Last Updated on May 12, 2024

Virginia’s Shenandoah County School Board has drawn international headlines after it voted by a 5 to 1 margin to restore the Confederate names of two schools in the county, which were changed amid the BLM color revolution of 2020.

On the 161st anniversary of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s wartime death, the Shenandoah County, Virginia School Board voted to restore the names of Ashby-Lee Elementary School (named for Confederate partisan Turner Ashby, and General Robert E. Lee), as well as Stonewall Jackson High School.

While Lee commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, Ashby and Jackson alike commanded troops from the Shenandoah Valley, a region of Virginia that, after initially opposing secession, became one of the South’s biggest hotbeds of Confederate activity, with citizens of the area horrified by then-US President Abraham Lincoln’s call for troops to move into the Deep South, and suppress the seven states that had already seceded.

After Lincoln made that call, the “Upper South” seceded from the Union, led by Virginia, which was quickly followed by Arkansas and North Carolina, and eventually, Tennessee.

Throughout the war, the Shenandoah Valley region, centered around Shenandoah County, became known as “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy,” and it became the target of ruthless northern military campaigns.

When Union General and future President Ulysses S. Grant ordered northern troops into the region, he instructed them to “eat out Virginia clear and clean,” and to so thoroughly destroy the landscape “that crows flying over it for the balance of this season will have to carry their provender with them.”

Demonstrating the massive community support for the name restoration, the cost of rebranding the schools to their former glory will be covered by private donors, as opposed to the taxpayers.

According to a blog post from The Virginia Flaggers: 

The motion passed via a 5-1 vote with Kyle Gutshall casting the only NO vote.

The exact language of the motion that was approved was: “I move that the names of Stonewall Jackson High School and Ashby Lee Elementary School be restored to the schools now named Mountain View High School and Honey Run Elementary School respectively. The funds required to implement the restoration must be provided by private donations exclusively and not be borne by the school system or government tax funds, though the SCPS will oversee disbursements relating to restoration costs.”

As mentioned, the school names were originally changed in 2020, as the then-Democrat-dominated state government, led by disgraced ex-Governor Ralph “Blackface” Northam, pushed local school divisions to rename institutions named not only for Confederates, but for anyone, including the Founding Fathers, deemed “racist” by 21st-century communists and race radicals.

The 2020 name change process was slammed by Shenandoah County residents and school officials alike as “undemocratic and unfair,” and over the past few years, thousands of Shenandoah County citizens have petitioned the board to restore the names.

As National File reported in 2022:

A petition to restore the schools’ historic names is now circulating in the community and has been signed by over 4,000 people, leading the school board, which has three first-term members following recent elections, to take the issue up for consideration. At least one board member has been openly receptive to the idea, while Vice Chair Dennis Barlow has criticized the name-change process as “undemocratic and unfair.

At a [2022] board meeting, citizens of Shenandoah County packed the meeting room to advocate for the restoration of American history, with speakers reminding all present of the central role the county and its surrounding region of the Shenandoah Valley played in the Civil War. One speaker recounted the story of how General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson earned his nickname while in command of men from the Shenandoah Valley at the First Battle of Manassas, remarking that while other areas can debate the relevance of Confederate names and mascots, Shenandoah County has a unique historical tie to the Civil War and the Confederacy that cannot be replicated.

“There stands Jackson like a stone wall, rally behind the Virginians,” the speaker recounted Confederate General Bernard Bee saying of Jackson and his men at the First Battle of Manassas, going on to detail the moment in history’s deep connection to Shenandoah County and the name of one of its high schools.

“The guys that stood on that hill with Stonewall Jackson that day, at the top of the Henry House hill, were the boys from Shenandoah County,” the speaker said, going on to detail that 52 men from the area “gave the full measure of devotion that day, on that hill,” and in the process, “they won a name for that guy.”

“That name belongs to Shenandoah County,” he said.