New ‘Take Down The Flag’ blog

Michael Rodgers, a regular correspondent here and probably my most ardent regular blog ally on the cause of getting the Confederate flag off the State House lawn, has started a new blog dedicated to the cause, as he informed me over the weekend:

Dear Brad,
    Hi, how are you?
    What’s new on the Confederate flag?  It’s still flying from the Statehouse grounds. I’ve started protesting at the Statehouse when I can, and I now have a blog about the issue (Would you please add me to your blogroll?):

Take Down The Flag

    My state Representative Bill Cotty said that we have a "leadership in the House and Senate that will prevent the issue from seeing the light of day before we adjourn in June." My state Senator Joel Lourie agreed with your sense from the business community that they have no "appetite" for doing anything on this issue. I find that strange since Jim Micali of Michelin is the Chairman of the SC Chamber of Commerce. Surely he would want something done, but he’s retiring soon, so who knows?
    Take care and keep in touch.  Thank you.


                        Michael Rodgers

Nothing new, I had to tell him. As y’all may have noticed, I’ve been working pretty much around the clock on presidential politics, and am just about to start paying attention again to S.C. issues (I had other folks doing that up to now), now that we’ve chased all those candidates out of the state.

Now I’m having to meet with all those folks I’ve been putting off for the past couple of months, on a wide variety of issues. The meeting with Vincent Sheheen was one of those long-delayed ones. I also have outstanding meeting requests from local hospitals, the state Department of Juvenile Justice, and … well, all sorts of issues.

The flag will certainly return in this space. Until it does, thank you, Michael, for keeping the conversation going.

P.S. Just now, going through e-mail from a different account (my published one), I see this form e-mail that Michael sent out to all potentially interested parties. As further elaboration on what he’s trying to do, I include the text of that as well:

Dear Brad Warthen,
    Hello, how are you?  I’m writing to you because I see that you’ve posted on your blog in support of taking down the flag.  I’ve written emails to people who are interested in joining your South Carolina Association for the Advancement of All People, or whatever it ends up being called.
    I’ve started a blog to encourage action to take down the flag.  I hope that we can get a group to organize and take action.  I’m inviting you to participate.  Please, let’s work together to take down the flag.
    I’m also writing to remind you of the bill (H-3588) to take down the flag.  The bill is sponsored by Representatives Alexander, Hart, Rutherford, and Sellers, and it is currently stuck in the Judiciary Committee of the House. 
    Please write your State Representative and State Senator to ask them to get the bill to the floors and on to Governor Sanford for his signature.  You can read the bill and find out who your legislators are here (choose “quick search” for bill 3588 and choose “find your legislator”):
    Please spread the word about H-3588.  I look forward to hearing from you and working with you.  We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are right and we will prevail.
    Thank you.

With Kindest Regards,

Michael Rodgers

69 thoughts on “New ‘Take Down The Flag’ blog

  1. Karen McLeod

    Maybe, if we can get enough people who do believe that the flag should come down (or at least be repositioned in a much less prominent place with a plaque that explains the apparent schizophrenia its presence induces in this state), we could GET IT DOWN. But we’re going to have a hard time getting anything past a certain senator (I won’t mention McConnell’s name)unless we can come up with a lot of backing.

  2. JJ

    Here we go with the liberal, er, “progressive” (oxymoron) version of compromise.
    This debate was decided a few years ago.
    The, NAACP decided it wasn’t enough. (It apprently was at some point.)
    Now, a minority of people want “it” dealt with again. Bascially, they want “it” gone.. period.
    That’s the only “compromise” they want.
    What are the two sides of the compromise? I only see one demand, not two.

  3. Tyler Hoover

    Stick to the deal that was made. Lots of “libs” and progressives agreed to the present location. It really bothers me that my great grandfathers legacy of fighting for his land and home (not slaves, did have any) cannot be recognized. Leave the flag alone!
    They deserve to be remembered!!!

  4. bill

    When ten percent of South Carolinians are still denied their civil rights,the flag is a trivial “issue”.

  5. Richard L. Wolfe

    Hey Libs, My aren’t we feeling our oats. I don’t really care what you do with the flag, although Huckabee’s suggestion was as good as any. Here is the question? Will taking down that flag get you your beloved socialized medicine? Will taking down the flag bring the troops home? Will taking down the flag get you the tax increases you are salivating over? Please explain exactly how your live will improve by taking down the flag.
    This another reason agenda driven maniacs cannot be trusted with the levers of power. Your guys made a deal and now you want to go back on it. This a perfect example of liberal progressive hypocrisy. You are easy to get along with as long as everything goes your way. I guess we should paint the “white house” purple so that the name doesn’t offend anyone.

