Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Historic Resources
Board of Historic Resources
Regulations Governing Contextualization of Monuments or Memorials for Certain War Veterans [17 VAC 5 ‑ 40]
Action Promulgation of Regulations Governing Contextualization of Monuments or Memorials for Certain War Veterans
Stage Fast-Track
Comment Period Ended on 4/13/2022
Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
3/14/22  7:27 am
Commenter: Jock Yellott

Objection to fast-tracking: these regulations are deeply flawed

I object to fast-tracking the regulations.  Monuments and Memorials are the most controversial issue in Virginia's recent history and these flawed regulations need a complete re-thinking.   

They set up the Board as censor of signs with 'sole discretion' to approve them -- for which  there is no legal authority in 2020 Va Acts Ch. 1100 and 1101, Section 4, the enabling legislation.   

They limit localities to just one (1) sign, which is antiquated thinking, pre-cell phone, pre-internet. 

They mandate topics localities must address on that single sign, including requiring a recital of the Left-wing mantra that all monuments have an ulterior motive of "exclusion."  That is latter-day political opinion, not historical fact.  

They allow as sources "anything that can be cited"  which invites rants from  blogs, editorials, Twitter feeds:  propaganda rather than fact.  Astoundingly, so intent are the regulations on grievance mongering about ulterior motives, that the one sign permitted need not mention the basic facts of who is commemorated and why?   

And there is no requirement or opportunity for public comment. 

The entire project needs re-thinking from scratch.   Instead of mandating topics, and a dictat setting up the Board to vet every sign,  the Board should simply publish guidelines for localities. 

The guidelines should either confine contextualizing to verifiable historical fact cited from contemporary sources, or at the very least flag the difference between historical fact and politicized "interpretation."   

The Board should confine itself to an advisory role.  If necessary the Board can offer procedures for an administrative appeal available to aggrieved citizens to decide questions of veracity and balance.

And the guidelines should apply not just to  existing monuments, but to where they once stood. The empty space where a monument once stood speaks, in its sad way.  Highway markers often memorialize what was once there. 

Contextualization should edify. If feasible maybe not just truncated history on signs but websites too, which would allow more detailed storytelling that could pop up on cellphones like Pokeman Go. The current regulations don't even imagine such a possibility.

Instead of mandating a wooden recital of the Woke Party Line,  littering our landscape with diatribes looking at monuments through today's Left-wing political prism -- the regulations should promote diversity of information. Differing perspectives. Jeffersons' "illimitable freedom of the human mind." 





CommentID: 120708