederate Veteran. Remember folks, don't stereotype.

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Really Stewart, pain and anguish? A Confederate flag marking the grave of another veteran? Remember, it is not the flag that does anything wrong, but the person misuing it. Hate groups also use the US flag. The US flag also flew on slave ships, flew when slavery was legal, flew when Indians were massacred and run off their land, flew when Japanese were put into camps, flew during Supreme Court approved Jim Crow.......does the sight of this flag also cause you anguish????

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Hiwaystar, the only people asking for trouble are those opposed to placing the flag. They certainly need not look at it or even consider the man who once served as a Confederate soldier. All the trouble on these posts and what may occur will certainly not come from any of the folks who support marking the grave of that man with a banner under which he served.

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

JohnFielding....I don't know, would you? I certainly would not and I am trying to figure out what comparison you are trying to make........

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Harris Lytle said “I’ve never known the Confederate flag to be used as a good thing or as a thing of peace or of justice,” she said.

Not used as a good thing huh? Marking the grave of a veteran that fought under it seems like a good thing to me, just like we mark the graves of other veterans with flags under which they served. Did you know that there is a Confederate section at Arlington and a very large monument to those men in that same cemetery??

As for your point about the flag being used by hate groups, please see my earlier post about the US flag. Where is your indignation toward Old Glory? Yes, the flag is a part of the past, but that does not mean that it cannot be used to honor those men who fought bravely underneath it.

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sledneck 2 years, 11 months ago

Forget it Charlie, You were right about these folks... when it comes to "diversity" they talk a good game but don't know how it is actually played. You are also correct that if there is any trouble it will come from intolerant people who wouldn't know what real freedom was if it smacked them in the mouth. Since I moved here from my hometown near Appomattox VA (where we actually know a little bit about the history of the Civil War) I have learned that people here think all racists come from south of the Mason-Dixon line and , in fact ONLY racists inhabit that region. Living there I heard it all from BOTH sides... like the black man who one day called the radio station to boldly proclaim that "math tests were racist". Forget it man, these folks DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.

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sledneck 2 years, 11 months ago

And Charlie, the reason they don't want to know is that is is easier for them to have some folks to look down upon. If us southern folk are all a bunch of "unenlightened hood-wearing racists" then they can be superior in their own estimation without bothering to educate themselves in the slightest way.

I have met racists in the south, proud traditionalists in the south, rednecks in the south and just plain idiots in the south. Most of them knew what they were. But here in Steamboat I have found the exact same people with one glaring exception... HERE they all think themselves incapable of any such characteristic.

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bandmama 2 years, 11 months ago

While it has been a long time since my last history lesson, I seem to remember that the Civil War was not just about race/slavery. Religious, social, economic reasons...and whatever else may have been present in the minds and souls of those living in those times. Regardless, if this man served then, by all means he should be recognized for his service. This is NOT about racism, It is about honoring someone who served and is being recognized as a veteran. It is shameful to dishonor this veteran or any other by being ignorant.

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PK Baldwin 2 years, 11 months ago

FYI: William E. Harvey was born in Kentucky and served in the 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, enlisted from Grant Co., Kentucky. He enlisted Aug. 6, 1861 to Mar 21, 1864. In 1880, he was still listed as living in Kentucky. By 1900, he is living in Routt Co., CO. His injuries, according to the 1890 Vet Schedule, he lost his left leg from a gunshot wound.

Many Civil War Veterans have Civil War Markers on their graves, both sides. Perhaps a similar 'marker' would be more appropriate, instead of the Confederate Flag.

From a Southerner....

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Rick Akin 2 years, 11 months ago

Bandmama is correct that there were several issues at play in the Civil War. Apparently, Mr. Harvey felt strongly enough about some or all of then that he was willing to be shot at over them. I don't understand the offense taken to the placement of the confederate flag on his grave or the automatic assumption that there is some kind of racist motivation. Buck Buckland does not have a racist bone in his body. Like most folks from the South, I had ancestors on both sides of the war. One great, great grandfather was a confederate officer. His grave is marked with a gravestone indicating his rank, company and "Confederate States Army." The gravestone was provided free by the U.S. Veterans Administration. I don't know of anyone who has ever taken offense at this marker, nor should they.