  6. Lee Muller

    Yes, the 10% of private sector entrepreneurs who actually pay taxes are having their rights denied.
    The media keeps the flag issue in their hip pocket as a ready diversion from real issues, such as:
    * the State Retirement System being broke.
    * lawyer legislators making millions of dollars practicing before the regulatory boards which they appointed.
    * 100,000 high-tech workers leaving the state because of double taxation and other unfaire= treatment,

  7. TC

    It would do none of those Richard. But it sure would make the State of South Carolina appear like it was progressing out of the 1860’s. For many, the perception of SC is one of ignorant, racist red necks. Perception is reality.

  8. Lee Muller

    You can’t compromise with socialists, progressives, liberals and other left-wingers, because they do not negotiate in good faith. They have not intention of keeping their word.

  9. Richard L. Wolfe

    TC, Progressing sure is a funny word. Some would say sending our middle class manufacturing jobs over seas is progress. Some would say that flooding our nation with low wage unskilled workers, (legal or otherwise) is progress. Some would say a barbaric procedure like abortion is progress. Some would say that taxing working people more so that the money can go to those that don’t is progress. Some would say that having babies that you cannot afford being taken care of by the taxpayers is progress. The list goes on and on and on and on until you wake up one day in a third world country and say well at least we made progress.

  10. TC

    Freeing slaves is progress. Women’s suffrage is progress. Educating all of our citizens regardless of income is progress. Actually living by the words “all men are created equal” is progress. Creating middle income manufacturing jobs is progress. Providing affordable healthcare to all is progress.

  11. Brad Warthen

    Hey, watch this, y’all … within about 48 hours you’ll see a bunch of comments from neo-confederates from across the country, names you haven’t seen before, on this post.
    It’s a phenomenon we’ve long noted when we have flag-related stuff in the paper. We’ll hear from actual readers for a day or so, then the message gets out on the neo-confed grapevine (and I’m thinking they still use horse-mounted couriers, this takes so long), and then you hear from a bunch of folks who basically don’t read the paper. Same with the blog.
    You can recognize these comments by signs other than the names, of course. You will find they are repetitive, spout certain talking points, and will likely strike you as wildly out of context. They will know nothing of you or me, and they’ll make a lot of wild assumptions about us, but there will be a monotonous similarity in the things they will say.
    Michael will soon see this on his own blog, if he hasn’t already.

  12. TC

    Brad- Not necessarily so. Having moved from SC, I am an Irmo and Clemson grad, my comments were strictly an observation. Not sure if you don’t like out of town readers or not. Not one item about progress I made is repetitive spout. Anyway, perception is others reality. The perception of the state of SC throughout the remainder of the US is not good. It usually comes back to this issue. Part of it is the state led the charge out of the union. In the rest of the country, the stars and bars is prominent at racist biker bars and proudly displayed by the intolerant. It is not displayed on the capitol grounds. And I do agree that moving it to the grounds and off the dome was a big improvement. Obviously its a choice left to the voters of SC. I most certainly didn’t mean to offend as an outsider.

  13. richard thurston

    “fool me once,shame on you.fool me twice,shame on me.”
    nobody believes you or the racist hatemongering naacp.whiners to the core!
    tourism has not been effected at all by their thuggish attempts at blackmail.good for SC,and good for Huckabee to not sell out and still advocate STATES RIGHTS!

  14. Gordon Hirsch

    Screw you, Richard Thurston. Come to Myrtle Beach on Memorial Day weekend and get a dose of reality.
    Then crawl back in your cave where you belong.

  15. dave faust

    I used to think that the race-pimps like Jesse Jackson and Lonnie Randolph were the primary characters who dedicated themselves to keeping the nearly dead issue of the flag on life support: They desperately need to keep shallow thinking people stirred up and whipped into a frenzy about the flag. It fills their coffers with money and perpetuates their otherwise increasingly irrelevant roles in todays’ society. Race baiting is all people like Jesse Jackson have, and the flag is a great vehicle for it.
    I have concluded that there are other zealots and agitators who refuse to let this thing die however, and I think their motives are just as suspect.
    First, there are guilt-ridden white liberals who seem absolutely determined to see to it that all present-day whites somehow “pay” for the sins that were committed one hundred fifty years ago. These misguided shallow thinkers have too much time on their hands, and just can’t stand the thought that people of all races might be learning to put the past behind them and and move on in fellowship. Their goal is to expunge any and every symbol of the bad old days from present day life…to rewrite history and make everyone equally unhappy.
    Then there are liberal newspaper editors who also benefit from agitation and civil unrest. As print media continue their long and inexorable slide into total irrelevance, these characters grasp at any issue that may boost sales and circulation, even if only for a moment. And even if it does damage to people who would otherwise be healing and moving on and making themselves and their world better.
    Both of these groups are to be pitied. And defeated. David

