Let’s get the flag down NOW!

"It would make us a more progressive, better state, I think, if the flag was removed. But I’m not going to go on any big campaign to have it removed. That’s not my position."
                            — Steve Spurrier 

Well, it is my position, and the big campaign starts now. Or rather, resumes now. My own campaign in that regard began in 1994 when I joined the editorial board. Hundreds of editorials and columns later (I lost count around 200; the total is likely closer to three), reinforced in the latter years by Warren Bolton, the flag came down from its position of false sovereignty atop the dome.

Not to say we can take credit. We just kept the issue out there; it was a broad spectrum of South Carolinians stepping forward and speaking up for common sense and decency that moved the flag. It would have been gone for good from the grounds, too, but for the Legislature’s habitual reluctance to act wisely.

Here’s what I wrote on the day it came down. Clearly, my intent was to keep working on the problem. My hope was to achieve something like what former House Speaker Bob Sheheen had tried to promote on the House floor — a small bronze plaque saying that here the flag once flew. You know, treat history as history rather than trying to repeat the worst bits of it.

But once the momentum of that push settled down, and most of the parties who made it happened went home feeling more or less satisfied that they had at least accomplished something, the relative quiet was filled by the ineffective and counterproductive NAACP boycott, and the visceral reaction to it. I’ve written about the need to bring the flag down a number of times since then, and so has Warren. But it’s always been in the context of that useless conflict. We had to say, "Pay no attention to that group making all the noise; let’s move the flag because we know it’s the right thing to do." But up to now, we might as well have been shouting at a stone wall.

Why? Because the NAACP was the only organization out there making any news on the subject, largely because news coverage is attracted, unfortunately, to conflict. But as I’ve written before, and mark this, the flag will never come down in reaction to a NATIONAL interest group that promotes the advancement of a segment of society defined by skin color — any skin color. That just won’t happen. Nor should it. South Carolina has to decide to do this thing itself because it wants to, because it has grown to the point that it can put such things behind it. Otherwise, nothing is accomplished.

What we need is what we had in 2000 — a coalition of South Carolinians of all colors and persuasions working to drag our state out of the 19th century, through the 20th and into the 21st, all in one smooth motion. A positive, many-sided coalition rather than a negative monolith, one that can make enough sensible noise to drown out the talk about a boycott that in any event has had no appreciable effect on anything, other than to tick off enough people to make positive movement impossible.

Here’s the big secret that I’ve also disclosed before: Most South Carolinians either want to move on past the flag, or they don’t care. The numbers who actively want the thing flying there are a minority. But they are maniacally passionate, and politicians — particularly Republican politicians, and Republicans run the Legislature — fear them. Why did we not move all the way to a real solution of the problem in 2000? Because Mr. Sheheen’s successor didn’t even want to discuss it; he wanted to move the lame Senate "compromise" through the House in a single day and wash his hands of the taint. It’s not that David Wilkins cared about keep the flag flying; he didn’t. But he needed some of the Republicans who did in order to keep his power as speaker, and feared their ire.

So let’s get the momentum back. Let the coach do football, and the rest of us do the politics. Here’s what I propose:

Let’s start a new organization, today, called "South Carolinians for the Advancement of All South Carolinians." Our aim will be to make the Legislature hear the voice of the majority of people of all colors in our state, who are sick and tired of this farce of flying that flag on our State House grounds, and fed up with the harm it does us all — not just in terms of how the world views us, but in terms of how we see ourselves, and how we live together as a people.

Please join today. And if you’ve got a better name for the organization, let’s hear it. But it’s time to get the momentum going again, and move our state away from the most horrible time in our past, and toward a better future for us all.

134 thoughts on “Let’s get the flag down NOW!

  1. Claudia

    OK – I’ve posted this twice before and I’m gonna post it again…
    “I’m as native a South Carolinian as they come… both sides of my (white) family stretch back into the history of this state until they disappear. I do not believe that most people who venerate the Confederate flag do so to align themselves with openly evil neo-Nazi or White Supremacist organizations. I think they fly it, and support the flying of it on the grounds of the state capitol building, to remember the illustrious history of the South as viewed through rose-colored glasses, the days when Cotton was King, and to celebrate its past. But in so doing they overlook the implications inherent in the fact that this flag flew over a confederacy of states who did not want to give up the legal right to own other human beings. It may represent a glorious heritage to a certain segment of our southern society, but in a greater sense it represents oppression, hate, murder, and wanton evil to a much, much larger population. Acknowledge this truth or not – the Confederate flag is a racist symbol that has been adopted for generations by hate groups all over this country; it is this association that defines its symbology.”
    Posted by “Lily”, aka Claudia.
    I first wrote these words here on this blog back in January. One of the regulars – I don’t remember who and it doesn’t matter enough for me to go looking – told me to just move on. But the fact is, this state can’t “move on” past this issue… all we can do is circle it. Am I sick of the issue? You bet – sick at heart.

  2. Bob Coble

    Brad, I agree with you and Coach Spurrier. Getting the flag off the dome was a positive and difficult step forward, but the time has come to move it off the Statehouse grounds entirely. We are entering the knowledge economy with Innovista. The eyes of the world will be on South Carolina with both parties Presidential Debates in April and May. We need to focus on the future.

  3. Eric Stevens

    I definitely agree with Coach Spurrier. I was born and raised in SC and still love the state very much. I have lived in GA, FL, VA, MS, and now reside in LA. I have been to almost every state except 10 of them and when I meet new people — one thing that dominates the conversation is SC’s past and the fact that the state cannot move forward. I would be the first to say that other states certainly have problems with race and I have tried to defend the great state of SC, but the Confederate Flag always “sinks my ship”. I say to lawmakers and the citizens of SC — to move forward, you must remember and celebrate your history. But you must also embrace the future and move forward. That flag is a “never healing” soar on the skin of our state and we must take steps for permanent healing and stop applying bandages to cover it up.

  4. Henry Martin Jr

    The problem is moving the flag any further is submiting to extortian. You may be right and majority dont care but when did we think the majority actually wins anymore?
    I want to know the next thing the group(s) that want the flag down wants BEFORE we move the flag again. They will never be satisfied.

  5. chrisw

    Not so sure an outsider making the case is the smart move. it shuold be obvious that the flag “wanters” don’t want to be told what to do…
    But it makes money and power for a lot of people for it to stay…so I think it will.

  6. Steven Pulley

    I also agree that it’s removal is long overdue. But the symbol does have historical significance to it so it should be displayed as such. Maybe not at the Capital but maybe somewhere in relation to the other flags which have flown over South Carolina.
    Remember, this was a British colony and there was slavery then (so maybe we shouldn’t display that flag) and before the civil war, the entire US was supportive of slavery (so maybe we shouldn’t display our early US flags, especially the 13 stars flag). Other than the racist organizations who display the flag as a disobedient act, the flag is still historical. Just put those flags somewhere in the back room where they can collect dust.
    Besides, there should be three flags at the Capital anyway: the Stars and Stripes, the South Carolina state flag, and the POW-MIA flag in remembrence of our soldiers, sailors, airman, marines and coast guard who have not come home.

  7. JR

    And then what? The statue of Ben Tillman likely offends South Carolina graduates and fans. The statue of Strom Thurmond doubtless “hurts” many democrats and, more recently, Al Sharpton. The million dollar civil rights memorial likely upsets many folks. The statue of George Washington is puzzling to most illegal immigrants. My wholly accurate use of the term “illegal immigrants” will offend some. The stars on the state house marking cannon fire hits may hurt the feelings of pacifists. The use of Gamecocks, Tigers, Bulldogs and other animal mascots offend the PETA folks. I’ll guarantee that the first time Spurrier “hangs 50” on some team, it’s entire fanbase, alumni association and home state will be hurt and offended. Those who benefit from being offended or the attention it garners will, quite predictably, forever be offended over something.
    I lived in Columbia for 6 years, and never knew the Confederate Flag flew over the state house. I now visit on business once a month or more, but I’m not certain where it flies on the grounds. Like trouble, unless I go looking for it, I won’t likely find it. Unless some entity, a professional victims group or the State paper, provokes or promotes a controversy — there simply is none here.
    Unless the State, and Steve Spurrier, is prepared to propose removal of ALL historical symbols from the capital grounds, neither can legitimately be selective in it’s or his discomfort or ‘outrage’.
    I would think Spurrier has all he can do already, developing players, winning games, keeping his kids out of 5 Points, and seeking to start UP a win total on Georgia, Auburn and Clemson, not bringing DOWN any symbol. Moreover, the State should be reporting the news — not attempting to generate it.
    The flag flies where it does as a result of legislative compromise, fully supported by those legislators that you label “backward” and those that you deem “progressive”. As the State concedes, the boycott has been ineffective, meaning the majority of minority folk don’t allow the Confederate flag to bother them.
    Unless Spurrier is prepared to allow Mark Sanford and Glenn McConnell to call plays and defensive stunts, unless the State is prepared to have legislators determine its editorial policy and the daily news that escapes the editorial strike, then perhaps you folks and SOS should similarly stick to your own duties. If SOS, Warthen, or others have so much extra time on their hands, there are litter pickup bags available and meals on wheels can always use an extra set of hands and wheels.
    Bottomline: if a single piece of historical cloth is SO fearsome or offensive, don’t look at it, don’t go near it, use a street other than Gervais (you know, like porn or misogynist rap, ‘just change the channel’) or chastise the largely defunct groups who improperly use it. But you should be more tolerant of differing opinions and symbols, be inclusive, don’t be judgmental, embrace diversity!
    Sign me: two USC degrees and 30 years in the Gamecock Club, but watching the Coach’s handling of this closely before I send in my sizable “short year” check.

  8. Carol Hathaway

    I say, leave the flag up. It’s important to remember the point of the flag controversy. It’s a distraction. Mr. Gibson started the flag controversy in order to create a distraction from his own misconduct, and the State and the other establishment voices in South Carolina seized on it as a substitute for real action. Removing a piece of cloth or, better still, endlessly advocating for its removal, serves as a substitute for taking any concrete actions against racism.

  9. Herb Brasher

    Boy, some people sure can make a simple issue complicated. But I guess if you don’t want it to happen, the easiest thing is to point out all kinds of historical complexities. It’s like substituting the simple meaning of a modern day word with all of its historical etymology and development. Etymology is interesting, but when a modern-day speaker uses a word, she/he normally has a more mundane and obvious meaning in mind.
    Well, I agree with the mayor, but hey, I’m a newcomer to SC. I think the home-born folks, or at least those with established roots, should be the first to take the initiative. It’s like a diplomat in a foreign culture–the foreigner can be an agent for change, but ultimately it’s the home folks who have to own the decision.

  10. ed

    Could we please for once just have a football coach who is content to pull in millions of dollars and stick to coaching football? Do we really need our overpaid football coaches to opine and editorialize about everything from litter to monuments on the statehouse grounds? Ed

  11. Jeremy Thames

    I’m glad Steve Spurrier made his statement, because it gave The State and the local news stations some “Breaking News” on this slow news day.

  12. Susan

    I love the South, and that’s why I want it down. I’m tired of the nation’s perception of my heritage being confused with racism.
    It’s time, no matter who says it. Get it down and put it in a museum.