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Michael Wasiljov 2 years, 11 months ago

Flags are placed on Confederate Graves all of the time. We recently discovered the grave of my wife's Great, Great Grand-Father who served in the Stonewall Brigade in a small church cemetery here in Western Maryland. I had the stone repaired, a Southern Cross of Honor installed and I keep a Battle Flag on the grave. Here in Maryland no one cares, The SCV Color Guard marches in parades including the Memorial Day Parade in DC every year and they're a hit. The woman from the NAACP should do more research. Colorado has an Sons of Confederate Veterans, and United Daughters of the Confederacy Division, I'm sure she could see good uses of the Confederate Flag several times a year.

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WZ 2 years, 11 months ago

I think I've found my "in" to fly the Nazi flag in the Steamboat cemetery now! My great grandfather fought for the Germans in WWII and is buried up there. I should also add he was also born in the USA and has/had a US passport and citizenship. And he's not the only one with those credentials either. Thanks!

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks sledneck, bandmama and rakin for your excellent responses. As for pkbaldwin, the Southerner, you have an excellent idea there, but your comment "instead of the Confederate flag" exposes you as a Southern apologist, worse than yankees and skalawags who hate our heritage. It would be 100x more appropriate to fly the flag next to the Confederate (VA issued) headstone. It would then make more sense to people.

As for WZ, it is apparent he is being a smart alec. I would like to see him put that flag on his ancestor's grave.....and that is certainly not because I believe that it's a good idea...... As I told JohnFielding, I don't get the comparison......

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Mikedw, your comments are excellent as well! As a member in a deep South state that has to deal with intolerant bigots, both carpetbaggers and worse yet, scalawags alike, who hate my Ancestors, my hat's certainly off to SCV and UDC members in Colorado and other non-Soputhern states who defend the memory of our Ancestors in what sometimes has to be an even harsher atmosphere in today's politically correct atmosphere!

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JustSomeJoe 2 years, 11 months ago

"little is known" of Harvey, but someone is comfortable raising a confederate flag over his grave. Don't know his thoughts or much about his history, but "local veterans" are comfortable in their assumptions. How could they be wrong?

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 11 months ago

If a Confederate flag had been placed on his grave for years then it would be no problem because it would be a tradition. But to start using it now brings up comparisons to other recent users of the Confederate flag which has too many recent links to racist purposes to be simply ignored.

If veterans of the Civil War are recognized as veterans of the United States then there should be no problems flying the American flag. If there is a desire to recognize regionalism then fly the Kentucky flag. He would have fought under the Kentucky flag. Or fly the Kentucky flag (which he fought under), and the Confederate flag (as Kentucky was part of the Confederacy) and the US flag (as the Confederacy became part of the US).

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MrTaiChi 2 years, 11 months ago

Just a couple of points of information: Scott, apparently you are a better scientist than a historian. Kentucky remained a neutral state throughout the war, or at least never seceded. I'm also surprised that no one noted that the flag in issue isn't the Confederate States flag, but the Confederate battle flag, reflecting the cross of St. Andrew, the flag of Scotland, the ancestral homeland of many inland southerners.

The Confederate battle flag has become a symbol. What it symbolizes depends on the eye of the beholder, evidenced by the above comments, stubborn free will, racism, pride in heritage. Remember that when Bush the first ran for office, the expression, "law and order" became code words of the left for racism.

I enjoyed the Ken Burns Civil War series on PBS for a lot of reasons, particularly enjoying the film footage of the elderly veterans encamped at Gettysburg who stood in thier old uniforms, bearded mostly, across a stone wall from each other, reaching across and shaking hands with their one time adversaries. Like this veteran, they probably knew that causes for war come and go, but the brotherhood of battle creates feelings that for them were transcending of all of that.

