Georgetown Historical Society Releases Statement About Confederate Flag Display; Sussex Co. Council to Discuss Recent Grant

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The Marvel Museum in Georgetown is caught up in a controversy over an infrastructure grant that was approved by Sussex County Council.
The Georgetown Historical Society’s board of directors has released a statement detailing the background for the installation of a memorial to 100 Delawareans who supported or enlisted in Southern armies during the Civil War. The memorial, dedicated in 2007, includes the Confederate Battle Flag that flies from a 25-foot flagpole.
The Georgetown Historical Society said it plans to continue to keep its word to SCV Delaware Grays concerning the organization’s choice of flags to decorate the memorial.

The Georgetown Historical Society statement follows:

As our name confirms, for decades our members and volunteers have been actively engaged in our
beloved community to further, present and honor its history, without fear or favor, and remain dedicated
to educate in that history with fidelity and truth. Consistent with our mission, on or about 2005 we
issued a mutual invitation to both representatives of Delaware Union and Confederate veterans to erect a
monument honoring each of those Delawareans who demonstrated valor in battle toward the ultimate
sacrifice that shaped our history in the late War Between The States prosecuted between 1861-1865.

The Union representatives declined our invitation which continues, while the SCV acceptance led to
their significant investment in treasure, research, and time ongoing, leading to the erection of a 9’ obelisk
memorializing over 100 Delawareans who supported or enlisted in Southern armies, including General
Leonidas Polk and Delaware Governor William Henry Harrison Ross. The unveiling ceremony was held on
May 12, 2007, including the memorial obelisk flanked by 25’ flag poles punctuated on each side,
featuring both the Delaware flag and the Confederate Battle Flag-also inscribed upon the obelisk, featuring a 14th star for Delaware. The event included joint proclamations from Georgetown
Mayor Mike Wyatt and DE Governor Ruth Ann Minner, both in attendance, who declared May 12-18
as “Confederate History And Heritage Week”, covering both the Town and entire State Of
Delaware. Also in attendance was noted Southern patriot H.K. Edgerton, who led the gathered crowd
of 300 in singing “Dixie”; performed his rendition of “I am their Flag”; and spoke passionately about the
need to preserve Southern history.

While there are monuments honoring those who joined the Federal armies at Getteysburg and
Sharpsburg, no memorial to Delaware’s Confederate history exists in their struggle seeking independence,
other than ours. Memorials of accuracy in history don’t always generate universal acceptance or
endorsement. Our Society appropriately gave its word of binding commitment to SCV, allowing them
to exclusively select the flags to be evidenced as part of their memorial in perpetuity, upon which promise
they have justifiably and materially relied continuously since. We note that both GHS and SCV
have and continue to regard the institution of slavery as a moral and political evil for all time, as Gen.
Robert E. Lee consistently maintained in his public pronouncements and private correspondence.

The GHS intends to keep its word to SCV, particularly on the choice of flags to adorn the Memorial, and call on all citizens of good character and good faith to commit to the environment of unity, pluralism, and
tolerance demonstrated at the unveiling on May 12, 2007, allowing those who chose to honor their dead
to do so with respect for their election, all in furtherance of the advancement of education and
history that defines the noble object of GHS.

Councilman Mark Schaeffer plans to start a discussion at Tuesday’s Sussex County Council meeting on the possibility of the county asking for a recent grant of $2,000 to be returned. Schaeffer stated two weeks ago that he approved the grant at an earlier meeting ago without any knowledge that the Marvel Museum allowed the Confederate Battle Flag to be flown at the site. Councilman John Rieley said the grant was specifically for an air-conditioning project at the museum and had nothing to do with the flag or monument in question.

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