  13. Brad Warthen

    Henry, Carol, and anyone else who doesn’t understand this simple point that I’ve explained about a million times and which really shouldn’t require any explanation whatsoever:
    Basically, there IS a conspiracy going on here: The conspiracy is between the NAACP, and the flag defenders. Two hard-headed minorities, with the vast majority of us in the middle letting them dictate the terms of this issue to us.
    The NAACP stubbornly refuses to admit that IT is the obstacle to people coming together and doing what they would do without all this artificial controversy: take the flag away and move on with life. The NAACP won’t let go because it has nothing else going on, and likes the attention. The flag defenders happily seize upon the NAACP’s obstinance as an excuse to say, “We can’t take it down NOW. That would be giving in to extortion!” — despite the obvious fact that whether we take the flag down or fly it forever doesn’t have anything to do with the NAACP, and never will.
    It’s like they got together and worked this out ahead of time between them, because it serves the self-absorbed interests of both groups. And the rest of us are trapped in this comedy of the absurd, with the entire country laughing at us. (Have you ever heard of anything more pathetic than the city of Columbia spending $15,000 in a ridiculously doomed effort to get people covering the presidential primaries here to ignore the flag? We make ourselves into a national freak show, and we think they’re going to ignore it? Come on!)
    The majority of South Carolinians are just too polite to tell the two conspiring sides in this, Shut Up and stop holding us hostage! But that’s exactly what we should all do, and for my part, I’m doing it, because I’m fed up with all the foolishness.
    Postscript: Let me tell you something about this Dr. Gibson thing, Carol. First, the NAACP did not inject itself into this with its boycott until 1999, about five years after I started writing those hundreds of columns and editorials. The NAACP tossed Gibson out at about that time, so even if the NAACP were driving the issue, which it isn’t (it’s having the opposite effect, causing people who would otherwise speak out on the issue to sit back rather than get associated with the NAACP’s weak attempt to coerce the state), it still wouldn’t have anything to do with Gibson. He’s been gone from the scene for quite some time.
    I feel ridiculous even explaining that, because what I’m doing is saying things that are plainly on the record, when it shouldn’t even come up to begin with. Why? I’ll say it again:
    I hope I shouted it loudly enough to be heard that time…

  14. W C Salley

    The previous post was a perfect example!
    It’s a shame the persons supporting the flying of the confederate flag IN THE SINGLE MOST PROMINENT PUBLIC LOCATION IN THE STATE have to resort to personal attacks, illogical analogies, and extortion – instead of constructive dialog. Why? Because there is nothing to be gained by the keeping the flag in it’s current location. They have run out of valid reasons.
    I have been a resident of Columbia for 42 years. I was born here and my parents are buried within sight of the confederate flag. I too hold a degree from USC and contribute to the university (but I won’t tie it to any conditions). Don’t tell me not to go down Gervais Street!
    And as for your reference to rap and porn – you can’t change the channel when the crap is blasting out of cars driving through your neighborhood – so you have no point there either.
    As a businessman, SC resident, Columbia resident, Gamecock fan, Christian, and white guy, I say the flag must be removed NOW. Put it in the historical documents case at the State Museum and let the legislature squabble about how they want the inscription on the plaque to read. It’s an historical symbol that, in the perception of many people, locally and nationally, is also representative of oppression and hate.

  15. Brad Warthen

    Thank, W.C. So can I count you, and Mayor Coble, and Susan, and Claudia, and Eric, and Steven, and Herb as charter members of the SCAASC?
    We’ve got to get organized on this. The extremists have THEIR organizations; it’s high time that the sensible majority stopped sitting as quiet, powerless individuals on the sidelines. Let’s have us a movement.
    I’ve been criticized by regulars on this blog for TALKING about the UnParty, but not actually holding any meetings. OK, on THIS I will call meetings, and play whatever role in the movement the groups asks me too. I’ll sit up stuffing envelopes all night, or whatever. How about y’all? Are you ready to get together and get something positive DONE for a change?

  16. Claudia

    Count me in, Brad! Death by a thousand paper cuts or slow poisoning by envelope glue… if that’s what it takes to make the right thing finally happen, so be it! Where do I sign??

  17. M E Johnson

    What a weenie we have for a mayor. As a so-called politician, he should know the value of compromise and sticking to your word. If he gets his ‘ship sunk’ everywhere he goes because of a historical flag, then he obviously can’t think of all the good things about our wonderful state. If a historical flag should not be displayed at matching historical monument, something is wrong with our sense of history.
    The plan came off the dome with the compromise to put it where it is now, but the folks that made the compromise seem to have forgotten what they agreed to.
    To ” ‘Lily’ aka Claudia – If, as you say, your family has been in this state from the beginning, I’m sure all of your ancestors are flipping in their graves.
    To Steven Pulley, I just wish I was as eloquent as you in my wording. Your words make me proud.
    To Mayor Bob, and The State, how about doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Creating friction, and/or keeping friction alive and well serves no one, and I don’t think that is your in your job descriptions anyway.
    To Steve Spurrier, you ain’t even from around here. You are here strictly for the money. How about just saying something positive about your players every now and then? Leave local issues to people who care more about issues that pertain to them and less about getting some face time on television.
    If you want to know history, read a real history book. There are those who want you to believe the Civil War was about slavery. The percentage of Southerners that owned slaves was very small. Yet these boys came from the hills, and from their farms, and from the woods. They brought their shotguns and their old rusty pistols. They wore bib overalls and came with bare feet because the South had no money for uniforms or Winchesters or all the other comforts of war that the Federal soldiers were issued.
    Unfortunately, groups like the KKK, Neo-Nazis,and Skinhead groups, among others have turned our flag into a symbol of hatred.
    My ancestors, too, all the way through South Carolina history, down to me, have been service people during every war in this country’s history. They fought and died to secure the freedoms of their loved ones and their homes. Not to preserve slavery.
    You people got what you wanted and agreed to. Let it go.

  18. Claudia

    Speaking as one of the “you people”, ME, I can firmly state that letting it go is not an option. Flying the Confederate battle flag on the state house grounds perpetuates the stereotype of South Carolinians as backwards-looking bigots. Furthermore, its significance as a historic symbol has been preempted by a racist symbology of hate and fanaticism. The swastika has its origins in ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions, among others, possibly representing the Sun. But appropriation by the Nazi Party as its official emblem eclipsed its historical status. So it is with the Confederate battle flag.
    And don’t worry about my ancestors… Granny was a side-sleeper.

  19. Jack

    I agree with Brad and Steve, the flag needs to come down. If the flag that is a symbol of your heritage is used by the KKK and white supremacists, you might want to use something else. The flag now represents hate and racism for many South Carolinians. Do these tax payers deserve that flag on their government’s doorstep. Our state government’s grounds should not have such a divisive symbol anywhere.

  20. Ben

    I agree completely with Claudia. I was born in South Carolina, love the Gamecocks, and hype up the state every chance I get. Since I’ve been employed all over the country since graduation from USC, the comments get old. The state is beautiful in so many ways with so many wonderful foods, places, people, customs, and things. I hate it when people shoot down my grand descriptions with comments about the flag.
    I know just how much of an impact the Civil War had on our state. I give people a history lesson each time they throw the flag in my face. I let them know that it wasn’t just about slaves and bigotry. I’m just tired of having to make the case for a place and culture I am so proud of. If there is a need for a flag over that memorial, make it a different one. The only battle that is going on now involves South Carolinians and the defense of our state’s reputation. Isn’t there a way to honor our ancestors who fought without using that particular flag? Too many other, less than honorable, groups have turned it into something I don’t identify with at all. It’s just agravating when people immediately associate me with racism because each time they see a national article on the state it features the same symbol the KKK is waving around. There has to be a better way.

  21. JR

    It’s just about the FLAG!? Then why, where the flag has been removed from vision and discourse, is it now about monuments or streets named for Lee or Jackson or Longstreet or Forest?
    If it’s about the misappropriation of this symbol of independence by hate groups, then we must remove the American flag, censure any rendition of the cross including the Scottish Saltire, and outlaw the black liberation flag.
    If it’s about stereotypes and perceived bigotry of this state or region, then explain the influx of Fortune 500 companies and HQs and correct those who are stereotyping and prejudging.
    The words, published in the State website today, of Cory Boyd, a young, black, soon to be college educated, New Jersey transplant are instructive: he says the flag does not concern him, that outside forces told him this was a racist state/city, but that all he has seen is love since his arrival.
    If you really think its about the FLAG, then you must also be convinced that it’s eradication from view and discussion will permanently end the aggravation caused by this “divisive” non-issue. And, if you do, I have some prime beachfront real estate on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska to sell you. You will love it, the surfing is great and the sunsets over the ocean are lovely. Just sign that blank check and hand it over, I’ll fill in the details later to save you the trouble. Really, that’s all I want, trust me, I have your very best interests at heart. Really.

  22. Carol Hathaway

    “Postscript: Let me tell you something about this Dr. Gibson thing, Carol. First, the NAACP did not inject itself into this with its boycott until 1999, about five years after I started writing those hundreds of columns and editorials.”
    That isn’t true, unless you are trying to draw a distinction between “inject itself into this” and “inject itself into this with its boycott”. The NAACP, prompted by Mr. Gibson’s desire to deflect attention away from his misconduct, started agitating against the flag in about 1994 or 1995, which is when you decided to write about it. A formal boycott might have come later, but the NAACP involvement definitely came before you are claiming it did.
    And you misunderstand my point. My point isn’t that the flag should or shouldn’t stay up. My point is that only keeping the flag up serves your purpose, because the presence of the flag provides something easy and meaningless to do, that can be done instead of taking any kind of meaningful action. If the flag is taken down, you can’t talk any more about taking it down. It’s a nice, safe, meaningless thing to talk about, that won’t change the lives of anyone. Talking about the flag is a way to avoid real change.
    So go on, talk about the flag, but remember, don’t let things get out of hand, because once you run out of meaningless gestures, you are left only with doing something meaningful, or else admitting that you don’t want to do anything meaningful.

  23. TC

    You assume that the flag offends only “THE BLACKS”; I can tell you from personal knowledge that white Athletes, superior white students and business that employ white people have taken a pass on South Carolina because of that flag. Believe me, SC is not at the point that we can afford to let talented people (of all colors) overlook our state. The fact that the debate over this flag can raise such passions is a testament to the power of symbols and the symbolism represented by this flag is a giant negative to our state. The first thing our military did upon the capture of Baghdad was to remove Saddam’s Iraqi flag, pull down Saddam’s statue and remove all murals of Saddam’s face. It is against the law to fly the Swastika in Germany. Why? Because symbols tell a story and says something about the people that display them. What is this flag saying to the world about South Carolina?

  24. D Shelley

    How about talking us up some more touch downs. And stop trying to hold your job by talking bad about the flag.

  25. clif judy

    What comments! We cannot walk the streets of Columbia,yet the Mayor spends time to add to the issue of a simple flag flying, important to some, of no condsequence to others ( it was up since the sixties until someone noticed)..And the coach would better spend his time recruiting football players who did not commit felonies. In fairness, let the citizens of SC vote on the flag with everybody obeying the results! This seems fair enough.

  26. R Ridgeway

    Oh I get it. We are supposed to remove a memorial to our heritage while we have a month of theirs shoved down our throat. It is symbolism over substance to remove the flag and will not satisfy them. It will only be one more thing we will be expected to do to make them happy. As for Spurier who is he to come here and tell us what to do? Go back to earning your millions running a football team.
    I am so tired of this debate. Get over it already. It is a flag. It does not mean oppression. If the jews can live with VWs all over the place you can live with a flag.

  27. James D McCallister

    “We are supposed to remove a memorial to our heritage while we have a month of theirs shoved down our throat.”
    See? “Theirs.”
    There is no us and them, R. Ridgeway. There is only we. And “we” is sick of you and your hate speech.
    Every year I watch overgrown children like you play dress-up in your tattered and moth-eaten gray uniforms, parading around not as a tribute to our fallen, mutual ancestors, but to send a message–a reminder–to “them” about who is boss in good old SC.
    Why be so coy in your usage of pronouns? Just come out and say it. You hate African-Americans. And your flag is the symbol of that hate, hanging limply in the historical breeze just down the way from Pitchfork Ben all covered in pigeon doody. Just come right out and say it. What are they going to do? Fire you from CBS radio?

