Remarks by Leonard H. Cizewski to the Board of Parks Commissioners, July 15, 2015.

The profound tragedy in the Charleston church has brought to our attention in the most painful way possible that we
still have much hard work to do.
I am Leonard H. Cizewski, a Madison resident concerned about racial disparities.
I am an amateur historian who recognizes that the issues of the Civil War are central to our history, our definition as a
nation, and our racial issues.
I am also an in-law of a Union veteran. Anson Croman, my wife Cheryl A. Robinson’s 2nd great-grandfather, served in the
20th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
The National Park Service and the National Cemeteries Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs do not
allow Confederate flags on flagpoles in Confederate rest sections in the cemeteries they administer.
Displays of Confederate flags on the flagpoles of those national cemeteries would be disrespectful to our Union dead
who are also buried in those cemeteries. The Union dead buried at Forest Hill deserve the same respect.
In 2002 the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court case that supported the policy of the Federal
agencies.
Other nations where the dead of former enemies are buried do not allow the symbols of their former enemies to be
used for memorializations of the dead.
Consistent with the policies of the National Park Service and the National Cemeteries Administration of the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs as supported by the Supreme Court and the practices of other nations, I urge that the
Madison Parks change its current policy and no longer permit the flying of the Confederate national flag on U.S.
Memorial Day on the park’s flagpole.
I urge that the Madison Parks only allow the flag of the USA to be flown that pole.
The reality is that the Confederate flags represent an ideology of racial supremacy which was the basis of the
enslavement of Africans in America. The reality is those buried in the Confederate rest section were committing treason
as they waged war against our country in furtherance of that ideology of racial supremacy.
I have no recommendations for policy changes regarding the display of small Confederate flags on individual graves on
U.S. Memorial Day. That is permitted by both the National Park Service and the National Cemeteries Administration of
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
I am also concerned with the crossed Confederate battle flags permanently displayed on the plaque on the stone marker
in front of the Confederate Rest Section.
I have shared my concerns about those with Dave Wallner, Eric Knepp, and my alderwoman Marsha Rummel.
That can be dealt with at a later time.
I close with the words of one of our greatest generals and former Republican president Ulysses S. Grant. He said the
cause Confederate flags represent, “…was…one of the worst for which a people ever fought”.
Thank you.

Email Regarding the Display of Confederate Flags at Forest Hill Cemetery
To Alderwoman Marsha Rummel, Parks Commissioner David Wallner, and Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp
From Leonard H. Cizewski, July 6, 2015.
I request that the City of Madison no longer permit the flying of the Confederate national flag on U.S. Memorial Day on
the park’s flagpole in the Confederate Rest section of Forest Hill Cemetery.
The only flag which should be permitted on that pole is the flag of the United States of America.
The National Cemeteries Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Park Service do not
permit the flying of Confederate flags. Their authority for that policy has been confirmed by Federal courts. The display
of Confederate flags in public cemeteries is not protected by the First Amendment.
The Madison Parks Commission adopted its current policy in 2001. In Patrick J. Griffin III v. the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs a Federal appeals court upheld the VA’s authority to prohibit Confederate flags in VA administered
cemeteries. In 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court let that decision stand by refusing to take the case.
Military cemeteries around the world where former enemies are buried only permit the flying of current national flags.
Former national flags or battle flags of former enemy nations are not permitted.
For example in France the WWI and WWII military cemeteries of France’s former enemy Germany display the current
German national flag and the French flag but do not display the WWI or WWII era German national flags or German
battle flags.
South Africa was allied with France in WWI and WWII . The South African cemeteries in France fly South Africa’s current
national flag along with the French flag, not South Africa’s WWI or WWII era flags.
Continued display of Confederate flags enables the ongoing denial that the Confederacy was based on an ideology of
racial superiority. That ideology denied the full humanity of African-Americans in order to enslave them. The
Confederates committed treason to implement that ideology.
The inappropriate and out of context display of Confederate symbols are among the many sources of our current racial
disparities. Discontinuing that is among the ways we can work towards healing racial wounds.
In the words of one of our greatest generals and former Republican president Ulysses S. Grant the cause Confederate
flags represent, “…was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought”.
I respect the Madison Parks’ compromise that allows individuals to place Confederate flags on individual graves on U.S.
Memorial Day then removing them afterward. The NPS has a similar policy for Confederate Memorial Day.
People who wish to view Confederate flags may do so at the nearby State Historical and Veterans Museums on the
Capitol Square. At both museums Confederate flags are exhibited in their historical context, the most appropriate way
for them to be continued to be displayed.
Thank you for your consideration.

Email Regarding the Crossed Confederate Battle Flags on the Marker at Forest Hill Cemetery
To Alderwoman Marsha Rummel, Parks Commissioner David Wallner, and Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp
From Leonard H. Cizewski, July 6, 2015.
The Confederate Rest section Forest Hill has a marker installed in 1981 with two crossed Confederate battle flags.
The information about both the unit of the deceased and their place of capture is inaccurate.
The official name of their unit was the 1st Alabama, Tennessee, & Mississippi Infantry Regiment (not the 1st Alabama).
They were captured at Fort Bankhead at New Madrid, Missouri as part of the Union campaign to capture Island Number
10, Missouri in the Mississippi River. They were not captured on Island Number 10.
I request that the Parks Commission review the inscription with historians. If it is inaccurate, I request that you begin a
process to determine the best way to correct the information. My preference would be to replace the current plaque
with a corrected one.
Along with deciding how to correct the inaccurate information, please consider replacing the image of the Confederate
battle flags.
A more appropriate image would be outline maps of Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, the home states of the
deceased; Missouri with a marker indicating where they served and were captured; and Wisconsin with a marker
indicating where they were imprisoned, died, and are buried.
Thank you for your consideration.