  16. Nelson Waller

    You don’t look very happy in your picture, Mr. Wart Hen, but how can you? You’re taking the most storied state of all and trying to do to it what the Bolsheviks did to Russia’s ageless Christian civilization. Why don’t you try to build a ladder to the moon? It might be more practical. Or maybe you’re really trying to prod the people into reclaiming their Southern heritage in toto and running you off to New York or Chicago? For every foot you lower the flag at the state house 1,000 more go up very visibly around SC as a permanently disgusted public rediscovers its roots. It used to be “my country right or wrong” with yahoos, now it’s “my ideology right or wrong” with gliberals. South Carolina’s Confederate history is — rebel flag and all — cherished by freedom lovers everywhere, but your paper seems to exist (hopefully for not much longer) to destroy it. With obscene hubris “The State” tramples and reviles everything closest to the heart of THE STATE, i.e. the people your rag theoretically wants to attract most as readers. It’s clear you’re a profoundly unhappy person, and plain as day you and your ilk will never be satisfied with any amount of concessions. It’s not the Bolshevik way! If you had the guts to stand out on a street corner with a C-flag, you’d finally see how many nonwhites love the emblem….. but you REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT anyway, DO you?

  17. tc

    Count me as one person that will not and has not. I also have stopped sending money to Clemson. Obviously some of you do not care and that is your right as well. I never said I wasn’t states rights. It’s a shame there is so much hatred and animosity over this symbol. Toleration remains one sided. It is also very ironic to me that we expect the family of slaves to get over it but those on the other side can’t seem to either. Makes me very glad I left and not real eager to return for a visit (and I’m sure many of you will be saying good riddance).

  18. Tom

    Attacking the glorious Confederate Battle Flag is equal to attacking Liberty, Justice, Freedom and Self Determination. It is the flag of freedom in the face of tyranny for people of all races. Which is appropriate as free men of all races fought under this banner to repel the invading yankee hordes.

  19. Lee Muller

    Until 1968, Clemson had the largest Confederate Battle Flag in the world, which they ran out onto the field ahead of the football team.
    It was replaced with the orange flag and white Tiger Paw logo by its originator, Coach Hootie Ingram.
    —– medical progress —————–
    Providing quality medical care is progress as long as it is accomplished by voluntary means in the free market. Providing anything to one person by forcibly taking it from another person is regression to a primitive political state.
    The proof of that is the lousy medical care and total absence of new innovations in medical diagnoses and treatments under communism.

  20. Ruben Blanchard

    Fifty years hence, these same progressives(fascists) will be telling us that World War Two was fought by a segregated military to defend Jim Crow laws and demanding removal of any WW2 mounuments.
    Confederates fought to defend their homes, as their ancestors did in the American Revolution. The “patroits of 1776” had slaves, I hear no one protesting 4th of July celebrations.
    Once they move the flag (again), they will want all the monuments gone. Progressives are basically arrogant, fascist, liars and will never stop as long as they can raise funds by rewriting history to their liking.

  21. weldon VII

    I tried to post a comment on Michael’s flag blog yesterday. After 24 hours, it hasn’t got past the moderator, but some comment completely unrelated to the flag did.
    Either Michael’s not practicing due diligence or something’s screwed up. My comment wasn’t out of line or libelous.

  22. Michael Rodgers

    Brad, Thanks.
    Weldon, Sorry, I went out of town. I approved your post today. I expect to be able to approve much more rapidly in the future.
    TC & Gordon, Good stuff.
    Lee, Please try to say something original.
    All, a flying flag on the Statehouse grounds represents a government, and since the Confederacy is dead (C-fed is dead!), it shouldn’t fly where the state laws are made. I am not saying that we shouldn’t respect soldiers. I’m simply saying that a flying Confederate flag where our state laws are made is wrong.
    All in SC,
    Please READ H-3588 and, if you like it, please call your legislator to tell them so.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  23. J.T.Foster

    I am white,native South Carolinian,descendant of Confederate soldiers,God Fearing Christian with many.many dear black friends whom I love like family,and I am one of the people who supported a compromise to put the flag on the soldiers monument.I also supported the African American monument.Can’t tell you how many times I was warned that the black racist groups wanted it all and would never stop till they got it their way and the flag was removed possibly even outlawed.It would seem that as extreme as their warnings seemed they were ,are right.The flag flies at the monument where it is completely appropriate and defensible.I will yield no more to extremist racists.J.T.Foster

  24. Lee Muller

    What is most inappropriate is proposing and passing laws which are not explicitly authorized by the Constitution, or which are in direct violation of the U.S. and South Carolina Constitutions.

