A group dedicated to restoring the Confederate flag to sites around Virginia has enlisted a drone to help its cause.
“The Va Flaggers debuted a new weapon in our arsenal over the weekend,” the group announced in a Facebook post yesterday. “Further testing and fine-tuning will take place over the coming days and weeks, but we are excited about the prospects, to say the least.”
The drone was flown over Hollywood Cemetery, where it captured images of the top of a pyramid-shaped Confederate monument.
Group leader Susan Hathaway said in an email that the drone testing is being done in “to assist in our heritage defense efforts.”
Hathaway says that includes recording Confederate memorial services, protests and other events. It will also be used to scout locations for new flags to put up – the group has put up two giant Confederate flags along Interstate 95 since September 2013. It also pickets the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in efforts to restore such flags to the Confederate Memorial Chapel on the grounds.
Hathaway did not say directly whether the group had received permission from Hollywood Cemetery to fly the drone, but that management raised no issues. She says operators are being trained in safely operating the equipment.
“Our people put in a lot of volunteer hours at Hollywood,” Hathaway says, “and we have a good relationship with management.”
Hollywood Cemetery officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.