Mark Dayton has some tough talk for Virginia and those damn Confederates

VABattleFlag.jpg
Minnesota Historical Society
This flag, currently on display in St. Paul, ain't going anywhere, Dayton said.
During yesterday's Capitol sendoff for a group of Minnesota Civil War reenactors who are headed to Pennsylvania to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, Governor Mark Dayton said it would basically take another civil war for Virginia to reclaim a Confederate flag that was seized by Minnesota soldiers during the 1863 battle.

SEE ALSO: Conservatives upset Mark Dayton missed speech for birth of first grandchild

The Virginia 28th's blood-stained, bullet-pierced flag is currently on display at the Minnesota History Center, but some Virginians, including Governor Bob McDonnell, want it returned to its state of origin.

Though most surrendered or captured Civil War battle flags were returned to their original states early in the 20th century, the Virginia 28th's remained in Minnesota. But "[t]he Virginia Historical Society asked for the flag back in the early 1960s, and a group of Civil War re-enactors from that state threatened to sue to get the flag back in 1998," MPR reports. Recently, Virginia Governor McDonnell asked Minnesota officials to "loan" the flag back to his state for a period of time.

But yesterday, Dayton said the flag will stay in St. Paul as long as he's living in the governor's mansion.

"The third day of Gettysburg, the 47 Minnesotans that survived the day before, rejoined the battle and that was the day that they captured the flag of the regiment of Virginia... which resides in the Minnesota Historical Society to this day," Dayton said. "The governor of Virginia earlier this year requested that the flag be loaned, quote, unquote, to Virginia to commemorate -- it doesn't quite strike me as something they would want to commemorate, but we declined that invitation."

"It was taken in a battle at the cost of the blood of all these Minnesotans," Dayton continued. "And I think it would be a sacrilege to return it to them. It was something that was earned through the incredible courage and valor men who gave their lives and risked their lived to obtain it. And as far as I'm concerned, it's a closed subject."

Later on, retired Mankato teacher and Civil War reenactor Arn Kind told reporters that if Virginia is going to bellyache about their lost flag, then Minnesota should hound Texas for a 3rd Minnesota flag that was surrendered in Tennessee.

"The last I heard that [flag] belongs to a Texas ranger, but you don't hear us crying about it," Kind said.

With reenactors like that, let's the Gettysburg commemoration doesn't spark some sort of Red State-Blue State conflagration!

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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15 comments
raptorman622001
raptorman622001

I agree that the flag should be returned to Virginia.

I would also agree that any remaining captured Yankee battle flags should be returned to the Northern States as well.
For those who whine so much about us being "one nation under one flag" they sure don't seem to care too much about the national colors they revere so much....of course that fact alone proves the moral bankruptcy of that particular slogan.

fauxbo
fauxbo

This is awesome.  F**k off Virginia.  And Texas, we're watching you.

Kent Klinger
Kent Klinger

Dayton is an expert at waving a White Flag. 911 he was hiding under his desk and packing his bags.

Andrew Nelson
Andrew Nelson

Have to agree with David, only we still shouldn't give it back even then! That flag honors the service and sacrifice of Minnesotans, and the memory of the Medal of Honor winner who captured it.

Rickardo Ehman
Rickardo Ehman

Finally! Something I can agree with the governor about. Hey Virginia, if you want it, come and get it. Bring a lunch.

Shawn Kuiper
Shawn Kuiper

Hold the phone here these men gave there blood, sweat, tears and lives in this battle go tell them or there living family members your going to give back the flag they earned in battle, and why is anyone assuming we are unable to care for it properly after all we have already cared for it over 100 yrs -

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

So...slow news day then...? Nothing else happening in the world? Or in the country?

Mike Worcester
Mike Worcester

Oh seriously people, are we back to this again? Let's be honest. The flag is from Virginia, not Minnesota. Does it look like a Minnesota regimental flag? Nope. But unless there is a museum in that state which wants *and* can properly care for this artifact, it should stay here. But please, can we stop fighting the war? It makes us all look churlish!

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

If the governor of Virginia is willing to stand up in public and admit that the Civil War was about slavery, that the Confederacy was treason, that states' rights has never been anything but code for state-sponsored racism, and that the South got its collective ass kicked because they had it coming...then and only then we should consider returning the flag of losers back to them.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is easily the most corrupt politician in the entire country.  Governor McDonnell has received over $100,000 in gifts from the CEO of a health supplements company that is facing legal troubles in Virginia.  Bob McDonnell is awful.  

CF_MN
CF_MN

In case anyone doesn't know the story, from Wikipedia's article on the 1st Minnesota charge at Gettysburg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Minnesota_Volunteer_Infantry):

"During the charge, 215 members of the 262 men who were present at the time became casualties in five minutes, including the regimental commander, Col William Covell and all but three of his regimental Captains.

The unit's flag fell five times and rose again each time. The 47 survivors rallied back to General Hancock under the senior surviving officer, Captain Nathan S. Messick. The 83.1 percent casualty rate stands to this day as the largest loss by any surviving military unit in U.S. history during a single day's engagement. The unit's flag is now in the Minnesota Capitol's rotunda."

After this charge, 1st Minnesota was combined with another company and were in the few ranks which Picketts charge broke through and had to once again:

"Rebounding from the horrendous casualties of the previous day, the 47 survivors were reinforced by detached Company F, and the reunited regiment was moved slightly northward on Cemetery Ridge. Destiny placed the remaining Minnesotans at one of the few places where Union lines were breached during Pickett's Charge and required them to charge advancing Confederate troops once again...

During the desperate and chaotic fighting, Private Marshall Sherman of Company C captured the colors of the 28th Virgina Infantry and received the Medal of Honor for this exploit."

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Kent Klinger On 9/11 Kent Klinger was doing the same thing he does every day, attempting to remove his head from his anus where it had gotten stuck somehow.  Keep up the good fight Kent.

Onan
Onan

@Kent Klinger  - What you have posted is compelling and very insightful, he actually wasn't "hiding under his desk and packing his bags"  on 9/11 as you state.

What IS true is that you are an utter tool.

greyrep
greyrep

@David Gustafson You, sir, are a consummate ass.

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