  25. Les Cogar

    We understand what you are up to and will fight as strongly as our Confederate Ancestors did to protect our enheritade form of governance,Representative Republic which protects the rights of the minority when infrenged by the majority.We understand that you are trying to change our form of government to Democracy in form where the right of the people are not protected.The Confederate Battle flag is the last standing symbol of Representative Republic and y’all can not stand to see it fly. “Vindiciamus”

  26. Michael Rodgers

    J. T. Foster,
    Are you calling me a racist? That hurts my feelings. I’m not trying to outlaw the Confederate flag. Have you read H-3588?
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  27. Lee Muller

    Mr. Rodgers, do you understand the concept of legislation being restricted to those subjects authorized in the Constitution?

  28. Lee Muller

    H-3588 is a betrayal of the legislative compromise which removed the flag from the State House dome to a “permanent location” at the Confederate Monument.
    What guarantee do the citizens have that removal of the monument or banning display or ownership of the flag is the next step?
    None, because the word of these anti-South bigots is worthless. Compromise is only a step to them.

  29. Jimmy Shirley

    I, too, am fulfilling Brad’s prophesy.
    Compromise with “these people” is defeat. Therefore, there can be no compromise. All anti-Confederate flag people are wrong and misled. But, no matter because their agenda is motivated from pure HATE, just as was their forefathers, the abolitionists, before them. Hate is blind, irrational and can not be reasoned with. Brad and his ilk care not about research, truth or facts. They care only about their passionate HATE for all things Southern/Confederate.

  30. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Muller,
    Yes, I do. And I also understand that the interstate commerce clause gives the federal government a lot of authority and that the federal government is the supreme law of the land. But these are topics for another day.
    Michael Rodgers

  31. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Muller,
    First, regarding the actual thing that you said that was interesting:
    It is impossible for one legislature to “betray” another legislature. Each new legislature is entitled to do whatever it wants, subject of course to the state constitution. Citizens never have any guarantees of anything, except their civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
    Second, to your ridiculous hate speech:
    “the word of these anti-South bigots is worthless.” Who are you calling an anti-South bigot? Who are you saying has no honor? Who are you saying is not as good as his word? Who, Mr. Muller, WHO?!
    Michael Rodgers

  32. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Shirley,
    I was going to quote back to you all the things that you said that were wrong, but that would repeat your entire post.
    Abolitionists practiced and preached LOVE. I practice and preach LOVE. It is a fact that the Confederacy is DEAD. It is a fact that Southern and Confederate do NOT mean the same thing.
    It is a fact that the state of South Carolina has an obligation to honor all the soldiers who fought for her, including the Confederate soldiers. It is a fact that since I believe the previous statement that I am not a hater of all things Confederate.
    It is a fact that when people really try to find true agreement, then the solution can be win-win-win-win-win.
    You are the one filled with hate and contempt for anyone who you ever suspect of disagreeing with you. You don’t even read what I write. You hear I want the flag down, and you go off half-cocked, spewing bile and venom and self-righteous smugness.
    Maybe if we took the flag down from where it flies ridiculously, we can find a way to honor the Confederate soldiers MORE THAN we currently do. How about them apples?
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  33. Michael Rodgers

    Let’s deal with this compromise LIE.
    First of all, it’s a TOTAL LIE that there are two and only two sides to this issue. It is not a racial black/white or a regional north/south issue.
    Second of all, it’s a TOTAL LIE that Glenn McConnell’s side of the “compromise” gave up anything. In fact, Glenn McConnell described the result of the 2000 legislation as placing the Confederate flag “where it probably should have gone in the first place.”
    Third of all, it’s a TOTAL LIE that the NAACP side of the “compromise” agreed to or got anything. The NAACP has always been against flying the Confederate flag anywhere on Statehouse grounds.
    Fourth of all, it’s a TOTAL LIE that the SC Legislative Black Caucus side of the “compromise” agreed to or got anything.
    The SCLBC has always been against flying the Confederate flag anywhere on Statehouse grounds.
    What the NAACP and the SCLBC have repeatedly and consistently pointed out is that the Confederate flag should not be flying where our laws are made. Flying it there is stupid, ridiculous, disrespectful, and horrifying.
    When the Governor and the legislature got involved, they did what they wanted to do, and they did NOT ask the people in a referendum. In fact, Glenn McConnell rejected a proposed referendum because he suspected that it would fail.
    Six out of the seven black State Senators voted for the 2000 bill, and four out of twenty-six black State Representatives voted for the bill. It is a TOTAL LIE that those black legislators who voted for the 2000 bill represent the agreeing OTHER SIDE of this issue (assuming only two sides, Glenn McConnell on one and ten black legislators on the other).
    Let’s try to put this in perspective, and let’s try to regain our sense of humor. Paula Poundstone joked about one stay in a hotel room. She saw in the bathroom that there was complimentary hand lotion but not shampoo. She called the desk, and the person said, “We’re out of shampoo, but I can give you extra hand lotion.” She said, “How does that help? What’s the hand lotion going to do to my hair?”
    Getting the Confederate flag off the dome’s pole and to a pole near the Confederate Soldier Monument is like getting extra hand lotion. It’s not what was asked for and it doesn’t address the problem.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  34. Lee Muller

