South Carolina House Approves Removal Of Confederate Flag

Confederate Flag South Carolina

After a debate that was more contentious than what had occurred in the State Senate, the South Carolina House has voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol in Columbia:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Confederate battle flag that has flown at the South Carolina State House for more than 50 years will soon be gone after lawmakers capped a tension-filled session early on Thursday and voted to remove it from the grounds of the State Capitol.

The final vote in the State House of Representatives, 94 to 20, was well above the two-thirds majority that was required to move the bill toward the desk of Gov. Nikki R. Haley, a Republican who called for the flag to come down after last month’s massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

“It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” Ms. Haley said in a statement after the vote, which she watched from her wing of offices just below the House chamber.

A spokesman for Ms. Haley said the governor would “move quickly” after formally receiving the bill. Once she signs the measure into law, the state has 24 hours to take down the flag, which will be moved to the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, near the Capitol.

Lawmakers were by turns elated and stunned by the outcome, which came after hours of debate on amendments that could have extended talk about the flag deeper into July. Representative David J. Mack III, a Democrat, had warned late Wednesday that lawmakers were dawdling to such an extent that the flag could still be flying on July 18, the day the Ku Klux Klan is scheduled to stage a protest here.

“To have this resolved tonight the way it was was very exciting,” Mr. Mack said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy; there’s a lot of feelings on both sides as it relates to the flag. I’m just very happy with the outcome.”

But the church shooting — in which nine people, including a state senator, were killed in what the authorities have called a hate crime — loomed over the proceedings. The man charged in the killings, Dylann Roof, 21, had been photographed before the attack with the Confederate flag.

“It’s unfortunate that such a tragic event was required to bring about change, but in the end, if any good came of it, it’s that we put a contentious issue behind us,” said Representative James H. Merrill, a Republican.

The final vote came after the flag’s opponents defeated a series of amendments intended to derail the proposal. At one point on Wednesday night, Representative Jenny Anderson Horne, a Republican, tearfully pleaded with her colleagues to advance the measure without amendment.

“The people of Charleston deserve swift and immediate removal of that flag from these grounds,” Ms. Horne said. “I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful.”

When one amendment appeared close to receiving enough support to pass, which would have protracted the legislative process and defied Ms. Haley’s wishes, lawmakers reached a late-night agreement that allowed the bill to receive not only preliminary approval, but also a final vote just a few minutes later.

The bill now moves to the desk of Governor Haley, will obviously sign it into law forthwith. After it’s signed, the new law gives the Governor twenty-four hours to remove the flag and transfer it to the state museum. This means that, by the end of the week, the Confederate flag will most likely be down in Columbia. It’s long, long overdue.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Race and Politics, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. JohnMcC says:

    First an African American president. Now this. Never thought I’d live to see these days.

  2. CSK says:

    The U.S. house has also voted to ban Confederate flags from federal cemeteries.

    Has anyone ever wondered why the descendants of Massachusetts Tories don’t insist that the Union Jack be flown over the state house in Boston? I’m sure their cause meant just as much to them.

  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Time for a quick history lesson. The flag was put up by a Democratically-controlled legislature and Democratic governor (and white male) Fritz Hollings. It is being taken down by the Republican-controlled legislation and Republican governor (and Indian-American woman) Nikki Haley.

    So what will be the next HUGE NATIONAL CRISIS THAT EVERYONE MUST TALK ABOUT RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYTHING ELSE?

  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @CSK: One theory that comes to mind is that after the Revolutionary War, the winners didn’t go to great lengths to grind the losers into the dirt and make damned certain they knew that they lost and were horrible, terrible people. Instead, they got on with the business of building a nation. So the losers didn’t get much of a chance to develop a martyr complex.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Perhaps because many of the Tories left. Those who remained got over it. The South fought to preserve slavery, then maintained an apartheid regime for a hundred years, all the while telling themselves they were the good guys. The Tories had a good deal less guilt and cognitive dissonance to get past.

  6. PJ says:

    @CSK:

    The U.S. house has also voted to ban Confederate flags from federal cemeteries.

    Republicans to Vote on Allowing Display of Confederate Flag:

    In a rapid and dramatic policy shift, Confederate flag imagery could be allowed to remain displayed on graves on federal land in some circumstances under a Republican-sponsored amendment that will be voted on in the House on Thursday.

