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Thursday, July 09, 2009


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Michael Rodgers


Thanks for this post. I recommend to all who are interested in this issue a wonderful book about it, Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys by K. Michael Prince.

On pages 218-219, here's part of the story you're talking about in your post.

  • "The governor's [Hodges'] plan would have removed the flag from the dome and replaced it with a square ANV [(Confederate) Army of Northern Virginia -- Gen. Robert E. Lee's army] flag at the Wade Hampton Monument (erected in 1906). His proposal also incorporated those parts of the 1994 Heritage Act protecting Confederate monuments and street names around the state -- and made Confederate Memroial Day and Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday state holidays."
  • "[Sen. Glenn F.] McConnell called the governor's proposed site 'down in the gully.'"
  • "'Dead on arrival,' Senator Jackson declared -- and the NAACP agreed."

For me, the solution is H-3588, a wonderful bill that should make everyone happy. It completes the compromise with clarity. How do we get it passed?

Unfortunately, in 2000, the legislation had a 2/3 hurdle put on it -- The laws cannot be changed without a 2/3 vote. However, this is merely procedural -- a normal 1/2 vote can remove the 2/3 hurdle, and then a normal 1/2 vote can change the law.

Perhaps a statewide referendum would be good, but I don't know how to make it binding. I suggest the following:

Which flag would you rather fly out in front of the State House, from the flagpole in the area adjacent to the Confederate Soldier Monument?
(a) Our State Flag of South Carolina
(b) The Confederate Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia

Perhaps we can get the Winthrop/ETV poll people to ask that question in their next poll. Then we can go from there.

It's certainly time for we the people of this state to solve this problem.


Michael Rodgers

Andre Pope

I am aware that this is not what your post is about but your statement "Nobody cares about the ACC baseball tournament," is off base. The people in Myrtle Beach care(d) about the tournament. It was a way to help replace the dollars lost due to our great political leaders push out of bike week.


Andre, you're absolutely right. This is what comes of writing after a night at a bar. Of course many people care about the ACC baseball tournament. I wildly overstated that point.

Michael, I haven't kept up with the flag issue, because like so many of us I figured the best thing we could do after all that controversy would be to put it aside and get on to other things.

My disgust that we squandered the opportunity to put this behind us in 2000 is what animated this post. I guess I'm still angry about it.

But as a practical matter, I don't think there's going to be another opportunity to remove the flag for another generation. Republicans can't lead on it, and the knowledge of how the black leadership fumbled this in 1999-2000 makes it really difficult for anyone to build a case for revisiting it now.

The NAACP is a significant organization, but I don't think it has the clout to force this onto the agenda. It can punish the state in little ways, but that's all.

So 20 years from now, someone will say, "You know, we've got plenty of memorials here honoring the Confederacy and all those politicians from 30 years ago are gone. Let's just take that flag down already." And everyone will say "Sure." Because 20 years from now, that flag over Gervais Street is going to look pretty silly.


I have the Stars and Bars on my arm - so I never did need it flying above the state capital. My flag honors the memory of the mass of Southerners (anonymous in a lot of cases) who fought fot that "lost cause". I abhor slavery on moral grounds. That being said, I still have a genetic link to my Graet Great Grand Father who fought under that flag.


Yep. People should fly whatever flags they please on their own property and wear whatever tattoos have meaning to them. But putting it on the Statehouse to protest the Civil Rights movement was dumb (and mean), and making it a test case about "heritage" as if there was nothing else legitimately involved was dumb, and refusing to compromise and put it at Wade Hampton was dumb. Bi-partisan, multi-racial idiocy.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. You can be proud of the flag on your arm, but I'm not proud of the series of pigheaded flag follies that brought our state to this pointless point.

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