    The legislature voted to move the flag. Unanimity is not required. Nor is unanimity among some racial caucus in the legislature, nor among some self-styled leaders outside.
    Those who never intended to honor the compromise to move the flag from the dome to the statue are people without honor.
    They cannot be trusted, because they don’t intend to honor whatever deal they are proposing at the moment. Before the ink is dry, they will be working to move the chains with another compromise.
    The democratic process depends upon honesty.
    If a lawmaker cannot abide by the legal process, they should resign from office. If a citizen is not going to abide by a legal legislative process, then they should not interject themselves into the debate.

  35. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Muller,
    Your description of who can’t be trusted sounds much more appropriate when applied to the Republicans who want tax cuts. Before the ink was dry on the legislation for the Bush tax cut, they worked to move the chains to extend the tax cuts beyond the year agreed to in the legislation. Using your logic, it would be appropriate for me (and mandatory for you) to say they have no honor and to say they cannot be trusted and to demand their resignation.
    This citizen, yours truly, is abiding by a legal legislative process. Legislators have proposed a bill, H-3588. I am encouraging legislators (and fellow citizens to encourage legislators) to vote for H-3588.
    If you’re saying that I’m not allowed to act and speak up as I just described, you’re wrong. If you’re saying that the legislators who proposed bill H-3588 are somehow unethical for doing so, you’re wrong.
    It is our responsibility as citizens, and it is their responsibility as legislators, to put forward ideas and bills for debate and discussion.
    By the way, your comment is well written and mostly lacking in mean-spirited generalizations, for a change. It’s still wrong, but at least it makes some kind of sense. Good work.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  36. Jimmy Shirley

    Mr. Rodgers, It is true, I did not read your posts. If you feel I wrongly maligned you, then please accept my apologies.
    However, abolitionists almost never preached LOVE. Consider this statement from Hinton Rowan Helper, author of “The Impending Crisis of the South and How to Meet It”,
    “”We contend that slaveholders are more criminal than common murderers.” “…Were it possible for the whole number to be gathered together and transformed into four equal gangs of licensed robbers, ruffians, thieves, and murderers, society would suffer less from the atrocities than it does now.””
    In addition, they said this, “” Our plan is to make war, openly or secretly as circumstances may dictate, upon the property of slaveholders and their abettors; not for its destruction, if that can be easily avoided, but to convert it to the use of the slaves. If it cannot be thus converted, we advise its destruction. Teach the slaves to burn their masters buildings, to kill their cattle and hogs, to conceal and destroy farming utensils, to abandon labour in seed-time and harvest, and let the crops perish.””
    And these quotes, “” If let alone, we have no doubt the digits themselves would soon terminate the existence of slavery; but we do not mean to let them alone””
    “”Our own banner is inscribed: no cooperation with slaveholders in politics; no fellowship with them in religion; no affilliation with them in society; no recognition of them except as ruffians, outlaws and criminals.””
    “”Immediate death to slavery; or if not immediate, unqualified proscription of its advocates during the period of its existance.””
    “”It is our honest conviction that all the proslavery slaveholders deserve at once to be reduced to a parallel with the basest criminals that lie fettered within the cells of our public prisons.””
    “”We are determined to abolish slavery at all hazards – in defiance of all the opposition, of whatever nature, it is possible for the slaveocrats to bring against us. Of this they may take notice, and govern themselves accordingly.””
    Mr. Rodgers, sir, these very public comments represented the vast majority of abolitionists, especially Walt Garrison. Why else did General “Sam” Grant have such scorn for the abolitionist. He knew their kind and despised them.

  37. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Shirley,
    Yes, demonizing groups of people is wrong. I hope you take that concept to heart.
    Yes, aboloitionists were breaking the law by freeing slaves. Yes, it must have seemed ludicrous to slave owners that they pay some Northerner for the slave only to have another Northerner free the slave.
    So, what should the slave owners have done? Write a Declaration of Secession denouncing the freeing of slaves and start a war? No.
    They should have realized that slaves are people, not property, and they should have stopped buying slaves, and they should have sued the abolitionists for damages.
    Jefferson Davis and the leaders of the Confederacy were absolutely wrong to secede and to cause the war. The Confederacy was wrong and was defeated.
    The soldiers who fought for South Carolina on the Confederate side did what they were asked to do by their State. They deserve our respect and admiration for doing their duty.
    South Carolina owes her Confederate soldiers a great debt. South Carolina owes a great debt to all her soldiers from all her wars and all her years of peacetime.
    Flying a Confederate flag from where our laws are made pretends that the Confederate soldiers won and that the Confederate soldiers are more honorable than other soldiers, neither of which is true.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  38. Lee Muller

