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Arkansas Flag

Arkansas Division
Robert A. Edwards, Commander

 

Greetings from the Arkansas Division. It is an honor to serve as commander of the Arkansas Division and bring you this report. We have been busy the past twelve months and have had a very eventful Spring. The good news is all is well in the Arkansas Division and we are still experiencing growth. Our camps continued to utilize the opportunities to purchase Historic Markers through the State of Arkansas' Sesquicentennial Commission and our camps have placed several historic markers during the past year. Sadly, December 31, 2015 ended the Arkansas Sesquicentennial Marker program.

The Division has had good participation in our many memorial services such as the David O. Dodd Memorial in Little Rock's Historic Mount Holly Cemetery; General Patrick R. Cleburne Memorial in Confederate Cemetery in Helena; Confederate Flag and Heritage Day at the Arkansas State Capitol, the 2016 Arkansas Division Reunion and the National Confederate Flag Day rallies around our state.

For National Flag Day, on March 5, 2016 the D.E.C. elected to hold five events in Arkansas instead of one centralize event. Since we already had the Cleburne Memorial service scheduled for March 19th in Helena; and the Arkansas Heritage Day/Confederate Flag Day scheduled for the next weekend, March 26th, at the State Capitol; we elected (at our January 2016 D.E.C.) to hold separate events in each brigade around the state. A third centralized event was determined to be too much for our compatriots. So we held five separate events. Two were in NW Arkansas (Prairie Grove State Park and Pea Ridge National Military Park), one in Northeast Arkansas at Jacksonport State Park, one in South Arkansas and one in Central Arkansas at the Confederate monument in Hot Springs. The brigade commanders gave glowing reports of their events. Flags were everywhere in the state of Arkansas. One 16 year old prospect (son of one of our members) joined with the NW brigade at Pea Ridge. Yes, Pea Ridge NATIONAL Park and he talked with the park manager. When he told the park manager that he was president of a Civil War club at his high school and they had over 200 members he was asked to repeat himself. Yes, sir, since I was elected president we have grown from less than 50 to over 200 members. The student/prospect Ben Springer was given an award at the Division Reunion for Advancing the Colors.

This year is an election year for State Offices and the State Legislature. We have been interviewing candidates for state offices and in particular State Representative. We have encouraged all compatriots to go to these political rallies and find out how the candidates feel about Southern heritage and what the candidate's thoughts on our confederate symbols are. We also met with members of the Governor's staff to have discussions about the retention of Robert E. Lee's birthday as a state holiday. The talks were good and that subject did not appear in the recent special session of the state legislature.

The 2016 Reunion was held April 8-9 at the Convention Center in Harrison, Arkansas and was well-attended by camp members and their wives, from around the state. It was a good meeting and a majority of our camps were in attendance. Officers were elected to serve for the next two years and were: Commander, Robert A. Edwards; 1st Lt. Commander, A.c. 'Trip' Wilson; 2nd Lt. Commander, Michael Damon Hudson; Adjutant, Johnny Lee McKenzie. Brigade commanders were also elected during the convention.

The Arkansas Division has established a Guardian program for our compatriots. Modeled after the National program, we have established a set of guidelines, a certificate, lapel pin and medal for SCV compatriots, accepted into the Arkansas Division Guardian program. Anyone interested in becoming a Guardian should contact the program chairman, Wayne R. Fuller.

We look forward to a prosperous year ahead and look forward to the coming events for the Arkansas Division.

Robert A. Edwards, Commander
Arkansas Division