  28. Rick Steiner

    The grand ole debate is risen again.
    The problem is that when the battle flag was put on top of the it was the wrong one at the wrong time. Its a battle flag. The Confederacy had two flags. Its national flag and various battle flags. The First National flag should have gone up top the capital in reverencce to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the War Between the States where both blacks and whites fougth side by side, not segregated as up north. Only problem was the country at that point was in a civil rights movement and was put up their by the racist politicians of the time.
    This whole issue could have been averted in one swift move but the ignorance of the people involved and the hard headed-ness cause a very unique deal to fall through, putting the First National flag up. I fly mine 24/7 and people ask me what flag is that, I live in a predominantly black neighborhood, and have no objections.
    Both the NAACP, the politicians in this state, SCV and ignorance has caused much more in the way of problems for this state than that flag ever did.
    Where was your blog being critial of the NAACP when they ruined three Duke players lives, Tawana Brawley, “Nappy Headed Ho’s”. There is racial polarization going on and you, your paper and the media do as much as they can to perpetuate a confrontation by the news subject you report as if there important and as the way you present them.
    I can only say I, glad I don’t pay to read what the State has to say.

  29. Henry W.

    Leave the flag where it is. We already went through this debate ad nauseum a few years ago. The state legislature, a representative body of the people, reached a fair compromise to move the flag to its current location. It now requires a 2/3 vote of each each house of the assembly to change that. If you think you can get those kind of votes, go for it! Otherwise, people would be better served focusing on real problems and issues in this state instead of crying about the flag.

  30. Rich

    If anyone wants to make the argument that the flag is affecting our economy please show me some proof to back that up. That is just plain false. The economic boycott hasn’t had even the slightest measurable impact on our economy.
    And if a football recruit says he doesn’t want to come to USC because of the flag, he is just looking for an excuse. The real reason is that USC football SUCKS and so does Columbia. GO TIGERS!

  31. Chris White

    I could care less what they do concerning the flag. It just is not important to me.
    But know that if this debate begins…nothing else of value will happen in this state until the last demigod (on either side of the issue) has spoken his last tired cliché.
    So place to the side education reform (insiders and lobbyist will be pleased but kids with get screwed), DOT reform (insiders and lobbyist will be pleased but taxpayers will get screwed), scrutiny of the forthcoming state budget (insiders and lobbyist will be pleased but taxpayers will get screwed)….do you see my point?
    It is the classic wedge issue. The NAACP will make money and gain platforms. Nerds and war freaks and hate groups find themselves on TV…and in the end the issue is irrelevant to the man in the street…but the game goes on and the small minded get sucked in: played like a fiddle by those that benefit from the confusion.

  32. Daryl

    Does anyone think that removing the flag is going to make any postive difference for black South Carolinians? Their so called “leaders” march and protest day and night about white oppression and racisim while their children kill each other in the streets. It is truly sad. Wake up black America, your destiny is in your hands. Use your political capitol to actually make positive changes in your community and don’t squander it symbolic non-issues such as this.

  33. Tom

    I was born and raised in NC and lived in SC for 11 years. I was there during the initial discussions about removing the flag from the capitol dome. I had no problem moving the flag from the dome to a place by the confederate memorial. This is what was agreed to and now all of a sudden this is not good enough. Well, where to you draw the line in the sand and say enough is enough. I currently live above the Mason Dixon Line, a job requirement, and let me tell you something. There are more cars and trucks running around here with confederate battle flags on them than I saw in the south. So someone is confused, the drivers of these vehicles or the guys who drew the Mason Dixon Line. I am not blind enough to think there is not racism in this great nation, but that view cuts both ways. The blacks want to have the white heritage flag removed because it is offensive. What about whites who find the black flag, not sure if it has a name, offensive? Personally, I don’t care but I know of people who do. My biggest gripe with all this holding the confederate flag responsible for slavery is why do not blacks screaming for justice ever mention the fact that blacks had black slaves in Africa and they are the ones who initially sold black slaves to the Dutch. Both sides of a story need to be told in order to arrive at the truth. The NAACP, acting as the representative for the black community, agreed to the move of the flag from the dome to the current site. Live with the first agreement and move on with life.

  34. Paul DeMarco

    I’m too busy to write anything of substance, just two quick comments:
    1) I’m amazed at the number of new posters on this thread. I don’t think it’s the subject matter since the flag is a common topic here. Could it be your recent banning of Lee?
    2) Sign me up for SCAASC.

  35. Preston

    Wow, it sure is nice to see what the flag supporters are all about. They seem to be just a bunch of passive lovers of mankind.

  36. Henry Martin Jr

    What kind of serious garbage is this?
    (in screaming bold letters) It is not about the NAACP, it is about the flag…it is about where we want to be? I understand your point, but that is a dream world. MLK had a dream and the reality was a person with no dream shot him. The Confederate flag has been drummed up to be worse than it really is. If we burned every confederate flag in existence and deleted every historical reference to it in our books and computer hard drives, what would change tomorrow in the hearts of those involved? Compromise is not total satisfaction with the solution on both sides. There was a compromise and we still want more? My point about extortion is the tactic one side takes speaks volumes about their intent. They are willing to hurt others including people they are trying to help…for what? It is Power they want only…same problem our current political parties have – Power desire is overriding compromise desire. Compromise leaves both sides feeling they got the most they could get in a situation. All you are championing is another step in a position that was already a compromise. All I asked was what is the NEXT compromise for this NAACP group seeking power? Also there are as many people that lean on the NAACP topics as an excuse for their failure to fulfill their purpose on earth, as there are extremists on the other side fighting to oppress minority rights. I expect to see your column soon on the condemnation of Jesse Jackson when he does not issue an apology to the three Duke students they marched and accused of taking advantage of a black female who was a stripper for goodness sakes, probably because of the Confederate flag oppression. LOL. (in reality she/they did it for personal gain or to hide something else not because it was right). It is not as simplistic as you put it, but I understand your dream in spades. Your issue is the INTENT of “A FLAG”. My issue is the INTENTIONS of the group seeking this action. The credibility of the bandwagon you are on is in question. The majority is sick of the intentions of the NAACP. The flag is just one of their actions we question in a much broader picture. If you could eliminate the KKK and the NAACP, I am all for it. I learned long ago when I was sent to an integrated high school that was all black before, that it is not the color of the skin that matters, it is the intention of the heart that matters. I was born and raised here. Therefore I think my opinion holds more merit than yours, even though I am willing to compromise.
    PS – Tell Mayor Bob, Innovista is not going to matter anyway since global warning will have the ocean covering Columbia in about 10 years, haven’t you heard? LOL

  37. ed

    I say take it down. Tomorrow. Remove it as an excuse for black “leaders” who would rather fuss and fume about a silly flag than meaningfully address the REAL problems that are killing the black people. The Confederate flag has been used as an excuse and a crutch by these do-nothing say-anything race pimps for years and it is time to stop it. Take the flag down reverently, place it somewhere fitting and where those who wish to can go and see it. But take it down and let’s see whether the NAACP starts working on real problems or finds some other excuse for doing nothing meaningful. Ed

  38. ed

    By the way, do black folk know that the Confederate flag was placed on the capitol dome by one of their beloved liberal democrats in the sixties? This is true, and seems to be conveniently ignored by many who just love the liberal democrat party. Ed

  39. Ted Sbardella

    Keep the flag where it is. The confederate flag is indelibly part of South Carolina. Now I love my NWA as much as any Southern “White” boy who went to college in the 80s and early 90s so do not confuse me with the bearded flag fanatics. Anyway The flag is like yelling “free bird” at a band it is a way to feel a part of a place of a Conservative South a place that takes the good with the bad. Take symbol and make it over the way you like like some of the bumper stickers I have seen but leave the original in a place where it will last for my children. The Brad Warthens of South Carolina needs to move to Boston where they re-hash and regurgitate and re-invent their history with each passing fad.
    You are allowed to leave if you want. Brad please leave, I will help pay for your re-location fund. I can only spare five bucks but that would get you a small coffee in Boston – you could sit and watch the police blow up a wire.

  40. ed

    Blow up a wire?!? They do this in Boston? Why? What did the wire do to deserve blowing up? Is there a wire problem in the northeast sort of like pine beetles here? Should we consider blowing up wires here as a precautionary measure? Where do you look for wires that may need blowing up? Do they run in packs or operate singly? Just wondering…Ed

  41. bg

    Let’s make both sides happy. Let’s remove the small confederate flag and the huge one side of the capital african american monument and be done with it all.

  42. James Byrd

    How can we tell Blacks to forget about slavery when the Confederate flag is a constant reminder of slavery? For the gentleman who said he’s not willing to give up his heritage, he seems to have forgotten that the Confederate flag is also a symbol of heritages lost when the selling of slaves broke family ties! But more importantly, from an economic standpoint, the flag needs to come down because it’s time for South Carolina to enter the 21st Century!
    Removing the flag may also help USC’s athletic program! How? USC either has recruited or can recruit football players from the same areas as Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Miami. How come all of those schools have won a national championship and USC hasn’t? I mean even SC State has won a Division 1-AA championship! As for basketball players, just look a little bit to the north. Duke, UNC and NC State have a combined total of 9 Championships. USC’s claim to fame? In 1997 they were a 2nd seed and lost to 15th seed Coppin State. In 1998, they were a 3 seed and lost of 14th seed Richmond!

  43. Mike in Houston, TX

    As a native South Carolinian who now resides in Texas, it amazes me how many people make this out to be black vs white issue on both sides. Did South Carolina have a meaningful past? Yes. Does the removal of the Conferedarate flag in any means negate South Carolina’s past? Of course not. Let’s all be honest, we know the flag conjures up negative images. We know that most of the supporters of the flag only want it to be flown as a reminder to some of the great citizens of our state who happened to be either liberal or minority. The flag that should be flown proudly above our State Dome, etc. is out lovely State Flag, one of the most beautiful in all the land. This is the flag that we can all celebrate. This is a flag that represents the past, present and the future.

  44. Claudia

    One more time now…
    This is about removing the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds. It’s not about statues of Ben Tillman, the black liberation flag, streets named Confederate Avenue, or schools named Robert E. Lee Academy.
    It’s also not about the NAACP and its boycotts or attempts to bend anyone to its will. It’s not about angry people who refuse to be forced by the NAACP to do anything. It’s not about Confederate re-enactors, Hunley sub raisers, or anyone with flags in their car windows or flying in their front yards.
    It IS about the bumper car ride that is our state legislature and how they fumbled the ball YET AGAIN (nod to Spurrier) and blew their chance to resolve this issue once and for all. It’s about an ill-conceived and useless compromise that did none of the things compromises are suppose to do… if it had this entire thread would be nonexistent.
    To all whose first reaction to the idea of removing the flag is “what will they demand next??” I beg you – please – consider the fact that this is a FLAG being flown in the most obvious and honored place in our state. Flags of government are very special and unique symbols. They are not statues, streets, schools or memorials. They are extraordinarily powerful symbols. The implications of that power must be carefully considered… certainly before they are flown at the heart of state government.

  45. Preston

    Brad, I can say that this is a noble effort on your part to address this issue, but it is virtually impossible to have a coherent, logical and civil discussion about this, especially in the anonymous confines of cyberspace.
    The arguements for keeping the flag up all begin with the same cliches. Either someone is 25th generation South Carolinian, or someone who prefaces their argument witht the old “I’m for the flag, and I have a lot of black friends”, or the downright disturbing violent fanatics. None of these arguments are remotely original or legitimate. Many of the postings are literally unintelligible drivel. The flag represents something un-American, period. It has no place on the statehouse grounds.
    As for those idiots spouting off about Steve Spurrier and how he should stick to football, I ask you, what the hell makes you so qualified and Spurrier ill equipped to opine? He’s not from here? He’s from East Tennessee for Christ’s sake. He is perfectly qualified to speak on this matter.
    Some of the ideas expressed here this morning remind me of why I am sometimes ashamed to be a South Carolinian. The only place I know where a myopic simplistic worldview is a badge of honor.