    No taxes are permanent, Mr. Rodgers. They are an annual issue, because they are part of every budget, so they are up for modification every year. It is entirely appropriate to make minor tax cuts one year while designing an increase in some tax and a reduction or abolition in another tax for the next year.
    The flag issue is one originally created out of thin air by NAACP agitators as a smoke screen for their leadership being arrested for looting all the donations. In 2008, their pals at The State paper revived the issue in an attempt to tar some GOP candidates, except John McCain, by asking them about the flag. They refused to fall for the trap.

  39. Brad Warthen

    Lee’s been smoking something weird. I don’t recall asking ANYBODY running for president what he or she thinks about the flag. Why would I care? It’s a South Carolina issue, as I’ve said over and over and over and over.

    In fact, here is a blog post from last year that touches on all of the above, and points to the precise OPPOSITE of what Lee imagines — I mention there that McCain is the one candidate who was asked about the flag (and certainly not by The State) in a debate last year. The post also explains why McCain’s answer was WRONG.

    Lee is hereby invited to come up with evidence to support his alternative version of reality. I extend the same invitation to some of the fantasists above who haven’t the slightest idea what my views are on the flag, even though everything I’ve ever said on the matter (and there’s a lot of it) is on the record.

  40. JimT

    Calling people here Abolitionists?! Oh for Pete’s sake…. Some people really are living in a past century.
    Can you people imagine the possibility that you and your glorious ancestors are not the only ones whose history is involved with that flag? Does not the use of that flag as a symbol of intimidation during the 20th century mean anything to you?

  41. Lee Muller

    Brad, here is a news update for you:
    Huckabee was grilled by TV pundits about the flag issue in SC, and why wouldn’t he take a position on it. Same for Romney and Fred Thompson. They all handled the phony issue race-baiting quite well.
    I don’t understand why a newspaper editor would accuse a reader of making things up without checking the facts first, especially on an issue ginned up by said editor.
    Don’t you use Nexus to search the news, or at least read the papers, watch TV, and listen to some news and talk radio?
    If Brad Warthen and the editors of The State are so out of the loop that they don’t know how the national media tried to use the SC flag to try to trap McCain’s opponents, then they are pretty naive, because they got used, too.

  42. Michael Rodgers

    All Brad is saying is that he himself never asked any of the candidates. And he doesn’t ask national candidates because he believes that it’s up to South Carolinians to do what they will about the fact that the Confederate flag flies where our laws are made. That’s my interpretation and understanding, anyway.

  43. Jimmy Shirley

    Here is a thing I really do not understand. The north won, we lost. Why does not the north get over it? Why do they continue to attack us? What difference does it make to them whether or not we fly whatever flags we choose? 143 years have thus passed, yet, the north attacks us yet. WHY??!

  44. Lee Muller

    I never said Brad Warther asked the candidates about the flag. What I did say is accurate. Either Mr. Warthen knew how the paper’s timing the Ben Tillman hit piece would be used, or he is awfully naive.

  45. Michael Rodgers

    Dear Mr. Shirley,
    Wow, your honest questions make me want to call you a friend.
    As to the current issue, we South Carolinians are deciding together to take down the Confederate flag that flies on our Statehouse grounds. The bill H-3588 has nothing to do with the north. We simply think that it is inappropriate to fly the Confederate flag where our laws are made. That’s all.
    As to your questions, I hear you. I really think that if you are reasonable, you will feel freedom in society to respect the Confederate part of your heritage as much as you want to.
    Reenactments are fine, relics are fine, flags are fine; heck, build your own Southern Confederate Heritage Center somewhere and fly the Confederate flag there if you want to. Such a center could be a nice tourist attraction, if done well and done right.
    It’s a shame that Glenn McConnell wants to turn the people’s Statehouse into a Southern Confederate Heritage Center. He’s denying people like you the opportunity to create such a center on their own, because, really, how can you compete with free?
    With Kindest Regards,
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  46. Lee Muller

    You don’t honor you ancestors’ patriotism by building a theme park or visitors center. Those are a defamation.
    Mr. Rodgers, you still refuse to answer a direct question:
    “If the flag is removed from state property, will that be the end of this controversy, or will you, or your replacement, be back demanding removal of the monuments, banning private displays of the flag, etc, as some radicals have been demanding for decades?”