Almost all of the above points are valid from their narrow viewpoint, but as that great American, Rodney King, said, "Can't we all just get along?" This veteran may hav harbored feelings suggested by SEP that we can't know, but it is reasonable to believe that he was loyal to his brothers in battle. If some want to place the Stars and Bars on his grave just to memorialize that and they say that is the purpose, then back off and put it in the calss of small things not to get excited about.

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1999 2 years, 11 months ago

charlieEL it really has nothing to do with Political correctness...it has to do with flying a flag for a man that you know nothing about.

and yes...you may want to ignore it...but the confederate flag has negative connotations for many people.

the fact is...it's not your place to place anything but an american flag at his grave.

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Sorry 1999, but it does have to do with political correctness in that people want to deny history and heritage in a vain attempt to not offend someone. Nothing says we are guaranteed the right to not be offended. You are right, I know nothing of this man, but that he was a Confederate Veteran and as is protocol when honoring the service of a veteran on memorial day, the placing of a flag under which he served his country is appropriate. Except that I know he is my 3rd Great Grandfather and he was a Confederate Veteran, I know nothing else of my great grandfather, yet I tend his grave, that has a Confederate headstone and place a Confederate flag there every Confederate Memorial Day, along with countless other veterans in cemeteries all around the area where I live.

As for negative connotations, of course they exist and are perpetuated by people like you who would rather allow your minds be made up by racists than by legitimate people who simply use the flag in historical and memorialization contexts. I know all about haters who use the flag and have confronted them for their misuse of the Confederate flag. For the negative connotations to which you refer, they also can apply to the US. Please see my earlier posts in regards to this matter.

Not my place huh? I am a veteran and am also the great grandson of a Confederate Veteran. As such, I am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and as there are no Confederate Veterans around to take care of and place Confederate flags on the graves of those brave men, then I certainly have the right to place flags on their graves. And you may allow haters to interpret the meaning of the Confederate flag for you, but the Sons are and should be the only ones allowed to interpret the symbolism of that banner and it certainly does not stand for hate or racism.

You say the only flag placed on the grave should be an American Flag? I guess you are referring to the US flag. You must be more specific. The Confederate flag is an American (Confederate States of AMERICA) flag just as Confederate Veterans are considered American Veterans.

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1999 2 years, 11 months ago

the confederate flag doesn't bother me in the least. It's a symbol. But it does bother a lot of people who have been victimized by people who flew that flag.

I think your motives are clear...it's all about you.

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

And Scott, you certainly have a valid point that a US flag could be placed at a Confederate Veterans grave because they are considered American veterans, however, there is nothing wrong or inapproprate about placing the Confederate flag, which is also considered an American flag, on his grave and all this fuss is certainly unnecessary. In many a Confederate Veterans Reunion photo, these men proudly carried that battleflag and displayed it.

In any event, you are making this much more complicated than it has to be with talk of regionalism, etc, etc. Many regiments fought with state flags to denote their units, but many more fought under either the national flag of the Confederacy (earlier in the war) or, more commonly, the flag with the St Andrew's Cross and because this was a battle flag and the banner which led them into battle, it is the most appropriate.

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CharlieEL 2 years, 11 months ago

Not sure how anything I said is meant to put the focal point on me. It's all about the veterans and remembering them on memorial day, without all of the PC hype and attempts to erase history and the memory of the Confederate Veteran.

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JJ Southard 2 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, the confederate flag is under by racist bigots as a symbol of slavery. It was the American Flag in slavery days. Meaning we should be more ashamed of the slavery days and the flag SHOULD be a symbol of it's abolishment. Unfortunately, idiot Americans once again jacked up a good thing. It's not your fault Mr. Stanko and your intentions are good. But, symbols are symbols and the confederate flag is synonymous with white hoods and the KKK...and that sucks. Your ancestors and mine deserve more respect than that.... Colonel Custer is in my family tree...wonder what he thinks?