  46. Waylon

    Here is a compromise to think about: maybe we should just fly the flag on Confederate Memorial Day at the Confederate memorial on the state house grounds. Maybe make it a removable flag pole. The flag gets flown on the one day singled out for remembrance of our state’s Confederate history. The rest of the year we are a state of the United States of America.

  47. ed

    Unfortunately Claudia, your saying something doesn’t make it true. The flag issue IS exactly about every single one of the things you say it isn’t. The flag issue IS about the flag-excuse loving NAACP and boycotts. It’s about angry, obstinate people and flags in yards and on car bumpers. To pretend that it isn’t over simplifies and mis-defines the problem, and a wrongly defined problem is an unsolvable problem. I happen to agree with you that the flag should be removed (albeit for entirely different reasons…see above) but I reject the idea that the issue doesn’t include all the stuff you’d like to think it doesn’t. Ed

  48. ed

    Preston, I am one of the “idiots” and it is surprising how little people who like to throw around the name of Christ actually know about Him. In any case, you are correct, Spurrier can say whatever silly thing he pleases. My point is simply that he gets paid a bunch of money to coach a football team…and I’d rather he pay more attention to that than I would that he tell me what he thinks about the flag. I think that’d be a good priority for him. As for us idiots…we come to this blog to express our opinions, whether you happen to like them or not. And, if you are ashamed to be a South Carolinian, there are other places you could live where no one would have to know the horrible truth about where you’re from unless you told them. Ed

  49. J. Davis

    Waylon, that would seem to be a fair compromise to this issue. However, we cannot forget that a compromise was already reached to put the flag in its current location.
    In my opinion, the heart of this issue has nothing to with the flag or racism but with South Carolina’s long-standing tradition in upholding the principles of federalism. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787 we did not cede our sovereignty in full to the federal government, but instead we granted in trust only certain powers for the protection of the states (ex. regulation of interstate commerce and national security). And to me, the flag is a reminder that when the federal government attempts to abuse those powers which it holds in trust we will fight tooth and nail.
    But that’s just my opinion.

  50. Zeke

    Let’s get one thing straight! The use of the word progressive is a stealth meaning of liberal and socialist! It is not in concert with the ideal or the idea of America! Anyone who believes the crock of bull about the war was about slavery is not informed of the conditions that brought on the war! You need to read real history and not the revised history put out by liberal and civil rights proponents! If it was about slavery, Lincoln would have freed all slaves at once! HE DID NOT! Only the slaves in the Confederacy! If you look at his motivations, and his ultimate belief that Africans should be returned to Africa, maybe you can come to an intelliget conclusion! The war was not about slavery! It was an result of the North and Lincoln to preserve the Country regardless of the consequences! When the country was formed, it was decided that to entice all states to sign on to the union, ANY STATE THAT WANTED TO LEAVE COULD DO SO AT ANY TIME! Read the Federalist Papers, The Articles of Confederation and the notes from THE CONSTITUIONAL CONVENTION! This bout will never end as long as groups, activists, and the Federal government continue to ignore the limits put upon the Federal govenment by the founders of the country! The Federal government is suppoosed to provide for national defense and arbitrate the differences that come up between the states! NOTHING ELSE! They are constantly in violation of the Constitution!!

  51. Thomas Hagan

    We live in a world of perception. As long as the rest of the thinking world associates South Carolina with rascism because we continue to fly the flag in the front of our center of government, we have a problem. I’ve lived all over the county, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve proudly stated “I’m from South Carolina”, only to have thrown in my face, “Oh yes, you guys still have the Confederate Flag on top of your state house”. Even though that’s not correct, most around the country make that mistake. We are “perceived” as backwards. Many don’t care about that, becasue they will live and die within the corriders of the state and don’t care what “the outsiders” think. And by the way, Coach Spurrier became “an outsider” when he had the audacity to utter the words that all who support the flag feared that a person with an association with out state, who also has a national platform, would. The stance that we are taking is no different that the Gov. of Mississppi standing on the steps of the University defending the states right to make the decision who would and would not enter the school. This all boils down to the neanderthal thinking..”no outsider will tell us what to do”.
    That sort of thinking, or lack thereof, gets us right where we are. We’re the butt of jokes around the country.

  52. Michael

    I am a white man and I know from growing up here in South Carolina that being patriotic and honoring the past means to us. The Confederate flag to many of us represents southern tradition and sacrifice God, Country, and Family. Thousands of South Carolinians went off to war to protect state rights and thousands of them were killed and maimed for life. The ones that did return found a post- apocalyptic world. Sherman razed the land right through the heart of South Carolina and homes, livestock , farms and personal possessions were all lost. Yet the institution of slavery was an evil that brought harsh repercussions. Yet, we should not turn our heads to the fact that whites were the only victims of The Civil war. African slaves during The Civil War and post civil war reconstruction were severely persecuted by whites due to racism and ignorant retribution from whites that blamed the losses that whites suffered from the War. I’ve in the past have debated with friends, coworkers and, family that the Confederate Flag should be flown over the State House and now on the grounds. Yet over the years I have come to terms that the Confederate Flag does represent oppression to our black neighbors and friends and putting the Confederate flag in a museum is more appropriate in the twenty-first century. The past should not be forgotten and that is why museums are built so people can see relics of the past and understand its meaning to each individual. The State House is the peoples house not the seat for one particular faction. I believe its time for us to fold the flag and allow whites, blacks , brown and whatever their color of skin to start looking forward and move on.

  53. Ronnie Abrams

    Brad, you and the rest of your scalawags will not rest until all vestiges of the Confederacy are removed. You are cultural marxists, Jacobins, and the like. You seek to undo anything Southern with your elitist attitudes sitting behind the high and mighty newspaper desk. The South did not lose her ideals upon which we fought for, the whole rest of the Union did . When the War of Northern Agression ended , the birth of the American empire ensued . We have been an empire since. That is why we are in Iraq now. Go ahead and take down the battle flag from the monument if you will… BUT you may get more than you and your kind bargained for. Our Washington handlers have another globalist scheme in creating the NAFTA super corridor and perhaps ending our borders/sovreintry as well. You are already seeing Southern leaders in the various state legislatures propose bills condemning this and other one world order policies. Another revolution will come one day. The South that we true Southerners of all races know and love will run its own affairs one day. I doubt I live to see it, but it is coming. We can take so much until we cannot take anymore.When you desecrate that flag as you do you dishonor all the brave soldiers and sailors and innocent civilians who struggled and died to live as a republic that Washington and Jefferson evisioned which no longer exists. Think about it the next time you push and shove to make SC something she is not nor will ever be. We are descendants of AngloCeltic warriors. We will always fight for our beliefs in God, family, and the right to be free…something that will be lost if we do not wake up.

  54. Michael Priest

    The USC has always had one of the best recruiting classes in college football and year in and year out those recruits have fallen short. So we can now blame the Confederate Battle Flag for the problem that Carolina Football as well as the other athletics has faced. Steve your new quarterback’s runs in with law are because he saw the confederate flag at our capital and it made him Drink and drive. The flag also caused him to vandalize his professor’s car. Stick to Football Steve and Brad keep selling newspapers.

  55. Ready to Hurl

    The ends for which this [U.S.] Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
    These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
    We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.
    For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
    This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its peace and safety.
    [excerpt from from the State of South Carolina, Journal of the Convention of the People of South Carolina, Held in 1860, 1861, and 1862. Together with the Ordinances, Reports, Resolutions, etc. (Columbia, S.C.: R. W. Gibbes, Printer to the Convention, 1862), 461-466.]

  56. Ready to Hurl

    My post above is either a refresher or a news flash for those in denial about slavery not being a primary cause of the Civil War.

  57. Ken Felder

    Before I get into to heart of this, let me say I’m by no means a scholar of The War Between The States, but I’ve learned much in the last seven or eight years. Before any of you went spouting off against The Confederate Flag, you should have done some research on the subject. I’m not talking about reading The State newspaper or listening to the local news, because they are not going to write or air anything they consider “Politically Incorrect”. I mean go to your public libraries, go online, there is a lot of information out there. Find out how your government invaded a foreign nation and then lied to you about the reasons. Slavery was not an important part of The War Between The States, in fact Lincoln wanted to rid the country of all blacks, slaves and free men alike. He favored shipping all of them out of the country. Slavery was on a decline for the simple reason of cost effectiveness. The country was on the verge of industrial revolution and slavery was not profitable. It took the majority of what was raised on plantations to house and feed the owners and slaves. Lincoln could have avoided the war if he had done as other countries had. He could have paid the owners for the slaves and ended slavery. This certainly would have been a lot cheaper than financing a war for four years, which took thousands of lives and destroyed half of the south. I’m not sure Lincoln wanted the war, but he wanted the tariffs, which was eighty percent or more of the nation’s tariffs. Yes, now we’re getting to the heart of the reason for the war. Lincoln was losing eighty percent or more of the nation’s tariffs and wanted a shift of power from the states to a central government (Federal Government). When the states seceded, Lincoln lost eighty percent of the nations revenue and probably all hope of a central government. Now tell me, if someone suddenly took eighty percent of your money, what would you do. All the manufacturing was in the north and raising tariffs on the wealthy northerners was not an option, Lincoln would have been assassinated before Ford’s Theatre. So Lincoln goaded the south thinking that they would knuckle under and if they did fight, it would be over in a few months, no big deal, like two siblings fighting over the last sweet treat. Well, Lincoln didn’t count on the south’s love of their states and willingness to fight to keep their rights to decide their own destiny; rather than be dictated to by a central government. Doesn’t this sound a lot like the reasons for the Revolutionary War? Well, the war starts and doesn’t end in a few months, so Lincoln is getting desperate, he has no real reason for the war that is costing millions of dollars and thousands of lives. Enter the Emancipation Proclamation. This document sounds good on the surface, but notice it does not free a single slave in the north. Yes, there were slave owners in the north. Lincoln cunningly freed only slaves of southern states (states that seceded, remember, they are now a foreign nation. The Confederate States of America) of which he had no control over. Why did Lincoln not free the slaves of the northern states? Because, slavery was not really an issue of the war, at least not as far as Lincoln was concerned. There were some northerners who wanted to abolish slavery, but by the same token there were some southerners. Slavery was on it’s way out and it wouldn’t have taken a war to end it. Blacks in the south suffered, in many cases worse than whites, at the hands of union troops. Black women were regrettably, routinely, raped and beaten and in some cases killed. Union soldiers often told slaves, they were not fighting this war to free them, but not in so nice terms. Does this sound like an army fighting to free slaves? I think not. So when it comes to whether The Confederate Flag should fly on the state house grounds, I say yes. We all know the groups that try to paint this flag as a racial symbol, most of their paychecks depend on keeping things stirred up so more donations come in and they get their paycheck. These people are no better than the Lincolns of our government. The flag should fly along side The Confederate Monument to remind us of the men that fought, died and bled for it, both black and white. Yes, there were black confederate soldiers. And to make us remember the atrocities of a federal government so intent on power and money and hope we never have to go there again.

  58. Ronnie Abrams

    Ready to Hurl
    Please cite where the battle flag was an official government flag of the Confederacy.
    Please cite where Gen U S Grant lamented having to free his own personal slaves after the war.Please cite where the proposed Constitutional amendment to make slavery permanent was offered to the South just after secession to entice rentry to the Union.
    Please cite the Tariff of Abominations and the North’s refusal to change unfair trade practices against the South.
    If you’re gonna cite official documents, you might as well cite ’em all.

  59. Melonie

    My ancestors fought under that flag for that they believed was the right thing. To get rid of it minimizes their deaths. Maybe you could put the flag on the agenda right behind the p-nut and breast feeding issue. Don’t you people have anything else to do than dredge this up ….again….and again….. If it goes away what WILL you talk about? Why don’t you put this much energy into something that will benefit everyone….like the property tax issue.

