An anonymous group of LSU fanatics somehow enhanced Robert E. Lee’s former column into a Tiger-centric display for the National Championship, and the Louisiana media and New Orleans’ city government gaffed it worse than Clemson’s performance in the title game.
On the morning of Monday, January 13th, the 60 foot Lee column had the added flair of flags and banners hanging from rods underneath the base from which Lee stood from 1884 until 2017. New Orleans firefighters removed the bronze sculpture of Lee from its monument in May of 2017 under the absurd direction of former-mayor-permanent-loser Mitch Landrieu. Lee’s column, base, and mound remain at the center of Lee Circle on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.
The American Flag extended from one side, an LSU flag extended from the opposite. Two-sided banners appeared painted by a talented artist in purple and gold and individually featured Heisman quarterback Joe Burrow, Mike the Tiger, the words “Honk If You Believe in LSU,” and Louisiana native Coach Ed Orgeron. Two black and gold banners for the New Orleans Saints protruded at raised angles.
The Advocate covered the display saying Lee Circle had been “transformed into LSU Circle.” The article wasted no time in proving The Advocate’s status as Louisiana Fake News when Doug MacCash wrote, “The statue of Lee, a high-profile symbol of the city’s historic ties to slavery…” This was an irresponsible, unfounded-yet-unsurprising description. The nationally recognized monument is in no way, shape, or form connected to or symbolic of New Orleans’ “historic ties to slavery.” That’s complete fake news.
Indisputable is the fact that 12,000 Louisiana men who fought against an invading federal army did so under the command of General Robert E. Lee. The Louisiana Tigers were fearless, wild, and fierce warriors. In 1896 LSU selected “Tigers” as the official school mascot so the school’s teams would embody the fighting tiger spirit and carry on the reputation earned on the battlefield into competitive sports.
This well documented and widely known piece of information was completely missed by a hack at Louisiana’s largest newspaper—or intentionally ignored by the staff at the news source. Instead, MacCash, who probably has never read a book on Lee, the Louisiana Tigers, or LSU history made not a mention of Lee’s Tigers. The Advocate either doesn’t know this or chose to ignore it, both options are pathetic and sad.
The LSU display at Lee Circle may be the most fitting historical connection in Louisiana. Well done to the anonymous monument climbers, but one of those banners should have rightly read: “Lee’s Tigers.” Then again, some cry baby on social media or Mitch or New Yorker Winton Marsalis probably would consider that controversial and the people who did it would be labeled with the overused exaggeration, “literally Hitler.” Plus that would have provided a reason for mayor LaToya Cantrell to remove them.
Oh wait, she wasted no time in doing that.
The banners looked great. One smartly served as a rallying effort encouraging drivers to honk for the 2019 football team in its quest to win a championship in the Superdome. Alas, Lee Circle’s LSU flair was short lived. The Advocate reported that, “the banners were removed about 1 p.m. Monday by a worker wearing a cap emblazoned with the logo of the New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways.”
More specifically, The Hayride received a video showing the removal of the LSU gear. The remover, presumed to be the mentioned City of New Orleans employee, dropped the flag of the United States of America to the ground like a member of ISIS overthrowing a U.S. Embassy. The City of New Orleans has never moved this quickly on anything, ever. Seen at daylight, gone by 1:00 pm.
Ten years ago to the month, Lee Circle was similarly decorated for the Saints before the NFC Championship Game against the Vikings that propelled the Saints to their first Super Bowl. The football spirit was great then and now, and both times the football teams from Louisiana won their respective games. That display was named Fleur De Lee Circle and remained on show for several days.
The Advocate could not help but take a random act of fandom and insert not just slavery, but an association with racism. MacCash wrote, “It was one of four monuments seen as a symbol of white supremacy that were taken down during the administration of Mayor Mitch Landrieu.” It was also seen as heritage and history, but The Advocate or NOLA.com or whatever it is now must continue to rewrite history. How MacCash jumped to that conclusion is nonsensical and he did not expound.
The Advocate article ends with what reads like it issued a media bounty on the persons involved by requesting readers to provide any info on the banners. So it appears the heroes who executed this monumental task have not come forward to claim their work. If they’re smart, they’ll keep quiet before someone publicly labels them racist white supremacist nazis, because Leftists will likely say anyone who decorates an historic monument with football signs is a white supremacist and literally Hitler.
For years, the media has operated as the enemy of history and the South. That has increased considerably since 2015. Inserting “slavery” and “white supremacy” in the coverage was completely out of line. The city removing them in record time was BS (if only it moved that fast on the real issues!). The presumed LSU fans took a completely non-controversial route and still were targeted. There’s a lesson in that. Fake News and government cannot help but ostracize itself from anything fun and good.
Kudos to whoever did this. Once again, very creative and perplexing as to the execution, but keep it secret before you wind up incriminating yourself. And no slight against the 2020 art, but the reality is the 2010 display looked much better with Lee on top of his pedestal.