Criticism of the organization

Although there were critics who challenged the ideology and messaging of the UDC and the CofC, there were few public criticisms and condemnations of the organization until recently. The main cause of this what’s their long-time success throughout a century of propaganda and indoctrination of southern culture and education. However, there were a couple of newspaper articles that were preserved by the Fairfax chapter in their scrapbooks that displayed some ideological criticism. This shows some willingness to at least hear an opposing opinion.

Viglucci a writer for the Washington daily news. In the article he describes the events and participants attending the 3rd annual children of the confederacy convention.

Viglucci, a writer for the Washington daily news. In his article, he describes the events and participants attending the 3rd annual children of the confederacy convention that took place in Washington DC on August 21st through 23rd 1957. He breaks the article up into parts heading each. Firstly, the introduction of the group, interview with youngsters, effusive, international and another figure. In the first section, he describes the group as “dedicated constitutionally to honor and perpetuate the memories and deeds of the men and women of the confederacy”[1] Where Viglucci is critical is when he interviews the event's attendees. He asked who their dissent is that fighting for the Confederacy the few CofC members he interviewed could not say. Viglucci Summarizes the event as less of a strong heritage-oriented gathering, and more I'm just a fun event for kids.

This letter to the editor was written by the president of the CofC after reading the remarks of Viglucci

In contrast to Viglucci’s article, a letter to the editor was written addressing the criticism that the article had of the group and the convention. The letter to the editor was written by Wendell Alcorn Jr. and the unnamed 124 signers who supported the letter to the newspaper. In the article, the children's group was unsatisfied by the depiction that Viglucci gave to the group. Defending the group Alcorn stated the importance of the organization's dedication to encouraging a “greater understanding and knowledge of our forefathers will better help them to interpret the future”[2]. Further, in the editorial, the author asked the original interviewees about their veteran connections. Each person responded with a detailed link to their ancestry. The conclusion of the edit was cordial but gave an underlying emphasis on correcting the previous article's perception of the Children of the Confederacy.

Alexandria Flies All its Flags .jpg

This article is interesting because it shows that there has been a long opposition to the Confederate flag. Even in 1968 people are associating the flag with hatred, even if it might be minority of voices.

Another article in the scrapbook was Maurine McLaughlin, Washington Post article Alexandria Flies All Its Flags. It described the debate whether Alexandria Virginia should be displaying the Confederate Stars and Bars flag next to the state and the national flag. The article explains that Alexandria and other cities in Virginia would display the Confederate flag every year from Confederate Memorial Day to Memorial Day. McLaughlin writes how some are vocal against the flag including students of a local negro high school[3] who see the flag as a symbol of slavery. The author even explained the debate on Confederate statues that are located in Alexandria and very close to D.C. With Alexandria having the oldest ties to the CofC, this article is a stark reminder of how just half a century ago Northern Virginia was steeped in southern heritage.


[1] Cox, Karen L. Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2019.

[2] Virginia, Acts of Assembly, Senate Joint Resolution No. 5 (1950)

[3] Eichelman, Fred R. "The Government as Textbook Writer: A Case History." The Phi Delta Kappan 57, no. 7 (1976): 456-58. Accessed November 8, 2020.