  60. Chris White

    And so you see…nothing settled, nothing gained, and the divide deepens. Real issues are pushed aside so that some of us can spew their petty opinions in an effort to hear themselves talk.
    What good is it to pull the scab off this wound? None…but it moves attention to the “feelings” elite…and the business of state proceeds forward as it always does. The powerful and the connected do very well, and the rest are left arguing about a piece of cloth.
    Enjoy listening to yourselves…that is all you can hope to achieve out of this nonsense.

  61. JimT

    Take it down! Historical artifacts belong in museums.
    I won’t try to decide if those who fought in the war were noble or if they were racist. In the big scheme of things, their motives have become moot. It’s enough to know that flag has been used in the most hateful ways since that time. People who had that thing waved in their faces as they tried to integrate schools or restaurants have their own history that cannot be denied. It’s bigotry pure and simple that lets white people think their heritage is the only one that matters. Put the thing in a museum and you can go there and honor it all you want to.

  62. Daryl

    Judging by the responses on this post, it appears that people are split on this issue about 50/50. Unfortunately, it will take 2/3 vote by the General Assembly to have the flag removed.
    Sorry, Brad and Steve. Maybe try again in a few years.

  63. David

    This state is so backwards its not even funny. Here we are in the 21st century and people’s mindsets are still in 1861. It hurts Columbia’s and SC’s image whether you want to believe it or not.

  64. Ian

    I’ve been living in South Carolina for close to eight years. Before moving here, I’d heard about the Confederate flag flying on the Statehouse grounds, and it was hilarious to see it with my own eyes. Quite shocking.
    Whenever friends visit from out of town, I take them by there and we all have a good chuckle at the backwardsness of the whole situation. Argue what you will, but that flag equals racism to anyone with a brain.
    If you were smart, you’d take it down. But you won’t … for reasons that probably reflect why this state is rated so poorly in everything from education to, well, the list goes on and on.
    To the Confederate flag supporters: Are you American or what? To those who point to their “heritage” as a reason the flag should continue to fly and embarrass the residents of this state, I say you’re completely full of it. Your ancestors tried to take on the United States of America and failed miserably. There’s plenty of evidence of your heritage on the Statehouse grouds — just look at those gold stars on the building itself where Sherman’s cannon balls struck back in 1865. Those should be a great reminder of what happens when you try to overthrow the greatest country in the world.

  65. Brad Warthen

    Actually, Daryl, you can’t judge by the comments on this post. All this measures is the people who are motivated to leave their remarks.
    One of the remarkable things about South Carolina is that the people who want to keep it up are not exactly your shy, retiring types. Most people who think the whole thing is ridiculous and would rather see us all move on and not have the flag there any more to attract such unsavory attention are too polite, too shy, too fastidious, whatever, to mix it up with the rowdies who want to keep it up. One side is far too willing to fight, the other by and large would rather not.
    I see this pattern over and over on issue after issue — DOT reform, the cigarette tax, DUI laws, public education — most of the issues that are factors in our state trailing the rest of the country. The people who will stand up for the bad, illogical status quo are far louder and more invested in the issue than the less-committed people who would like things to be better, but are too involved with living their lives to get involved and fight for change.
    Those are the folks I’m trying to get stirred up here.
    On the one hand you have the crowd that says, “That’s MY flag, dammit! Nobody’s touching it!” On the other hand you have the much greater number who react, every time this is brought to their attention, by saying, “The Confederate flag? Oh my! THAT’S still there? Oh, that’s so embarrassing. And you say we had company here and they NOTICED it? Oh, goodness gracious. Can’t we just talk about something else, something nice? Here, have some sweet tea.”
    Well, my eyeballs are swimming in sweet tea. I want these people to get off their comfortable behinds and DO something.

  66. Steve Gordy

    Brad, sign me up. It would be hilarious (if it weren’t sad) that, for so many of our fellow citizens, the apex of South Carolina’s history is those four years from 1861 to 1865, not the pivotal part the state played in the Revolutionary War, and not the other 300+ years which are part of our past.

  67. Daryl

    Why is everyone so concerned with what everyone outside of South Carolina thinks about the flag? You are probably the same people that wonder what the poor terrorists think of us as they cry themselves to sleep in their cells in Guatanamo Bay.
    When I see a genuine homegrown movement of local black citizens without support from outside interest groups then MAYBE I will entertain the idea of supporting removal of the flag.
    I am not convinced that most black South Carolinians care. Your paternalistic attitude towards black people is repugnant. Let them speak for themselves on this issue

  68. Hank

    Yes, please, let’s focus our efforts on the flag because taking it down will improve the economy, revitalize the educational system, and reverse racism all through one bold action.
    Brad’s big on symbolism and idealism. Wonder when he’ll stand on Gervais Street with a sign denouncing the flag? So far he’s offered to stuff envelopes and hold meetings…

  69. Brad Warthen

    Thank you for demonstrating the truth of what I said a few comments up.
    VG, Daryl and Hank are indeed typical of the kinds of folks who will trouble themselves to speak out on the subject.
    My purpose, once again, is to get the rest of you off your duffs and into the game.
    I’m going to go take it easy the rest of my Sunday. I’ll check back in with y’all tomorrow. A number of good people have stepped forward to volunteer to help with moving our state forward. I’m giving others a chance to weigh in before we figure out the next step. So be patient.

  70. Chris White

    Aren’t wedge issues wonderful? They split us, they accomplish nothing. They distract us from what is important, and they let us all take the high moral ground that makes us feel good about ourselves.
    Meanwhile, we remain nearly last in everything good and first in everything bad. And the moralizing baboons spouting off for God and Country (on both sides of the issue) are dancing to the tune of those that can amuse the masses.
    And all this just in time for national attention brought about the political primaries. Yes, take names and watch closely…as many that aspire to celebrity will get what they covet most…attention and a chance a relevancy.
    May God help us all…

  71. Terry

    I say we remove hate mongers like Brad Warthen and Warren Bolton from the state. Hate monger such as these have nothing to do but stir up racial strife. They are shameful and abhorrent. No one inside or outside of SC cares what either of these two nut jobs think. Personally I think they belong in a rubber room not in a news room. Talk about backward folks. Brad and Warren could be poster children for backward thinking.

  72. Ready to Hurl

    What’s really funny is that Brad thinks the NAACP boycott has diddly to do with keeping the flag flying on the statehouse grounds.
    The arguments by pro-flag folks above prove just how irrational and irrelevant they can be when anyone suggests moving the flag to the proper place of respect and historical significance– a museum.
    If one will argue that the rebel battle flag wasn’t really an official CSA flag then one is willing to argue anything whatsoever.
    If the NAACP dropped the boycott today it wouldn’t change a single flag supporter’s opinion. Just ask’em.
    It’s possible (although, not probable) that the racists might swallow moving the flag a tiny bit easier if “they” can’t claim “victory.”
    But, it’s purely wishful thinking to suppose that the opposition to moving the flag would lessen in the least without the NAACP boycott.

  73. bud

    Brad, I’ve resisted posting on this issue until now. Apparently the flag issue is more important to others that it is to me. I just don’t get it. The General Assembly voted. What they did was not what I wanted. Oh well. This is really the Don Imus/Anna Nicole issue for the state. I’d really like to talk more about drunk drivers. After all they kill 400 South Carolinians each year. Isn’t that more important than a piece of cloth?

  74. Ready to Hurl

    I’ve got a modest proposal that leaves the rebel flag on the statehouse grounds.
    Two or three times a day there should be a re-enactment of sigficant aspects of a heritage, culture and economy built on involuntary, chattel slavery. The stage could be in close proximity to the rebel flag.
    One scene should be the shoveling of slave bodies overboard of slave ships just before docking at Charleston. Followed by a slave auction with bidders closely examining teeth and limbs of naked men, women and children. Separation of mothers, and children forever would be handled routinely.
    Another scene could portray punishments and “discipline” of uncooperative slaves. The entire gamut of “kindly” slave owner techniques should be on display: brutal floggings, toe or ear amputation, severing achilles tendons and forced treadmill labor.
    I’m sure that additional scenes of South Carolinians’ heritage could bring to life one of the causes that rebels marched off to fight for under the flag (flying nearby).

  75. Russ

    Please answer one historical question. Why the the Legislative Black Caucus and the NAACP agree to the flag compromise? If I remember correctly there were many more options on the table and this is the one they chose as the best option. Was the purpose to get the flag “in your face” so that further action would be taken, or were they duped by. . . whoever?
    Finally, this is a pretty easy battle to fight. Why don’t you join Warren over at the check-cashing place.

  76. PF

    I’m from Minnesota, relocated here about two years ago. The fact that the confederate flag (note the lower case) still flies in this state disgusts me. The fact that folks actually argue for it staying disgusts me even more. That flag is a symbol of racism, stuck-in-the-past, so-far-from-Progressive politics there is.
    When freinds and family from The North come to visit, and I tell them that the flag still flies at the state capitol, they’re speechless.
    This state is not the laughingstock of the nation, it’s worse — terrible schools, poor health care and a state Legislature that still supports the conferacy.
    Utter idocy.

  77. Annee

    Brad – I agree with Paul DeMarco – this is starting to look a lot better… and
    “If the jews can live with VWs all over the place you can live with a flag.”
    What kind of comparison is that??????? The Swastika is the comparison – what a hateful, painful symbol. Move the flag – if it takes an “out-of-state coach” to start up the discussion again who cares – we’re AMERICANS. But let’s do it quickly – and, as others, have said, move on.

  78. John P Baker

    If the Confederate Battle flag is so offensive as to be removed, then I propose to demolish the Lincoln Memorial.
    Having a monument to a war criminal is infinitely more offensive.
    Get a copy of “80 Acres of Hell” from the History Channel and take a good look at the “extermination camp” run in the center of Chicago by the morally superior Union Army, where Confederate prisoners were routinely tortured, starved, and murdered, all with the full knowledge and support of both Secretary of War Stanton and President Lincoln.

  79. Ronald Abrams

    Where was the holocaust in the South you yankee trash (to quote Scarlett O’hara)?
    The real holocaust was Sherman and his bummers who raped ,burned, and pillaged defenseless old women, men ,and children of all races.Sherman’s trashy thugs chopped Columbia’s church pews and altars for their camp fires-too lazy to fell trees.They bayonneted little children’s cats and dogs for sport.
    The Germans invaded others in WWII.The South was invaded by similar people(Lincoln needed troops and poor German immigrants answered his call) And if we were guilty of genocide , why were the slaves not killed en masse like Jews were? Finally many Jews and Blacks fought for the CSA.
    No Anee, you are not even close. You ought to be ashamed. But then yankee cowards as you have no shame!

  80. clif judy

    Earlier, I suggested a vote on whether to keep the flag flying or pull it down. I imagine however, seeing the opinions of how “dumb”, how “backward”, how “missing” South Carolinians are, the vote should be left to folks of the north, and of the NAACP. Ordinary citizens seem a detriment to society.. at least as suggested!!!!

  81. Hank

    Brad is a big champion of representative government except when he doesn’t agree with the decisions made by the representatives. Only he is capable of determining which representative decisions are legitimate.
    You want the flag down, Brad? Stop endorsing ANY representative who does not support your position. If it means that much to you, make it The State’s own litmus test for endorsement. Tell us which candidates you endorsed in the past who are also pro-flag and publicly renounce your endorsement. There’s one way (besides stuffing envelopes) that you can actually take the lead on this topic.