  47. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Muller,
    Thank you for your question. I have answered this question several times, and I will answer it again now:
    I will not demand the removal of the monuments. I will not ban private displays of the Confederate flag.
    I answered this question the last time you asked me, on the Huckabee/Flag post. I said the following (quoting back your question):
    I have said exactly what I want, which is, once again, to pass H-3588. I know that many, many other people also want this bill passed. I have not, nor will I, propose or support “ripping down all the statues, monuments and gravestones honoring the Confederate soldiers.”
    I also answered this question in the “Frequent Accusations” post on my takedowntheflag blog. I said the following:
    No, I don’t [want to take down all the monuments]. I want only to take down the flag from the flagpole on the Statehouse grounds.
    Mr. Muller, I have been extraordinarily patient and polite with you. There is no excuse for your consistent rudeness, your groundless and defamatory accusations, and your demonizing generalizations.
    Please change your ways, if not with everybody, at least, sir, with me. Thank you.
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  48. Lee Muller

    I don’t read your blog. You posted your alleged agenda here, and I question it here.
    You may honestly only want to remove the flag from state property.
    Those who proceeded you only wanted to move it from the dome to the statue.
    Those waiting in the wings want to remove the statue and outlaw possession of the flags of the South.
    It is not at all rude for me to ask a question about your Final Solution for the flag and for the South, or how you expect others to honor the settlement you want when you refuse to honor the legislative settlement now in place.

  49. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Muller,
    Those who preceeded me wanted to take down the flag. Glenn McConnell wanted to move the flag from the dome’s pole to a pole near the C.S. Monument. Glenn McConnell got what he wanted. Then he got everyone to call it compromise.
    Michael Rodgers

  50. Michael Rodgers

    Mr. Muller,
    1) Your rudeness.
    It is rude to accuse me of avoiding answering when you haven’t asked the question yet. I am happy to answer any question.
    It is rude to accuse me of “refusing to honor the legislative settlement now in place.” I follow the law.
    It is not Southern to accuse me of not being a man of my word by refering to my agenda as “alleged.” My word is my bond.
    2) Your lack of knowledge about law.
    You say that some laws (e.g. tax laws) can, and perhaps should, be changed every year, but other laws (e.g. flag laws) should never ever be changed, challenged, or talked about. Where in the state constitution is the language that justifies your absurd claim?
    3) Your insane twisting.
    I suggested to Mr. Shirley to privately fund and build a Southern Confederate Heritage Center, which could be nice if done well and done right. Obviously, if it’s done poorly and obscenely, then it won’t be nice. You said, “You don’t honor you ancestors’ patriotism by building a theme park or visitors center. Those are a defamation.” Duh.
    4) Gross mean-spirited grossness
    I can play this game too, but it’s a stupid, useless game that adds no value and makes everyone miserable. Here goes.
    You and all the non-thinking people like you have no honor and can’t be trusted because they don’t read and aren’t polite and because they are, you know, radical South-haters who hate the legislative process and their fellow citizens.
    You and your kind, you know, the radical anti-South bigots just like you, think of nothing but hate and fear and bullying, and have no honor and no faith in their fellow citizens.
    You and all your kind, who know nothing about Southern hospitality, and who are anti-South radical bigots who never provide anything useful, like clear arguments delivered politely, have no honor and are probably corrupt lawbreakers who can’t be trusted and have no honor.
    Again, playing this game is stupid and adds no value and makes everyone miserable.
    Michael Rodgers

  51. Steve Hiott

    For what is’s worth, when the issue first came up about the flag flag flying over the Dome, which I really haddn’t been aware of, My first thoughts was that it was stupid. Our leaders in Columbia should have removed it long ago, knowing that it would cause hard feelings and trouble. If they had removed it and placed it where it is today, then we would not have had this mess. But, even if it took so long and so much animosity to do it, the right thing has been done and it is time to move on. I love the battle flag but realize that others may not and if things were reversed then maybe I would feel as they do. Like it or not, the flag is part of our heritige.

  52. Lee Muller

    Mr Rodgers,
    I already gave you a simple plain explanation of why your analogy is bogus – going back on the flag compromise is not the same as passing a new spending bill and adjusting taxes each year. You should have picked that up in 7th grade civics.

  53. Lourie Salley


    We have invited you to appear on our Radio Show, “Radio Free Dixie”. (WOIC 1230AM) We have invited you to address the public in an honest discussion of we believe is your view of what we consider to be a warped, lyinging, distorted view of history.

    We challage you, come on the air, and speak with us. We think that you are a coward. Join us in the arena of public opinion. Let us talk about the facts of history, and let us learn the truth. Join us, if you dare, on Radio Free Dixie. Contact me at 903-957-1036, and let’s put the truth before South Carolinians.

