"Hardtack and Hard Times": Confederate Decoration Day in Tennessee

Ned Jilton • Nov 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Confederate Memorial Day is observed in some form in 14 states, including Pennsylvania. Known as Confederate Decoration Day in Tennessee and Confederate Hero Day in Texas it is a day set aside to honor those who died fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War.In Tennessee Confederate Decoration Day in observed June 3rd, Jefferson Davis Birthday, and was proclaimed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in 2012 in a proclamation in which, in part, stated “Confederate soldiers are remembered for their loyalty to comradeship and country; and the south sought an honorable separation, and with equally honorable acquiescence in its failure, re-entered the union to defend its honor and maintain its glory forever; and all states should hold our general government true to the landmarks which our fathers have set.”There will be observances across the state including in Elizabethton where the Lt. Robert J. Tipton Camp of Elizabethton, Sons of Confederate Veterans will be holding a memorial service at Green Hill Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 1st.The Honor Guard will be Company K 61st Tennessee Infantry Regiment. The namesake of the Elizabethton S.C.V. Camp #2083, 1st Lt. Robert J. Tipton of Company B 19th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, is interred in Green Hill.The Honor Flag for the day will be a Confederate P.O.W.-M.I.A. flag, known as “the ladder to heaven- farewell flag” and is dedicated to the memory of those who died and those who survived the horrors of Union camps. This flag features a yellow star which represents all those who died in the conflict, combatants and Southern civilians. The gray field represents the Confederate gray. The Seal of the Confederacy with George Washington pointing the way is surrounded by the crops grown in the South which would include; corn, tobacco, cotton, beans, etc. The circle of stars represents each of the Confederate states. ” The navy blue St. Andrews Cross is one of the colors of mourning and it also represents a part of the battle flag. Above the seal is the motto: “You Shall Not Be Forgotten.” Beneath the seal, POW-MIA’s with the “Deo Vindice” within the seal, basically means “God Vindicates.”The public is invited to attend. A locked gate will prevent the handicapped and elderly from safely entering the cemetery unless it is unlocked at the time of the event. Parking is in the field beside the cemetery. Please do not park in the parking lot of Tractor Supply.

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