  82. Van

    The past cannot be changed, no matter how far you go back to review it. Debate the idealogue all you want, the only reason why the flag was put up (which is where THIS argument starts) was because of bigoted politicians making a political statement in the face of the civil rights movement. If the flag had been taken down, since it was only put up to celebrate the “anniversary” of the confederacy, once that one year had passed, then we would not be here discussing a stupid flag and what it means to anybody. Now, the other side, since we are reviewing history, is that the South got beaten and burned. I cannot recall the defeated nations symbol EVER being flown over a seat of government. As a matter of fact, Columbia was burned to the ground as a symbol to the US and the world that the confederacy had been put down. South Carolina was the first to secede, therefore, it suffered the cruelest of punishments, much akin to a witch being burned at the stake. The solution to this issue is really a whole lot more simple than what most make it out to be: the 100 year anniversary celebration of the confederacy is over, has been over for years, therefore, the same statute that put it up is the same statute to take it down. Check the books for that particular proclamation, and I am certain that the proclamation does not provide an ad infinitum to keep the flag flying. And if the compromise of a few years back has superceded the proclamation, just do what’s right.

  83. Annee

    My ancestors were confederates Mr. Ronald Abrams and except for some time overseas I have always made the South my home. But that doesn’t stop me from facing my past and being honest about what is wrong and what is offensive about my ancestoral history. We need to stop stuffing our ears and singing “lalalalalala” when others cry “foul” and actually listen to their pain. It may not be a big change to move the flag, but a picture is worth a thousand words and that flag is a picture of the pain of our past – move it where it can be remembered for the right reasons.

  84. Hank

    Here are some of the candidates The State endorsed last November. Are they all anti-flag?
    Republicans: Thomas Ravenel, Hugh Weathers, Mark Hammond, Joe Wilson and Bill Cotty
    Democrats: Tommy Moore, Drew Theodore, Robert Barber, Boyd Summers and Sadie Wannamaker

  85. Bill B.

    What I’m wondering is why The State considers a liberal editor’s blog “Breaking News” on their website.

  86. Ken Felder

    This is for PF from Minnesota. Judging from your spelling, the schools you attended weren’t any better than you accuse South Carolina’s of being. Get spell checking man, better yet, if South Carolina is such a bad place, LEAVE. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  87. bob

    Hmm, is that why you supported Republican cowards for national office the past two presidential elections? What was has their stance on the flag again (I think Mr. MCCain just came clean on his pandering). It does not matter whether the flag stays up or not, the people and the ideals that put it up in the first place will remain a dominant cultural tradition in the region. It my gain you a few more NCAA tourneys of Starbucks to take it down, but really, symbolism is symbolism, that’s all it is.

  88. Ready to Hurl

    bob, Brad is a big fan of Flip Flop McCain despite McCain’s admitted pandering on the flag issue.
    Brad’s overriding concern in this case seems to be that we keep sending Americans into the Iraq meat grinder rather than McCain’s lack of backbone on the flag issue.

  89. gen

    So you don’t like the Confederate Battle Flag, and you use The State newspaper as a bully pulpit. To you, “progress” is getting what you want. Everything else is just “backward thinking”. You preach “enclusiveness”, but “enclusiveness” doesn’t actually involve “encluding” the other side. If it did, this issue would have been settled after the flag was taken down from the State House.
    Who knows…maybe in the future someone will decide that African Americans were unworthy of a memorial on the State House grounds and have that pulled off to the scrap heap as well. What a fine example that Warthen and The State newspaper have set !
    You talk about the flag being a source of “pain” to invoke sympathy, and as though racism doesn’t exist anywhere that the Confederate Battle Flag doesn’t fly. You are sadly mistaken, of course. Ever see pictures of Klan marches in the ’30’s ? Not a Confederate Battle Flag to be seen, but you can see 100’s of Old Glory. So give me a break from the whining, half-truths and omissions.
    Spurrier don’t count because once another school offers him more money, he’ll bugger off, anyway, which makes him less a South Carolinian and more a whore.

  90. Arnold

    Alabama has four Confederate flags on its Capitol grounds and no one is making a big deal of it. Their football coaches aren’t using them as a scapegoat for their poor performance and the editors of the newspaper have better sense than to malign the heritage of the majority of the people.

  91. John R. Griffin

    ANYONE who flags that flag, on a pole, outside their house, is a racist! Pure and simple. If I see that flag in the window of a house or a truck, I know I am looking at the home or vehicle of a person who does not value the respect of others, nor their history, nor their rights, nor their feeling. Living in South Carolina for 35 years taught me this. I know the Government of South Carolina does NOT value its African American population, or its progressive population, or its intellectual population. Many have left as I have because of the backward thinking, and divisive policies of the Republican controlled South Carolina government. If you think that South Carolina’s tolerance of racism and that flag has not hurt the state in college sports recruiting, in industrial recruiting, in growth, and in tourism, you have your head stuck in the ground or some place worse.
    My mother and two sisters still and will always live in South Carolina but I grew to hate the state for its intolerance diversity and progressive thought. As a Gamecock, I would like Spurrier to stay and lead my school to championships. As a person who supports racial tolerance, progressive thinking and the betterment of humankind, I believe Spurrier should leave South Carolina. It is not a place that supports those Ideals.

  92. Tim

    I can deal with the conversation on removing the flag (although neither side has me totally convinced), but I totally shut down as soon as you say let’s do it because of what the world thinks of us. Maybe it’s just too much Southern pride, but I could give a rat’s a__ what the world thinks of us. Aren’t we taught as children that it doesn’t matter what others think of you as long as you have confidence in yourself? How do we lose that critical lesson as we get older? If we’re to take down the flag let’s do it because it helps the people of South Carolina, not because we just want to look better in the eyes of someone halfway across the country or the world who really has no bearing on our state or its people.

  93. kc

    Chris W, I do not think that “wedge issue” means what you think it means.
    I’m a native South Carolinian. I say stop flying the flag on the State House grounds. It’s a relic. Display it, respectfully, in a museum.

  94. Ernie

    I’m proud it flies in remembrance of when South Carolina stood up for her beliefs in states rights and left the union and eventually leading the other Southern states to follow.
    I’d only support moving the flag if it was going back on top of the dome where it was a source of pride and honor. Although having the flag close to the street sure does make it easier to see next to the capital. At least the flag is still a source of pride an honor.

  95. bud

    Brad writes:
    “It’s about honoring those who died in our service. It’s about as noncontroversial as apple pie. Less so, in fact, since some of us happen to be allergic to apple pie. And trees, too, for that matter, so scratch that.”
    He’s writing this about a proposed memorial for Iraq/Afghanistan soldiers. Isn’t this the EXACT same logic used by the folks who want to keep the Confederate flag flying in front of the state house?

  96. bill

    They took down all the Winn-Dixies in SC.That was more a part of my “heritage” than the stupid flag.TAKE IT DOWN!

  97. Claudia

    I reiterate… (see above):
    “I beg you – please – consider the fact that this is a FLAG being flown in the most obvious and honored place in our state. Flags of government are very special and unique symbols. They are not statues, streets, schools or memorials. They are extraordinarily powerful symbols. The implications of that power must be carefully considered… certainly before they are flown at the heart of state government.”
    You see, I don’t believe that flags and war memorials are the same thing at all.

  98. bud

    Claudia, I respectfully disagree. A flag is just a flag, which could be plausibly be regarded as part of the Confederate soldier memorial. I’m not defending the Confederate battle flag; it should be removed. But I don’t attach any profound meaning to it. To me it’s just a flag.

  99. Claudia

    I can understand that you see it as just a flag… after all, there are thousands of them. But my point is that flags that represent governments, at least governments that have a citizenry that are passionate about their ideals, are powerful and emotive symbols. Just look at how stirred up people get when the Star Spangled Banner is played as the American flag is saluted. There are folks in SC that feel the same way about the Confederate flag – and they attach intensly profound meaning to it.

  100. Gen

    Arnold –
    You don’t know me from Adam, yet you’ve painted me with a mighty broad brush because I fly the CBF. Your judgements are abut as fair as me expecting all black folks to be on welfare and driving Caddys, or all black males are rap or sports stars. I suspect that Warthen has the same mindset as your own. You justify sterotypes when it suits your needs, but you gasp in horror when a white guy uses the same street language ( see Imus ). Hypocrasy knows no color, either.

  101. John P Baker

    Gen, I think that it was John R Griffin who maligned you, me, and many others who are proud of our Southern heritage.
    Mr Griffin demonstrates unparalled arrogance in his use of such derogatory terms as “racist” to describe those with whom he disagrees.
    However, we must take the high road by expressing our pity for the ignorance which gives rise to such arrogant bigotry.
    We must hope against hope that Mr Griffin’s ignorance is curable.

  102. Ken Felder

    I think Spurrier had better rethink his comment about The Confederate Flag. It seems to me the biggest thing hurting recruiting at USC is the local law enforcement.

  103. Marc Posner

    Thank you for your editorial column today and the recent remarks regarding the Confederate flag by Steve Spurrier and Mayor Bob among others. Perhaps the time has finally arrived for the majority of sane South Carolinians to speak up and remove this distasteful relic from the past from in front of the South Carolina state capital. The Confederate flag, no matter how you slice and dice the rhetoric, is a symbol of hate and suppression. People that claim the flag represents heritage and that the Civil War was fought for state’s rights are in the same league as people that deny the holocaust. The glory of the old South is the glory of saying that the majority of South Carolina citizens at that time were not full people. Our country was forced to fight a civil war because a group of people wanted to continue a way that kept them, the minority of the population, in power. Even after being defeated in 1865 the leaders of South Carolina were unable to accept the outcome and carried on an insurgency that in 1876 drove out the occupiers and finally in the middle of the 1890’s they once again asserted their supremacy by enacting the hateful and disgusting Jim Crow laws. In some ways I am reminded of current events in Iraq.
    It is time to speak up, it is time to organize and exert pressure on our legislature and governor. (Tell Mark Sanford we will not have to raise taxes and we will symbolically recognize people’s rights and he might be supportive.)
    Our state will continue to struggle to attract quality 21st century business, to improve the quality of our education, to keep our best and brightest as long as the Confederate flag remains in your face at the corner of Main and Gervais.
    This past Sunday evening I attended a memorial service for the 6 million Jewish people who perished as a result of the Nazis believing that Jews were less human, not fully people. Germany will for centuries be remembered for this terrible crime perpetrated against their fellow human beings. At least the Germany of today has the good sense not to fly the Nazi flag in front of their seat of government; perhaps South Carolina should do the same with the Confederate flag.

  104. Steve Lough

    Here’s a sports analogy to lighten things up a little: What if Steve Spurrier insisted on wearing a Florida Gators visor while coaching at USC?
    Here’s another, from the domestic abuse angle: Say you have been married twice. Would you put your first wedding picture up on the mantle, next to your current wedding picture?
    That’s what flying the Confederate flag is like!

  105. Robert Bowers

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that it is past time for SC to move past the past and place the flag in a museum. Thank you for taking this stand to let the world know that every South Carolinian is not a redneck backwoods hick lost in the last century. I would love to join your progressive movement and work to improve our record on this issue as well as the ‘huge’ homeless problem in the state as well as education, same sex rights and minority rights.

  106. Deacon Tim

    Thanks, Brad for taking what shouldn’t even be a controversial stand.
    This is not about the NAACP, economic development or whether Steve Spurrier is a good coach. It’s about a symbol that has meaning far greater than than a mere piece of cloth. It stands for rebellion against the Constitution, the Republic, and the declaration that “all men are created equal.” It stands for a stubborn insistence that bravery in war equals justice, that heritage trumps righteousness and that what has always been is what should always be.
    This is about doing what’s right. And we shouldn’t need the NAACP or any outside group to tell us what’s right. Because we know that the Confederate flag flying above the State House grounds is just wrong.
    Take it down now!

  107. Roz

    If any group is making preparation for another march against the flag — count me in — I marched the last time and was proud — keep the public updated on any important developments. I continue to be ashamed as a native of South Carolina that this symbol has not been removed. If it offends my brother then it offends me — take it down. It is the right message to send to our children.

  108. Joe

    Did the battle flag of nothern Virginia ever fly over SC? I may be wrong, but I thought it was the Stars and Bars. If that is correct, why are we arguing about a flag that isn’t even a SC flag?