  54. Michael Rodgers

    Lourie Salley,
    You claim to be true Southerners and yet, apparently, you have no regard for Southern hospitality. This is how you invite someone to be on your show, by calling the person a liar and by not saying please?
    Michael Rodgers
    Columbia, SC

  55. Lee Muller

    Items 1), 2), 3) and 4) are untrue, Mr. Rodgers, straw men of your imagination, mere name-calling with stock buzzwords which have no effect on me, because I can explain the basis of my opinions, as I have here.
    I don’t believe you honestly think that your efforts to toss out the last compromise on the flag amounts to “honoring” the deal. How can you claim to “follow the law”, while you are trying to change the law before the ink was dry?

  56. Lee Muller

    Well, the editorial page of The State today calls for removing the statue of Ben Tillman….first.
    Told you so.

  57. Lourie Salley

    Mike Rodgers,
    We’ve taken your call on Radio Free Dixie. Yes, we think that you and Brad are living and reporting, a lie. When you were on the air, you avoided questions about the compromise of 2000, and exhibited blatant anti-Southern bigotry. We have consistantly reported events in which Southern Blacks and Whites could celebrate a “racially neutral” heritage, and you persist in adopting the Marxist model of racial confrontation.
    There is something about “limited government” that you do not like. My immediate perception of your position, is that government is the messiah to solve society’s ills, whether that be through taxation, education, regulation, or redistribution of income.
    Lincoln was wiling to let us keep our slaves, if we would pay his tariff.
    Lincoln wanted to export all African-Americans back to Africa.
    Lincoln did not favor equality for African-Americans.
    The Confederate Constitution prohibited further importation of slaves, from Africa, or the North.
    So, tell me, why do you hate our flag, except for the fact that it represents Southrons, as a seperate people?

  58. George Buddin

    This message was originally sent on April 26th, 2007 but never posted. It argues the lies that we are tought in our current school systems, and what has been tought since “reconstruction”. Let’s see if Mr. Warthen has enough courage to post a true, and opposing view, that the majority of this state agrees with.
    Dear Mr. Warthen,
    I am disappointed that a person, in your position, would be so ignorant on a subject that is published for thousands to read. If you want to have an educated response, or discussion, you should first learn about what you speak of. First and foremost, the flag was not “removed from its position of false sovereignty”. For a flag to have sovereignty it must first be a flag that represents an official government. The flag that was removed was the Confederate naval jack. The flag that now flies at the Confederate soldiers’ monument is the soldiers’ battle flag. It is not in a position of sovereignty either. If either of those two flags had been the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, national flag of the Confederacy, you would be correct in regards to sovereignty. However, you stand corrected. This word, sovereignty, is in appropriately used because this issue has nothing to do with it. Secondly, coach Spurrier made an uneducated, unsolicited, and ignorant opinion just to get his name and the University of South Carolina in the news. Here again we have a person, in a position, where people will listen to what he/she has to say. He is a great football coach. He is neither a historian, nor a politician. How does he, or even you Mr. Warthen, know the “entire world” has “an absurdly and unnecessarily negative image of the state”? Did either of you interview the entire world? Do you think the entire world cares about a one-hundred and forty plus year old symbol that flies 30 feet above the ground, as part of a memorial to the Confederate dead?
    In your article, written on the 22nd of April, you posted a comment from someone whom you said, didn’t “know any more than the old coach”. He/she said, “We should not be putting down anybody, just like your column says”. The keyword in this statement is “anybody”. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to say, “We should not be putting down anybody”, yet offend those of us you are deeply rooted in this state, and educated enough to know the difference between history and racism. Another person who voiced their opinion said, “I am embarrassed by that flag and the people who support it”. Quite frankly, I am embarrassed that this person is out in the world trying to “defend” my state. If they had any real knowledge of this state, and how important of a role it has played in the history of this country, they would have nothing to be ashamed of. They go on to say, “It is an insult to the troops fighting for our freedom”. First of all, we have our freedom. Our troops are fighting for the democracy and freedom of the Iraqi people. The Confederate battle flag represents the brave men who fought for their freedom from an oppressive federal government that invaded their homeland. They fought for their honor.
    Finally, Mr. Pitts said, “Our state shouldn’t promote anything that offends a large block of its people”. I hate to inform you, Mr. Pitts, but you are doing just that. The flag is still flying because the majority of the state wants it there. They are the ones who elected you. You should worry about offending the ones who are responsible for giving you the opportunity to represent them, because so far, I am afraid you are doing a poor job. We all must try our best to treat each other with respect. Do unto others as you wish to be done unto you. However, we can not always please everyone. When siding with one side, you are stepping on the toes of the other. All I ask is that before spewing ill-advised, and uneducated opinions, please research the subject of your discussion so as not to make yourself, or others, look so foolish.
    George H. Buddin, 428 Browning Extension, Lexington, S.C. 29073

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