  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And there’s my answer: nope, the Confederate Battle Flag IS STILL THE MOST IMPORTANTEST THING EVAR AND WE MUST CONTINUE TO YELL AND SCREAM ABOUT IT AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS, AND ANYONE WHO DOESN’T SCREAM ALONG WITH IS IS WORSE THAN HITLER!!!!!!111!!!!ELEVENTY!!!!

  8. CSK says:

    @PJ:

    That was quick. No one spoke in opposition before the voice vote yesterday.

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yes, you are correct that in the 1960s, southern Democrats were racist.

    Which is why we kicked them out, and your party welcomed them with open arms.

    This is understood by, quite literally, everyone who comments on this blog. So what’s your point?

    Also, only one commentor on this blog seems to be genuinely upset that we are even discussing the removal of the flag. Why does a discussion on removing a longstanding symbol of hatred upset you so much? Are you going to miss it?

  10. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Actually, it’s because after the Civil War the losers were allowed to write the history. Consequently we have many Americans who accept as truth some objectively false assertions, the most prominent of which are “the Civil War was fought over state’s rights, not slavery” and “the Confederate battle flag is about heritage, not hate.”

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Yes, you are correct that in the 1960s, southern Democrats were racist.

    Which is why we kicked them out, and your party welcomed them with open arms.

    This is understood by, quite literally, everyone who comments on this blog. So what’s your point?

    The part where it’s a flat out lie.

    Just when did former governor Fritz Hollings become a Republican? When did Robert Byrd? Or the rest of the Dixiecrats?

    Face it, you’ve built this entire myth on Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms. Take away those two examples, and what happens to your Grand Emigration Theory?

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Also, only one commentor on this blog seems to be genuinely upset that we are even discussing the removal of the flag. Why does a discussion on removing a longstanding symbol of hatred upset you so much? Are you going to miss it?

    Aesthetically speaking, the Confederate battle flag has a bit going for it. A bold and pleasing color scheme, a remarkable degree of radial symmetry, and a truly distinctive design makes it quite attractive when judged strictly out of historical context.

    And it’s not the attention given to the topic that amuses me, it’s how it seems to crowd other topics out from getting mentioned. It’s now come out that the IRS violated federal tax laws and dumped a whole mess of legally confidential tax records on to the FBI and the Justice Department, who aren’t supposed to see those without a court order Which raises an interesting legal question — when teh IRS, FBI, and DOJ are all acting together to violate the law, who the hell do you complain to? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Or Obama’s executive order for amnesty for illegal aliens. A judge told ICE to stop issuing the amnesties. ICE said sure, we’ll stop you don’t need to issue that order, so he trusted them. But — oops! — they kinda screwed up and kept issuing them. So the judge hauled them back in and said you broke your word, so here’s your order. Now knock it off. They said sorry, our bad, we’ll really stop this time. But they kept issuing them anyway, and the judge found out, and he’s pissed. He’s hauling ICE back before his bench again.

    Another interesting legal issue. What the hell do you do when a federal agency 1) lies to a judge, then 2) ignores an explicit legal order? Do you toss the administrators personally into jail?

    And let’s not forget how Hillary has been caught lying yet again, this time about her e-mails. Experts are going over her statements now with a fine-toothed comb desperately trying to find just one time she told the truth. It’s not going well.

    Nah. No time to talk about that. Somewhere there’s a Confederate battle flag that hasn’t been burned! Quick, call out the posse!

  13. It would be interesting to see a map of where the 20 districts that voted to keep the flag up are located.

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Shouldn’t take too much effort to find out. Here’s a link to get you started.

    Get a roll call of the vote, find a list of the legislators, match them up, find a district map of the state, break out the crayons. Make the 20 districts red, if you like, to subtly imply that it was Republicans who opposed it.

  15. dmhlt says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    At least TRY to educate yourself on the historical facts WRT which Party geographically has always supported racist views (GOP) and which does not (Dems):

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/28/republicans-party-of-civil-rights

    http://quietmike.org/2013/12/08/democrats-party-racist-dixiecrats/

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-g-o-p-s-dixiecrat-problem

  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Man, it almost sounds like you should start your own blog. Or you can continue to scream that the authors here arent’ writing articles that interest you. I’m sure that tactic will work one day.

    And when you say “it’s how it seems to crowd other topics out from getting mentioned,” you realize you are posting this in an article listed under the section entitled “Quick Takes,” right? And that the only other article on the front page was posted quite awhile ago, also under “Quick Takes.”