  109. Lamont

    The issue should be $teve $purrier, not the Confederate Flag. It appears to me, $teve $purrier is making an attempt to detract from all the scandals, and criminal acts his football players are involved in. $teve $purrier does NOT need to recruit HOOLIGANS to have a good football team. Anyone that believes only Hooligans, such as $teve $purrier recruits are needed to have a good football team is ignorant. $teve $purrier is an embarrassement to USC. As far as the Confederate Flag, leave it where it’s at. People like $teve $purrier, Je$$e Jack$on and Al $harpton (Tawana Brawley, Duke Lacross shenigans), really should be ashamed of themselves.

  110. Steve

    Nothing betrays the sham of diversity rhetoric or the transparent bias of the 4th estate like this issue. It should also serve as a warning to all those who think it is possible to compromise with these cultural marxists. I cannot imagine why the good people of SC continue to buy The State or patronize their sponsors and advertisers. Its time to put this rag out of business once and for all.

  111. Lourie Salley

    Your own poll, posted at
    http://www.thestate.com/169/story/39032.htmlshows that 81% of your readers do not favor moving the Confederate flag off the state house grounds. The State, and you, are out of touch with South Carolinians. There is a reason that Knight-Ridder sold the State Newspaper. There is a reason that the State’s circulation has decreased. You are out of touch with the majority of South Carolinians, and we have stopped buying your newspaper

  112. Lamont

    [Quoting the book]
    Jennie Pye Smith-
    When Sherman’s raiders came to our house they demanded of my mother all the money and valuables she had and told her they would give her fifteen minutes to clear the house as they would burn it and take the things they wanted; however, they did not burn the house, but burned the gin house. There was lots of cotton in the gin house because the neighbors had ginned their cotton and stored it there. My mother had heard that the raiders were destroying everything they found of any value, so she packed up the best clothes and hid them outside, All the silver and jewelry she had put in a deep box and put under her hen nest where she had a hen setting She had some thread warped, ready to put in looms to weave cloth, so she carried it to an old lady who was sick in bed and put it under the mattress.
    When the federal raiders demanded of her all the meat she had, she stood in the door of the meat house and refused to let them have it, telling them it was all she had for her family.
    They dragged grandma Nelson all around the house, trying to make her tell where the men and stock were, but she refused to reveal their hiding places.
    Source-“When Sherman Came: Southern women and the “GREAT MARCH”-Katharine M. Jones-copyright-1964- p.59-60

  113. Lamont

    [Quoting the book]
    Mary Leverette-
    I conversed with a number of officers. They are evidently afraid of what the effects of this great outrage of firing the city after its surrender under an agreement declaring private property to be respected, will be in the eyes of the world. I pointed to the ruined town while standing on my piazza speaking with them and asked if this was what they styled “civilized warfare,” and told them not a nation in Europe in the ninetieth century would be guilty of such an outrage. They did not deny it but attempted to prove it was accidental, the men got at liqueur, &c., but the last officer I conversed with intends evidently to prove it was done by Negroes (which is false)…
    Oh that our men could be here and know all that passed that dismal night. It was like “hell let loose…”
    It would take hours to tell all that occurred in and out of Columbia and as sick as I, must now be heartily tired of so long a scrawl. God supported us most wonderfully, and not a finger was laid on one of us though we were considered such notorious rebels that there was no end to the officers who continued to persuade, or to literally ask, “If we had had enough?….
    Mr. Simms, the author, is about to issue a small paper for the purpose of letting our men know all that has occurred…[1]
    The last thing that was done as the great army of ruffians filed along the road leading by us, was to fire a parting shot at the house. We heard the sharp crack of gun, and the lead as it struck. I went quickly out into the piazza and showed myself to them and let them see I did not flinch, and I stood there some minutes looking at them. I expected any moment to hear a bullet…I think they felt sheepish…Everybody is drawing rations, and we pay-some do not.
    Love to all of your circle
    Your aff
    Mary Leverette
    [1][p.335]-“They Passed Away Like Ghosts at the Cockcrowing”-Harriot H. Ravenel, “When Columbia Burned” (See V, 2)
    Source-“When Sherman Came: Southern women and the “GREAT MARCH”-Katharine M. Jones-copyright-1964- p. 199-200

  114. Brad Warthen

    Going way, way back up to something Carol Hathaway said:
    You’re right, and you have indeed caught me being imprecise. I did mean the boycott when I spoke of the NAACP “injecting” itself…
    Before that, it was a perfectly reasonable and consistent voice against flying the flag. The boycott is the problem, and the boycott is what I am talking about. The boycott is helping the flag stay up, and that was what I was talking about.
    It is the post-Gibson leadership in the state organization that is propping up the national level on the boycott, even though some folks in the organization realize that the “sanctions,” as they prefer to call it, are counterproductive.

  115. Mike Anderson

    I’m really torn over this issue. While I agree that perhaps the time has come to remove the flag from the State House grounds, another part of me feels “cornered” on this. By cornered, I guess what I’m saying is that as a many generation South Carolinian, I feel that outside entities are pressuring us to take down the flag.
    I am proud of South Carolina’s rich history, including the stance we took against the United States government during the war between the states. That took a lot of guts. It was economically devastating for years and years. But our ancestors stood up and fought for what they believed in and it wasn’t just about slavery.
    Sadly, hate groups have adopted the same battle flag of the Confederacy as their banner. That’s where the problem stems from. Had the Ku Klux Klan left it alone, I seriously doubt we would be having this discussion today.
    The flag belongs in a museum, along with other historic artifacts of the era. BUT, isn’t THAT what the State House and grounds are?
    Another sad commentary is that it has become abundantly clear that middle aged white men, such as myself, are having to walk softly and speak with caution so as not to offend any of a number of minority groups. If we are about equal justice, why then must anyone be oppressed. I honestly have become to feel this way.
    This is America people. We are the melting pot of the world. Our ancestors came from far and wide. Few of us are Italian, Irish, French, Asian, African, Polish, or Russian. Most of us are Heinz 57 varieties, a culmination of many heritages. Therefore, I find it segmenting to refer to groups as Irish-American, Asian-American, African-American, and so on. It is what it is…American.
    We removed the flag from the State House dome. Now we want it removed from the grounds. What will it be next? The statue honoring the Confederate soldiers, Wade Hampton?
    If removing the flag will truly move us forward as a state and will heal relations, take it down. Just remember that the American Civil War is a part of history. We can rewrite the history books, but fact is, it happened. Let’s move on.

  116. Lamont

    Hi Mike,
    You ask, ‘What will be next?’ If you’ve not heard, ‘those people’ have already been demanding statues to Confederate soldiers be taken down in many states ) Some also want the statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson removed.) The moving force behind this is money. Certain groups, and people look for issues to make money. The followers of those people are the ignorant and uneducated. The war happened down South. Columbia, SC was brutalized more than any other city, with Charleston coming close.
    [Quote #1]
    Monday, December 19th [1864].
    Squads of Yankees came all day, so that the servants scarcely had a moment to do anything for us out of the house. The women, finding it entirely unsafe for them to be out of the house at all, would run in and conceal themselves in our dwelling,. The few remaining chickens and some sheep were killed. These men were so outrageous at the Negro houses that the Negro men were obliged to stay at their houses for the protection of their wives; and in some instances they rescued them from the hands of these infamous creatures.
    Source-”The Children Of Pride, A True Story Of Georgia And The Civil War”-edited by Robert Manson Myers, page-1230, New Haven and London, Yale University Press 1972, Copyright-1972 by Robert Manson Myers
    [Quote #2]
    Mrs. May Jones in her Journal
    Montvideo, Thursday, December 22nd, 1864
    Several squads of Yankees came today, but none insisted upon coming into the house. Most of the remaining geese were killed by them. One attempted forcibly to drag Sue by the collar of her dress into her room. Another soldier coming up told him to “let that old woman alone”; and while they were speaking together she made her escape to the dwelling, dreadfully frightened and thoroughly enraged. The horrible creature then went to old Mom Rosetta; and she told him he had “no manners,” and after awhile got him away. Sue’s running into the house sent a thrill of terror into Kate and myself, for we were momentarily expecting them to enter the house. My heart palpitates with such violence against my side that with pain I bear the pressure of my dress.
    If it was not for the supporting hand of God we must give up and die. His precious Word and Prayer sustains our fainting souls. Besides our morning and evening devotions Kate, Daughter, and I observe a special season every afternoon to implore protection for our beloved ones and ourselves and deliverance for our suffering country. I have often said to the enemy: “I pray not for revenge upon you, but I pray daily for deliverance from you”; and always felt amid my deepest distresses; “Oh, if my country was but free and independent, I could take joyfully the spoiling of my goods!”
    Source-”The Children Of Pride, A True Story Of Georgia And The Civil War”-edited by Robert Manson Myers, page-1233, New Haven and London, Yale University Press 1972, Copyright-1972 by Robert Manson Myers
    [Quote #3]
    Hayward on August 13 sent a letter to J. W. Brooks, Boston, who on August 27 sent extracts of Hayward’s letter to Secretary of War Simon Cameron in Washington as follow:
    [In northern Missouri] the irregularities of the soldiery-such as taking poultry, pigs, milk, butter, preserves, potatoes, horses, and in fact everything they want; entering and searching house, and stealing in many cases; committing rapes on the Negroes and such like things-the effect has been to make a great many Union men inveterate enemies.
    These things are not exaggerated by me, and though they do not characterize all the troops, several regiments have conducted in this way…and no punishment, or none of any account, has been meted out to them. Then, drunkenness is a great curse of officers and men…Fremont…intrusts these matters to [Brigadier General John] Pope and Hurbut…I can fully substantiate all I have written. (12)
    (12) [Federal Officia. Records]., O.R.Vol. III: 459.
    Source-”The Uncivil War: Union Army and Navy Excesses in the Official Records”-Thomas Bland Keys-pages 4-5, Copyright-1991

  117. Lamont

    Maybe Brad needs to start a Blog, over why $teve $purrier, (who seems to have to support from USC) of recruiting hooligans to Football team! According to the Charlotte Observer, Wed, April 18, 2007, section 3-C; more scandals for the USC/Spurrier Football team. USC player Stephen Garcia is eligible to play. Garcia [Quarterback] was arrested for Public Drunkenness, failure to stop for a police officer (Blue Light?- a Felony), and malicious injury to personal property. USC player [running back] Corey Boyd investigated for a shooting that happened at the Columbia Mall! USC gives $purrier over A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, (please, correct me if I’m wrong). Why does USC/Spurrier believe it’s necessary to recruit hooligans! (It’s interesting that it appears, every time the coaches salary increases, tuition goes up. All but the few jocks attend USC for an education, not to support Spurrier and his hooligans)

  118. Don Hall

    Count me in your organization. I have some ideas, could you please send me an e-mail and I’ll send my ideas to you?

  119. Steven Pulley

    Yes, we do have to contend with our heritage, be it southern, pre-civil war, reconstruction, new south or whatever term we wish to call it.
    I hate putting labels on debates such as this. This is OUR history, regarless of race, place of birth, culture. Every one of us’s history. We can’t change history.
    We can change how we view that history however. Tolerance is a narrow term to use here but I think it fits. I can tolerate others views and opinions and I can tolerate how others voice their opinions about history. Remember what history is, a record of the past.
    Monuments are also records of the past. Tombstones are records as well. Pieces of paper such as the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are records of the past with the Constitution occasionally updated to the present based on the consensus of the populus by the duly elected. Flags are symbols of the past and are occasionally updated or relegated to the halls of remembrence due to their obsoleteness.
    This is how I see the Confederate Battle Flag. It is a historical flag. No doubt about that. Was it the only flag flown by the Confederacy? No, for there were other flags flown. The Battle Flag signifies honoring the soldiers who had fallen in battles fought under that flag.
    The Battle Flag was used later as a device to show that a battle was still being waged by this state against the elected federal government over an issue considered to be “states’ rights” not “federal rights”. Other groups took that to mean that the state considered their position of intolerance and bigotry to be a right since the state was protesting forced desegregation. And since the flag was used by the state as a symbol against desegregation, it was and still is used by others as a symbol of intolerance and bigotry. They consider that a battle for their rights to keep the races separate.
    So, the Battle Flag was hijacked by these groups who use it as a symbol of intolerance.
    I’m all for honoring all who died in our wars. I’m for honoring all who were not in the battles who died at the hand of others. You honor the dead out of respect.
    To honor them by flying a hijacked symbol? This is the issue. I personally would like to see the confederate dead honored by flying the first flag of the Confederacy, not the battle flag. The flag of the government of the Confederacy. There is a difference. For that flag has not been hijacked by these groups. It should be the symbol of the government that honors the dead who died under that government.

