The salient parts -- the accounts of the incident for comparison -- are in boldface.
The SCV's statement.
The Stonewall Brigade, Sons of Confederate Veterans #1296
Lexington, VA ~ July 28, 2014
The Stonewall Brigade calls upon the President of Washington & Lee University to apologize for the university's mistreatment of a 15 year old boy this past weekend.
The boy had attended the rally hosted by the SCV and gave the following account of his mistreatment in his own words: [photo attached]
"Since it was my first time in Lexington I wanted to see the Lee Chapel and the grave of Lee's horse Traveller. As I began to head for the Lee Chapel, a [campus] Police Officer stopped me and said that I could not enter the campus property with my Battle Flag or any images of Confederate Flags on any of my possessions including my clothing. I really wanted to pay my respects to General Lee and Traveller so I had to turn my shirt inside-out, take off my hat, and take off my badge."
We have to wonder if this is the sort of reception that the thousands of visitors to Lexington and Lee Chapel can expect to receive in the future. The majority of these visitors are Civil War history enthusiasts and many can be expected to wearing items with flags or other images related to the Confederacy. We were even told that individuals bearing the likeness of Robert E. Lee were told they had to be removed before entering the Washington & Lee campus.
W&L went so far in their overreaction towards participants, that they improperly blocked the main access road to VMI thus making it nearly impossible for visitors to the VMI Museum, George C. Marshall Museum, and VMI Post to find their way onto that campus.
We ask Washington and Lee to issue this apology and abide by their own Mission Statement and not obstruct freedom of expression and thought and respect the viewpoints of others.
“Washington and Lee University provides a liberal arts education that develops students' capacity to think freely, critically, and humanely and to conduct themselves with honor, integrity, and civility. Graduates will be prepared for life-long learning, personal achievement, responsible leadership, service to others, and engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society.”
We do however have to question the president's commitment to freedom of expression as he made the following statement in his July 8 address: “As a private university, we are not bound by the same legal and constitutional First Amendment constraints as public institutions.” Does this statement represent the best of academic freedom in America today? We do not think so. Therefore, we ask members of the public, donors to the university, and alumni to demand that freedom of expression be honored by the Washington and Lee administration and that an apology be quickly given to the young man who was treated with such indignity by the university.
For further information contact:
Statement from Washington and Lee University released to the media:
According to our Office of Public Safety, our officers reported four occasions when they interacted with individuals who were participating in the July 26 rally sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in downtown Lexington.
The officers characterized all of these interactions as respectful. They did not record names or ages of any of the individuals.
In each instance, the officers requested individuals not to carry Confederate flags or to wear attire with Confederate emblems on the campus. The individuals all complied with these requests.
The University chose to take these extraordinary steps — and the equally extraordinary step of closing Lee Chapel for the weekend — to avoid potential incidents. The decision to implement these procedures was based on the extreme nature of many communications that we received in the days leading up to the event.
Our primary concern will always be for the safety and security of our campus community and all its members, including the many visitors that we have throughout the year. At the same time, we have been clear that we will not allow outside groups to use the campus as a platform.
Given the tenor of the communications and without knowing what we might expect on Saturday, we had no choice but to employ these measures that day. We appreciate the manner in which our public safety officers performed their duties and the polite cooperation of those with whom they interacted. We hope that this will not be necessary in the future. We will continue to take whatever steps we think are prudent in order to keep the community and our facilities safe.
A longer version written by the young man who experienced the restrictions, as reported on the Virginia Flaggers' blog:
"We started off the day flagging in front of Washington and Lee. We flagged for 20 minutes or so until a friend and I decided to go see VMI.
On the way to VMI , we got many honks, waves, and signs of support for the Battle Flags we were carrying. We got to VMI and walked all around the campus until we found the statue of "Stonewall" Jackson. We took a picture of me in front of Jackson with my Battle Flag.
We left VMI and went to the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. There I got to visit the General and talk to a nice family from Pennsylvania. I told them about the history of the Battle Flag and Washington and Lee's decision to remove the flags from the Lee Chapel. They were very understanding and nice.
After I visited Stonewall we went to the SCV rally in Hopkins Green Park. There I had conversations with Wayne Jones and Rev Herman White.
We left the rally early to go back to flagging in front of Washington and Lee. Since it was my first time in Lexington I wanted to see the Lee Chapel and the grave of Lee's horse Traveller. As I began to head for the Lee Chapel, a Police Officer stopped me and said that I could not enter the campus property with my Battle Flag or any images of Confederate Flags on any of my possessions including my clothing. I really wanted to pay my respects to General Lee and Traveller so I had to turn my shirt inside-out, take off my hat, and take off my badge.
When I finally arrived to the Chapel there was a sign on the front door saying that the Lee Chapel was closed for the weekend. I took a picture of the Lee Chapel and then went to see Traveller. I was glad to see that I had access to the grave of Traveller.
I talked to 3 different couples while I was on the campus and they were all very supportive. I told each couple why I was there and why my shirt was inside-out.
When I got off of the campus and back on to the sidewalk I flagged for the rest of the day. At least 2 out of every 3 cars would wave, honk, or salute us. One man who was walking down the sidewalk gave me a "Confederate fist-bump" to show his support for the Flaggers.
We had two interesting conversations while we were on our way to the car. The first was with a family from the great state of Missouri. They were very supporting of our efforts and were against the removal of the flags that were in the Lee Chapel. The second was a reporter who asked why I was out there, my name, and if I was related to any Confederate soldiers. He took my picture with my Battle Flag and said that I should be in the paper tomorrow!
We talked to the owner of a local ice cream shop. At the end of there conversation the owner gave us free Ice Cream to show his support for our efforts."