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Jeff Kibler 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's an interesting list of slave owners, including 12 U.S. Presidents (notably Grant).

http://www.nndb.com/lists/419/000107098/

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mavis 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow... let the man be honored and let the confederates be honored as well. How many of you that are flipping out about this actually support the troops, have family currently in the military or attend the services on Memorial Day at the cemetary??? Quite frankly the whinning going on about this shows a complete lack of knowledge of our nation's history.

Stemboat people really are too grumpy these days and I hope the sun shines bright on Memorial Day so the Vets can be celebrated and honored with the dignity they deserve regardless of where they fought and what they "did" serving our country.

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John Fielding 2 years, 11 months ago

.

I wish I had not used the German veteran analogy because of some possible
mistaken notion I was comparing the Nazis with the Confederacy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me substitute French, or Greek,or maybe Chinese veteran of WW2, some one of our allies.

My point was only that we do not routinely decorate graves of soldiers from other nations, as far as I know. My impression was that the soldiers of the Confederacy thought of themselves as members of a new sovereign nation, recently separated from the United States.

I do realize that Abraham Lincoln never accepted that premise, and treated them as never having left the union,but only having had a conflict with the government. I am pleased to learn his view is accepted by the Veterans administration in commemoration of their service.

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murphysmom 2 years, 11 months ago

This should put an end to the question of what flag to place on Mr. Harvey's grave:

William Edward Harvey b. 04 Feb 1839 in Madison County, Kentucky, USA. He was the 6th child of 13 born to William Harvey b. 10 Oct 1808 Richmond, Madison, KY; d. 17 Mar 1885 Meadville, Linn, MO; and Martha Patience Gates b. 10 Mar 1809 near Richmond and the James River, Chesterfield Co., Virginia.; d. 20 Sep 1873 Meadville, Linn, MO. William and Martha were married 15 Oct 1829 in Madison Co., KY.

Siblings of William Edward Harvey were: James Epps Harvey 1830-1902, Nancy Jane Harvey 1832-1908, Cynthia Patience Harvey 1834-1907, Rebecca Ann Gates Harvey 1835-1870, Susan Margaret "Meg" Harvey 1832-1925, Martha Mildred Harvey 1841- 1913, Mary Ellen Harvey 1842 -1901, George Andrew Harvey 1845-1933, Bernetta "Betty" Harvey 1847-1886, Sarah Catherine Harvey 1849-1866, Elizabeth Norris Harvey 1851- 1937, and a baby girl Harvey b. 1853-1853.

He was a Union Soldier, mustering in as a Corporal, and mustering out as a Private. He was never married. There are at least 4 trees on ancestry.com that feature this William Edward Harvey.

As verification; the obituary for William E. Harvey states that he had a nephew; L.O. Harvey of Texas.

L.O. was Louis Owen Harvey b. 1869 Meadville, Linn, MO, d. 1921 Dallas, Dallas, TX. "L.O." was the son of William's brother, George Andrew Harvey and his wife Cornelia Josephine Jacques. This relationship verifies that this is without a doubt the right family for the William Edward Harvey in this article.

Copy of Military Record:

Name: William E. Harvey Side: Union Regiment State/Origin: Kentucky Regiment Name: 2 Kentucky Cavalry Regiment Name Expanded: 2nd Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry Company: A Rank In: Corporal Rank In Expanded: Corporal Rank Out: Private Rank Out Expanded: Private Film Number: M386 roll 12

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cheesehead 2 years, 11 months ago

The whole Confederate flag thing is always going to be an issue. People on the left look at the Confederate flag the way people on the right look at the "ground zero mousque". Its all symbolism that has different meanings to different people. I'm pretty sure the two sides will never agree.

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