  120. ALP

    Dear NCAA and NAACP,
    Please keep up the boycott on South Carolina. The state’s tourism has sky-rocketed ever since the boycott’s beginning. Thank you!

  121. disgusted

    And you wonder why we are always near the top of many nationwide negative categories. All of the racist and bigoted posts on this thread are too numerous to be funny. I suggest all of you come out of the closet, shave your heads and join the next Nazi rally at the statehouse. Then you can all gather around your sacred flag and worship it together. I can see all the tears in your eyes now as you hold hands in a great circle while you sing Dixie. Then all of you can goose step off into the sunset knowing your flag is still there representing all of your hatred and bigotry toward others not like you.

  122. GA

    I Am Their Flag
    In 1861, when they perceived their rights to be threatened, when those who would alter the nature of the government of their fathers were placed in charge, when threatened with change they could not accept, the mighty men of valor began to gather. A band of brothers, native to the Southern soil, they pledged themselves to a cause: the cause of defending family, fireside, and faith. Between the desolation of war and their homes they interposed their bodies and they chose me for their symbol.
    I Am Their Flag.
    Their mothers, wives, and sweethearts took scissors and thimbles, needles and thread, and from silk or cotton or calico – whatever was the best they had – even from the fabric of their wedding dresses, they cut my pieces and stitched my seams.
    I Am Their Flag.
    On courthouse lawns, in picnic groves, at train stations across the South the men mustered and the women placed me in their hands. “Fight hard, win if possible, come back if you can; but, above all, maintain your honor. Here is your symbol,” they said.
    I Am Their Flag.
    They flocked to the training grounds and the drill fields. They felt the wrenching sadness of leaving home. They endured sickness, loneliness, boredom, bad food, and poor quarters. They looked to me for inspiration.
    I Am Their Flag.
    I was at Sumter when they began in jubilation. I was at Big Bethel when the infantry fired its first volley. I smelled the gun smoke along Bull Run in Virginia and at Belmont along the Mississippi. I was in the debacle at Fort Donelson; I led Jackson up the Valley. For Seven Days I flapped in the turgid air of the James River bottoms as McClellan ran from before Richmond. Sidney Johnston died for me at Shiloh as would thousands of others whose graves are marked “Sine Nomine,” – without a name – unknown.
    I Am Their Flag.
    With ammunition gone they defended me along the railroad bed at Manassas by throwing rocks. I saw the fields run red with blood at Sharpsburg. Brave men carried me across Doctor’s Creek at Perryville. I saw the blue bodies cover Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg and the Gray ones fall like leaves in the Round Forest at Stones River.
    I Am Their Flag.
    I was a shroud for the body of Stonewall after Chancellorsville. Men ate rats and mule meat to keep me flying over Vicksburg. I tramped across the wheat field with Kemper and Armistead and Garnett at Gettysburg. I know the thrill of victory, the misery of defeat, the bloody cost of both.
    I Am Their Flag.
    When Longstreet broke the line at Chickamauga, I was in the lead. I was the last off Lookout Mountain. Men died to rescue me at Missionary Ridge. I was singed by the wildfire that burned to death the wounded in the Wilderness. I was shot to tatters in the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania. I was in it all from Dalton to Peachtree Creek, and no worse place did I ever see than Kennesaw and New Hope Church. They planted me over the trenches at Petersburg and there I stayed for many long months.
    I Am Their Flag.
    I was rolled in blood at Franklin; I was stiff with ice at Nashville. Many good men bade me farewell at Sayler’s Creek. When the end came at Appomattox, when the last Johnny Reb left Durham Station, many of them carried fragments of my fabric hidden on their bodies.
    I Am Their Flag.
    In the hard years of so-called “Reconstruction,” in the difficulty and despair of years that slowly passed, the veterans, their wives and sons and daughters, they loved me. They kept alive the tales of valor and the legends of bravery. They passed them on to the grandchildren and they to their children, and so they were passed to you.
    I Am Their Flag.
    I have shrouded the bodies of heroes, I have been laved with the blood of martyrs, I am enshrined in the hearts of millions, living and dead. Salute me with affection and reverence. Keep undying devotion in your hearts. I am history. I am heritage, not hate. I am the inspiration of valor from the past. Look Away, Dixie Land!
    I Am Their Flag.

  123. GA

    Why is the Confederate flag offensive?
    I read with interest the article in The Warren Record about the issue of displaying the Confederate flag in school. I believe we should try to avoid offending people unnecessarily, but the issue begs the question of why it is the battle flag of the C. S. A. that is offensive to people. The heroic and patriotic men such as Robert E. Lee and T. J. “Stonewall” Jackson who served under that flag are examples of Christian manhood that cause our selfish generation to pale in comparison.
    They say the flag is offensive because it stands for racism since the South fought a civil war to preserve slavery, which is not historically accurate. Abraham Lincoln and the North are heralded as the champions of civil rights since they defeated the South and ended slavery, but Lincoln only voiced the sentiments of many northerners at the time of the War when he said: “There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races … I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them
    to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races … and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
    The Confederate Flag:
    Should We get Rid of It?
    J.J. Johnson – Posted: 02.20.00
    Okay, so what’s wrong with me? In celebration of slain Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King’s day (week?) if I watch enough news, I should be out there with my black brethren yelling, screaming and looking to burn every free waving Southern Cross I run across. So what’s wrong? Shouldn’t I be offended as well?
    In a way, yes. I am. And here’s why:
    I had ancestors who fought on both sides of that war – which was anything but civil.
    Yes, in Northern Mississippi in fact. Cousin against cousin. One man trying to protect what was his, and one who escaped slavery only to be drafted into taking his cousin’s land away. This little fact, along with all the arguments about Southern Heritage, Southern Pride and Remembering the Gentlemen who in died war gets lost in all the noise about why it’s so “insensitive.”
    …And I am just fed up with it.
    More than that, I’m fed up with the yellow-bellied, white guys who don’t have the guts to fight back on the issue. I know, no one wants to get labeled the “R” word. To politicians, it’s a label that’s worse than being called a liar, an adultorer or a draft dodger. And heaven knows, you white guys in the public sector better not even bring it up at work or in public. There’s a civil rights lawsuit with your name on it. Yet, I know how many of you – especially you folks south of the Mason-Dixon line must feel right now.
    Wanna fight back?
    Hold my coat for a minute…
    Where were these protests against OUR Confederate battle flag for the last 135 years? Why are these black people allowing themselves to be manipulated by the media and their left-wing, so-called “black leadership?” Whenever I hear a black person talk about this flag issue, I ask them the same questions. Do you know how long that flag has been flying over those state capitals? Haven’t you seen them there before? The answer from most blacks I talk to out west is, “who cares?”
    Not good enough for the National Association for the Advancement of Career Politicians (NAACP). Not good enough for these modern-day “Plantation Pimps” who can’t find any other juvenile criminals to fight for so now they retaliate by “dissing” a great hunk of American culture. This is ONLY being done to pander to black voters this political season. You see, back in 1992, folks just decided to burn down Los Angeles while liberal politicians mailed gasoline to the rioters. This time, let’s burn down a heritage instead.
    I hope some black person is reading this right now and fuming. You should be. If you think the Confederate flag is insulting to you, you are being used, or as we say it in the hood, you bein’ played – for a fool. By who? Not by those evil conservatives, but by the liberal white man. The ones who’ll take your votes, then tell you you’re not good enough to make it on your own.
    But there is no sense giving you the same argument many of the Southern Ladies and Gentleman are trying to give now. You don’t want to hear them, anyway.
    Let’s talk about “insensitivity,” shall we?
    If you don’t mind, some of us with southern roots are going to find every Vietnamese American citizen in this country, bus them to Washington, D.C. and protest to have the Vietnam Memorial removed from the park. Why stop there? On the way to Washington, we might as well grab every citizen with German or Japanese ancestors. With enough noise, we can get rid of that World War II Memorial, too. After all, These people all had relatives who were killed by the men and women America honors at those Memorials. You liberal, nothing-else-better-to-do black folks wouldn’t mind, would you?
    Yes. Let that sink in real good. That’s what you’re doing to these good people of the South. You are DESECRATING THEIR MEMORIAL… Check that – Our Memorial.
    What ever happened to Diversity? Tolerance? Must be a one sided thing.
    Don’t give me that “Symbol of Slavery” bull****. If that were the case, turn in all those 1, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. The faces on these bills were men who were leaders when many blacks were slaves. But let’s get down and dirty, shall we?
    The worst riot in American history was not in Los Angeles. It was in New York, back in 1863. You see, there were a bunch of people who, like during Vietnam, didn’t want be conscripted (read: drafted) to serve in an unjust war. Talk to your President about that. Over 1200 people died in just two days. Most when President Lincoln sent federal troops in to put down the “rebellion.” Oh, by the way, 83 blacks were lynched in those two days – right there in The Big Apple. So, which flag do you really want taken down?
    But since we’re all told to boycott, will those leftist, black elected leaders in South Carolina boycott the Statehouse while its in session? I doubt it. Will they avoid buying goods in their own state? Doubt it. Our forefathers who wrote the Constitution gave all of us a way to deal with a state’s policies we didn’t like. That’s what the South was fighting for. It was not about slavery. If that were the case, we’d be bombing China right now, and we would not accept license plates made with prison labor right here in the good ol’ USA.
    Oh…What’s the black population percentage in prison these days, anyway?
    The multicultural extremists can’t call me racist, but in the black socialist community, they have even uglier words for people who refuse to live on that “plantation,” such as me. Just ask Clarence Thomas.
    So let that flag wave proudly as a monument to the last Army in this country that actually fought for the Constitution. I am proud to have ancestors who fought with them. And for those people who don’t want their state to fly the Southern Cross, here a solution that’s much easier that protesting…
    There’s a term for it. Its called “white flight.”
    J.J. Johnson – Proud Black American
    In closing please allow me to ask “you” a few questions.
    How many ships flying the Confederate Jack brought in slaves?
    What was Lincolns’ plans for blacks?
    One more thing the “Stars and Bars ” is the flag for the country (Confederacy) the flag you yankees call the Confederate Flag is the Battle Flag. It was made up so no one could confuse it with the US flag.

  124. Rob

    I think that the State paper, Brad, and Steve Spurrier will be gone long before the flag is gone! It has been voted on and moved. The State paper, Brad, and Steve S. are still on the table..all three dont add up to one!

  125. USC2001

    Take that Damn Flag down!
    I’m so sick of you all ignorant rednecks out there tarnishing the good name of South Carolinians. True South Carolina heritage existed long before the confederacy.
    As a South Carolinian, I support taking that flag down! And for those red necks who don’t like it, go raise it up at Clemson’s Tillman statue.

  126. USC2001

    Take that Damn Flag down!
    I’m so sick of you all ignorant rednecks out there tarnishing the good name of South Carolinians. True South Carolina heritage existed long before the confederacy.
    As a South Carolinian, I support taking that flag down! And for those red necks who don’t like it, go raise it up at Clemson’s Tillman statue.


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