A photographic slice of SC political history

Thought y’all might be interested in this huge (about as tall as I am) poster over at GOP HQ. Chad Connelly and Matt Moore showed it to me when I arrived for the interview this morning.

They didn’t know where it came from — they found it when they moved in to the HQ — but they assume from the available clues in the photo that it’s from 1960. Note (if you can; this being too big to put on a scanner, I just shot a picture of it with my iPhone — and it was pretty grainy to start with):

  • The prophetic declaration, “DIXIE IS NO LONGER IN THE BAG” — which was not yet true from a GOP perspective.
  • What you can’t see around the slogan “ALL FOR NIXON” is the names of Old South states (they were hard to see in the original, too).
  • At least one, and probably other, leaflets on the ground say “Kennedy!”
  • I was amused at the van near the State House steps that said “Wilson” on the back. Seems like Joe’s always been in politics, doesn’t it?
  • The flags, which are located far below the dome, and of course do not include the Confederate flag. This is before the General Assembly and Fritz Hollings put the Dixie flag up to mark the Civil War centennial. Are there also flags atop the dome, or were there no flags there then? I don’t know.
  • The men wearing hats. After JFK won South Carolina and the presidency, he put a stop to that style. Or so they say.
  • The license plate on the hearse, which provides proof that Paul was dead before we’d even heard of the Beatles.

OK, I was kidding on that last one. Y’all have fun with the picture, too.

11 thoughts on “A photographic slice of SC political history

  1. Brad

    OK, I may have just had way too long a day… but… you see the guy with the hat who’s facing toward the camera (to see him more clearly, click on the image, then click again to enlarge it)?

    I think he looks kind of like Chad Connelly.

    So either I’m losing it, or this is kind of a Jack-Nicholson-at-the-end-of-“The-Shining” moment. You know, when they zoomed in on that old picture?

  2. Michael Rodgers

    The answer to the flag and flagpole question can be found on page 40 of K. Michael Prince’s excellent book Rally ’round the flag, boys!: South Carolina and the confederate flag.

    “The chairman of the South Carolina Centennial Commission, John ‘Mr. Confederate’ May, acting in his capacity as state representative, simply requested that the state agency responsible for State House maintenance add a Confederate flag to those already flying atop the state capitol, in observance of the Civil War centennial. The new flag was not hoisted above the dome right away, however. The dome flagpole (which was really nothing more than a piece of plumbing) had not been used for more than five years, after it had been determined that a ladder leading up to the dome was unsafe. State law, however, mandated that the state flag fly above the State House daily. And so a second flagpole had been erected on a lower part of the building, visible only from the front, where the federal and state flags could be flown. At the beginning of the centennial week, a Confederate flag was purchased for nine dollars and hoisted beneath the other two. Some suggested that it be placed on top, above the other two. But ‘non-legal minds,’ The State newspaper reported, ‘said there [was] probably something on the books preventing that.’ It is unclear whether or not Representative May intended that the Confederate flag continue to fly beyond the centennial week. But continue to fly it did. It remained atop the front of the State House for a year, until it was eventually raised above the dome itself.”

  3. Mark Stewart

    Only in SC would we fly flags atop the statehouse on a sewer pipe.

    And it looks like it was Joe Wilson in his earlier incarnation as Democrat – the van is a VW Bus!

  4. Phillip

    About your “Shining” moment of recognition in the photo:

    In a certain sense, “Chad Connelly” “has always been the caretaker.”

    Don’t you think?

  5. Brad

    Mark, I was about to describe that above as a “VW microbus,” but I got to thinking — did they even MAKE those that early?

    Turns out that the answer is “yes.” And see, I thought they were impossible to operate except by a guy with long hair or a gal with love beads…

  6. Brad

    I just got this from Herbert J. Hartsook at the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at USC:


    The photo you featured on your blog is from our collection of the papers of former state party chair [1958-1961] Greg Shorey.  It is a very dramatic image and we have used it in several exhibits.  Some years ago, the Party had that image blown up for their then Headquarters.

    Mr. Shorey is hale and hearty, is still very active in Republican affairs, and I’m sure would be delighted to talk with you about his leadership in developing the Republican Party.

    I am copying him with this email.

    Below is a link to our description of his collection.



  7. Brad

    And Trey Walker shares this:

    “The picture was brought to the SCGOP HQ back in 90’s during Henry and my tenure (’96 maybe). I had it displayed on the second floor meeting room at the old Lady Street HQ. Greg Shorey, who served as SCGOP chairman back in the 60’s gave it to the SCGOP HQ, while assisting USC with assembling archives of political memorabilia.”

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