For example, the December 2012 issue of UDC Magazine had an article defending the Black Codes. A 2003 article in the official publication of the SCV's Educational Political Action Committee, in Sebesta's words, "explains why segregation is justified." A 2006 article in Southern Mercury decried the judicial and legislative milestones of the Civil Rights Movement, asserting that in the 1960s, "The cultural Marxists relentlessly hammered away at Western cultural norms using the sledge of anti-racism as a battering ram to bring down the walls of traditional Western culture."
Just last March, Boyd Cathey, a former member of the SCV's executive council, wrote in Confederate Veteran, "Southerners have understood perforce that the races must live and work side by side, and hopefully harmoniously, but that did not imply legal and social equality for all, either black or white."
Sebesta pegs the new, open airing of these views by some UDC and SCV leaders to around 2002, and he says it's relatively anomalous in the groups' modern era. But even this is a far cry from the rhetoric a century ago. In 1914, UDC Historian General S.E.F. Rose wrote a book, Ku Klux Klan, which Sebesta notes she dedicated to "the Youth of the Southland, hoping that a perusal of its pages will inspire them with respect and admiration for the Confederate soldiers, who were the real Ku Klux Klan, and whose deeds of courage and valor, have never been surpassed, and rarely equalled, in the annals of history."
The Forsyth, Georgia, Confederate Cemetery shows the role that the UDC and SCV play in obtaining Uncle Sam-funded headstones for rebel graves. The graveyard was in extreme disrepair when Linda Hallman, a member of the UDC and a daughter, wife, and mother of SCV members, decided to restore it in the 1990s. She gathered local SCV groups—"camps," as the members call them—to clean the cemetery, and did research to find out who was buried there.
Years later, she had assembled a long list of names detailing who had been interred there and wanted to order headstones from the VA to mark their graves. There was one problem, though, she told me in 2003: Hallman knew who was buried in the cemetery, but she didn't know which bodies were in which graves. Nevertheless, Hallman ordered headstones, and relied on fellow Confederate heritage activists—like Commander Jack Grubb of the Thomaston SCV camp in Southeast Georgia—to place them.
Grubb told me in 2003 that his camp alone had planted more than 1,000 headstones over at least 15 years. But the work came to halt when the VA found out Hallman didn't actually know the identities of the bodies interred in the graves she was marking with VA-provided headstones. So Grubb contacted the office of Rep. Saxby Chambliss, now a U.S. senator, for help with Forsyth. Soon after, 30 new headstones arrived; somehow, Chambliss's office had gotten the VA to bend its rules to aid the Thomaston SCV. (In fact, the VA seemed so eager to help out after Chambliss's request that the camp eventually received duplicates of all of those headstones.) Chambliss's office also helped local SCV groups obtain an old Confederate cannon as a loan from the Army. And whenever other local heritage groups had difficulty obtaining headstones from the VA, they said, they recommended Chambliss's office as the place to call. Chambliss's office declined to comment for this story.