    It’s also amusing that you have the most comments on this particular article, and are the only one who can’t hold back from yelling. But yes, it’s the authors and teh internets who are the obsessed.

    Methinks thou doth protest too much…

  17. mantis says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    It’s also amusing that you have the most comments on this particular article, and are the only one who can’t hold back from yelling.

    Isn’t it funny that his primary activity is telling others what they should and shouldn’t write about, while being most prolific himself on the topics he thinks should be ignored (on other people’s blogs).

    You used to blog, Jenos, and when you did you got to decide what topics to write about. Why don’t you go do that since it bothers you so much what others choose to cover?

  18. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Face it, you’ve built this entire myth on Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms.”

    Sorry to disappoint, but we didn’t. See this list, including people at the time of their switch holding political office such as Phil Gramm, Bill Archer, Bob Martinez, and Richard Shelby, and people who switched to run for or hold office such as Trent Lott and Bill Bennett.

    Or did they really change parties out of a far-sighted view that the US was becoming a one-party state?

  19. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Make the 20 districts red, if you like, to subtly imply that it was Republicans who opposed it.

    If that was my interest, I wouldn’t need a map, oh paranoid one. I was curious if the 20 no votes were distributed throughout the entire state or mostly from one region.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Man, you have sunk to the James P level now. Once upon a time you were among the least dumb of the dumb. Now you’re pushing into the top ranks of dumb. Congratulations?

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Moosebreath: That’s a rather… meaningless list. Let’s look at the examples you cited:

    Phil Gramm: Conservative who was first elected as a Democrat in 1979, switched parties in 1983. Bit of a Phil-come-lately to the Great Emigration, wot?

    Bill Archer: Elected as a Democrat in 1967, switched parties in 1969. Lyndon Johnson embraced the civil rights movement some time before 1967; just when did Archer grow so disillusioned? And just how does he qualify as a racist?

    Bob Martinez: First elected in 1979, switched (like Gramm) in 1983. Another Bobby-come-lately to the Great Emigration?

    Richard Shelby: First elected in 1986, switched parties in 1994. Damn, this guy was slower than Gramm and Archer!

    Trent Lott never ran for office as a Democrat.

    William Bennett: a conservative who registered as a Democrat to get appointed to a post with partisan requirements, then later a Republican.

    THIS is the best evidence you have to offer for this Great Emigration of racists from the Democratic Party to the Republicans? Christ, I should have challenged that fantasy a long time ago.

    But if the Democrats really want to focus their energy on fighting over the past, they can start by stripping Robert Byrd’s name from all those federal buildings and start repudiating Woodrow Wilson and FDR (for interning Japanese-Americans). Get your own house in order, then we’ll talk.

  22. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Thanks! That link did make it easy to look at who opposed it!

    to subtly imply that it was Republicans who opposed it.

    No subtlety needed. Every single vote in opposition to removing the flag was from a Republican.

    But please, go on explaining how Democrats are the real racists because of the quite dead Robert Byrd…

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: For some reason, I’m compelled to check the roll call votes against party affiliations. This might take a few minutes…

  24. michael reynolds says:

    This is every Jenos appearance:

    Jenos sees that race is the topic.

    Jenos knows if race is the topic White Men will need a defender. Yay, it’s Jenos! White Warrior!

    Jenos rushes off to be handed “thoughts” on the topic from right-wing websites.

    Jenos thinks, aha! Armed with these new “thoughts” on the topic, I will dazzle everyone!

    Jenos gives us his thoughts.

    Jenos is instantly disemboweled by whoever sees him first, doesn’t really matter, anyone can do it.

    Jenos squirms, tries to distract, tries to deflect, backtracks, sidetracks, blusters, babbles, puts up self-defeating links and just generally does his best Grima Wormtongue impersonation.

    Jenos slinks off until once again, Gotham must call upon. . . White Warrior!

  25. Pete S says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    No subtlety needed. Every single vote in opposition to removing the flag was from a Republican.

    Its almost like only Republicans (to their credit, not most Republicans) still feel like this is a big enough issue to fight over. I imagine the people who voted to remove the flag, Republicans and Democrats alike, would be just as happy if the issue would go away….

  26. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Take your time. We’ll be here waiting.

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ll skip the ayes.

