Lawmakers in South Carolina to debate Confederate flag

‘This is not a time to talk about compromise,’ says Democratic State Senator Gerald Malloy.



Protesters hold a sign during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. For years, South Carolina lawmakers refused to revisit the Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds, saying the law that took it off the dome was a bipartisan compromise, and renewing the debate would unnecessarily expose divisive wounds. The shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C., have reignited calls for the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia to come down. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Protesters hold a sign during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.  (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lawmakers in the state of South Carolina are set to consider whether to bring down the Confederate flag after nine people were killed in a shooting at a historic black church last month.

The state’s legislature returns Monday to discuss the budget and what to do with the U.S. Civil War rebel flag that has flown over some part of the Statehouse for more than 50 years. The massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston by a man police said was motivated by racial hatred and photographed holding Confederate flags and regalia has created consensus that the flag must be removed from the Statehouse entirely.

Several bills have been filed, but details like when to bring down the flag that currently flies on a pole by a monument to Confederate soldiers in front of the state capitol, whether to put another flag in its place and what kind of ceremony should mark the removal aren’t specified.

A survey of legislators by The Post and Courier newspaper, the South Carolina Press Association and The Associated Press asking lawmakers how they intend to vote after a call by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to remove the flag found at least 33 senators and 83 House members agreed with her, reaching the threshold of a two-thirds vote needed under the law to alter the flag’s position.

But not all lawmakers support the idea without some reservation. And there are powerful Republicans who have not said how they will vote.

There are a few voices for the flag. Republican State Senator Lee Bright is trying to raise money with Confederate flag bumper stickers with the message “keep your hands off my flag.” He also wants the state’s voters to decide whether the flag is moved.

“In South Carolina, we know what this flag symbolizes: resistance against a federal, centralized power that far overreached its constitutional limits. It proudly symbolizes states’ rights and constitutional liberties, which many have fought and died for,” Bright wrote in a statement on his website.

But plenty of lawmakers just want the flag gone entirely.

“This is not a time to talk about compromise,” said Democratic State Senator Gerald Malloy. “That flag pole should be replaced with some beautiful green grass.”



Lawmakers in South Carolina to debate Confederate flag

  1. They are being sold at the Calgary Stampede….where a slavery-civil war flag has no meaning.

  2. Confederate flag.

    Politically Correct people (leftardus ignoramus) believe that it represents slavery because of the Civil War. The north fought the Civil War to preserve the union and the south fought to have the right of self determination even if that included slavery.

    Some people in the present believe the north fought the Civil War to end slavery but that is far from the truth.

    Truth is, the north was losing the Civil War then Lincoln passed a bill to free slaves and when the people up north heard of this bill there were riots in the streets in the north. People living in that time period fought to preserve the union not to end slavery. A lot of northerners didn’t want to fight to end slavery.

    Does that make the Union flag (OLD GLORY) a symbol of slavery? Answer no, just like the Confederate flag isn’t a symbol of slavery as well.

    • This kind of ignorance is why I’m an Ontario separatist.

      • An Ontario separatist? WTF?

        More like raving lunatic.

        • Enjoying your annual horse massacre are you?

    • Partly true except confederacies are banned in the constitution. The Union is indissoluble, which is why states rights were vital. You can’t say you have to stay in an abusive marriage without recourse to law or rights of any kind, can you? Lincoln did say he’d have freed no slaves or all of them to preserve the union but preserving the Union was his sole objective. Also, Old Glory was used at KKK gatherings. Do we ban that too?

    • That’s nice. Except to many people it is now a symbol of racial hatred.

      The swastika had a long and storied history before the Nazis got their hands on it; it was (and still is, in some religions) a symbol of auspiciousness. But you won’t see many people in western nations treating it as such.

      When something takes on a new meaning or new symbolism, the old gets lost. If you insist on trying to retain the old meaning, people will assume you intend the new.

      So put it in a museum with a placard explaining what it once stood for. It doesn’t mean that, to most people, anymore.

  3. It’s not flying from the State House. It’s flying from a memorial to the dead who died fighting under it.

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