    Nay:
    Bedingford (R)
    Burns (R)
    Chumley (R)
    Corley (R)
    Delleney (R)
    Hardee (R)
    Hill (R)
    Johnson (R)
    Kennedy (R)
    Loftis (R)
    Moss, D. (R)
    Moss, V. (R)
    Nanney (R)
    Putnam (R)
    Simrill (R)
    Spires (R)
    Stringer (R)
    Taylor (R)
    Thayer (R)
    White (R)

    Excused Absent:
    Hiott (R)
    Hixon (R)

    No vote:
    Long (R)
    Pitts (R)
    Ryhal (R)
    Sandifer (R)
    Southard (R)
    Toole (R)

    Let’s see… the SC House has 124 seats, with 78 R and 46 D. Working from the above numbers, that means 46 D and 48 R voted yes, 20 R voted no, 2 R were absent, and 7 abstained.

    You want percentages? About 60% GOP voted for, about 25% no, and about 9% abstained.

    Toss in that it was a Republican governor who pushed for it and will be signing it, and what’s the point here?

    Personally, I find it heartening that the Democrats have, after only 50 short years, have achieved a 100% reversal from their former support that put the flag up there in the first place. That’s progress to be proud of.

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    OK, numbers aren’t adding up.

    94 yes votes – 46 Democrats = 48 GOP yes.

    78 Republicans – 20 no -2 absent – 7 abstains = 49 GOP.

    Eh, close enough.

  29. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Personally, I find it heartening that the Democrats have, after only 50 short years, have achieved a 100% reversal from their former support that put the flag up there in the first place. That’s progress to be proud of.

    You’re right. It is progress to be proud of. Maybe in 50 years you guys will have kicked out your own racists. I’m not betting on it, but maybe.

    And thanks for confirming that 100% of the opposition to removing the Confederate flag came from Republicans. It’s not often we see that type of honesty from you, but you fully admitted–even providing the names–that every single legislator who wanted to continue to fly a flag raised in treason, for the purpose of protecting the institution of enslaving fellow humans, and re-raised in defiance against the Civil Rights movement are all Republicans.

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Personally, I would have probably abstained, because I think the whole thing is stupid. I find it hard to believe that this is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR GOING ON RIGHT NOW!!!!! that it has to take such importance. I rank “state flags” slightly above “state birds” and below “state mottoes.”

    This whole thing was trumped up by people looking to find some cheap moral crutch to stand on where they could feel morally superior, to distract from actual things of substance. And, possibly, to help bury their party’s own shameful history on race.

    BTW, my three sources I collated: this news account of the vote, The SC Legislature’s official page for party affiliations, and the SC Legislature’s Wikipedia page for the party breakdowns. Not sure why I came up 1 off, but I’ve put enough energy into this stupid topic to try to track down that discrepancy. It’s just not that significant.

  31. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Personally, I find it heartening that the Democrats have, after only 50 short years, have achieved a 100% reversal from their former support that put the flag up there in the first place.

    Put a pin in this and bring it back every time Jenos pulls out the old, idiotic chestnut that (some of) the Democratic Party opposed the civil rights movement, therefore today the party is thoroughly racist, and no change occurred in the interim.

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Also, I”m curious why you want to single out the 20 Republicans as exemplars of their party, while ignoring the 48/49 who voted for the change, along with the Republican governor who pushed for it.

    Barely 1 in 4 voted no, and they’re the ones you want to talk about?

  33. mantis says:

    HUGE NATIONAL CRISIS THAT EVERYONE MUST TALK ABOUT RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYTHING ELSE?

    Indeed, no one is talking about the Greek debt crisis, or the Chinese stock market crash, or the 2016 primary candidates, or the new Medicare reimbursement rules for end-of-life counseling, or the Baltimore mayor firing the police superintendent, or how the various states are reacting to the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision, or any other topic at all. I don’t even know how I know about any of these, as everyone is talking about flags 24/7. I must just be making it up.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @mantis:

    All it took was fifty years and 9 dead people for the GOP to catch up to Democrats.

    And people say they never learn. How many decades and how many dead bodies will it take for the GOP to look seriously at immigration and global warming?

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Put a pin in this and bring it back every time Jenos pulls out the old, idiotic chestnut that (some of) the Democratic Party opposed the civil rights movement, therefore today the party is thoroughly racist, and no change occurred in the interim.

    I honestly thought you were smarter than that.

    What happens is, someone brings up the civil rights movement, and talks about how it was a great triumph by the Democrats. That’s when I bring up that Lyndon Johnson got people of good conscience of both parties to pull that off, and Republican support was actually greater than Democratic. That triggers the myth that “after that, all the racists left the Democratic Party and became Republicans,” which is a total crock. (Just in this case: lifelong Democrat Fritz Hollings put that flag up there, ran for president as a Democrat in 1984, and retired as a Democrat in 2005.)

    By asserting the indisputable facts that 1) the Democratic Party has a pretty sordid past on race and 2) there has been a lot of effort to (if you’ll pardon the expression) “white-wash” that past and pretend that they’re all squeaky-clean now, I’m not saying that the GOP is pure. I’m not saying anything at all about the GOP.

    You’re not that much of a simpleton. Stop pretending you are.

  36. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Also, I”m curious why you want to single out the 20 Republicans as exemplars of their party, while ignoring the 48/49 who voted for the change, along with the Republican governor who pushed for it.

    It was you who accused Stormy of “subtly imply[ing] that it was Republicans who opposed it.”

    Neil pointed out it was, in fact, all Republicans opposed. Now you are whining about a direct, factual response to your false implication?

    If you don’t want people to call you out on your bullshit, stop spreading it. If you must spread your bullshit, don’t whine when people call you on it and disingenuously accuse them of derailing from the “real point.”

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: You forgot the Redskins name crisis. You know — another chance for the Party of Andrew Jackson to pretend he didn’t wage genocide against the Native Americans.

  38. mantis says:

    That’s when I bring up that Lyndon Johnson got people of good conscience of both parties to pull that off, and Republican support was actually greater than Democratic.

    I’m curious why you want to single out the Democrats who opposed it as exemplars of their party, while ignoring the majority who voted for the change, along with the Democratic President who pushed for it.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    God you’re a pathetic liar.

    Show me any prominent Democrat who has denied that Andrew Jackson was both a slave owner and ethnic cleanser of native Americans.

  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You know, the flag one way or another is purely symbolic. You’re right that it really is not terribly important. But it sure is entertaining.

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Stormy made an assertion without offering any evidence. I questioned it, THEN did the homework, and presented the evidence that showed it was accurate.

    You do realize that when you cite MY work in an argument, you’re crediting me? That you’re demonstrating that you actually trust me when you argue that I shouldn’t be trusted?

    Did you double-check my numbers? Did you find the sources and do the checking yourself? Or did you see my listings and take them at face value?

    The only evidence that Stormy was right is that which I offered. No one else put up links, no one else gave numbers, no one else broke it down. Just me. And you accepted that work as trustworthy.

    Thanks for the compliment. God knows you didn’t intend it as such, which makes it that much more satisfying.

    And I didn’t accuse him of bias. I sarcastically suggested a way he could express it, should he so choose.

    I might have to reconsider my opinion of your intelligence. Do you live in a state that’s legalized pot?

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @gVOR08: Entertaining, useful for some, and — as I said earlier — quite aesthetically appealing, as long as you’re ignoring the historical context. Its designer did a damned good job.

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m not grasping that. I think you need to explain it to me in person. Why don’t you meet me here, and we’ll discuss it in detail?

  44. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You do realize that when you cite MY work in an argument, you’re crediting me?

    I didn’t cite your work. The votes are publicly available for all to see, which I had already done before you posted your reply and then whined about people stating the fact which you confirmed, while implying that you had to do so because you assumed Stormy was lying.

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And where is the leading Democrat who denies the historical facts about Jackson?

    Shall I wait, or are you just going to throw more scat in the air?

  46. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Like I said earlier:

    Jenos squirms, tries to distract, tries to deflect, backtracks, sidetracks, blusters, babbles, puts up self-defeating links and just generally does his best Grima Wormtongue impersonation.

  47. stonetools says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Is Jenos wrong again?

    Did the link he cited disprove the point he he was trying to make?

    Huh. Must be a day that ends in Y.

  48. Neil Hudelson says:

    @stonetools:

    I know. I know.

    It’s like my toddler nephew playing with jack-in-the-box. Some part of his soul realizes that every time he cranks that handle, the jack is going to pop up, and yet that small surprise when it happens is still worth it.

    I know, from experience, that of course the link he provides will directly refute the point he’s trying to make, just as sure as that jack-in-the-box is going to pop. But man do I still get pleasure every time its happens.

  49. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Take it from a South Carolinian, you’re full of it.

  50. David M says:

    It is pretty funny that Jenos chose today to blame the Democrats for the treason in defense of slavery flag. Apparently the Republicans in Congress didn’t get the message, as they are still defending it today. The hilarity never ends with our trolls here.