UPDATE: The governor will sign the bill today at 4 p.m. I understand that the flag will come down Friday morning at 10.
The Confederate flag will leave the South Carolina State House grounds after five decades this week after the House overwhelmingly approved a bill to remove the Civil War icon early Thursday morning.
The House voted 94-20 to banish the flag from the Capitol after more than 12 hours of debate over the historic measure.
The bill now heads to Gov. Nikki Haley for her signature. Haley started the call for removing the flag in the days after nine African-Americans were shot and killed in a historic Charleston church last month.
“It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” Haley said in a Facebook post.
If Haley signs the bill Thursday, the flag could be taken down Friday….
I stayed up through the third reading. Special kudos to Rep. Cobb-Hunter, Horne, Smith, Ott, Neal, and Stavrinakis…even to Quinn for moving to table his own amendment.
I am so disappointed with my representative, Bill Sandifer, whose last ditch appeal to his colleagues “…not to capitulate to the Senate” appeared disingenuous when he didn’t have the courage even to be present for the third reading, much less to vote his conviction. I’m forced to believe that he was equally disingenuous when he told me by e-mail midday yesterday that “I have not made a final decision, however, I am leaning strongly on voting to take it down.” It now feels very much like he was trying to play both sides of the street from the outset.
At least Pitts, Bedingfield, et al. cast votes consistently backing their propositions all the way to the end, even if they were in vain, wrong-headed (IMHO), and largely symbolic.
I was very disappointed both Sandifer and Whitmire sat it out. Not exactly profiles in courage.
I guess their heritage is “If you can’t say something nice…”
I’ll believe it when I see it. And when I see it, Thompson’s “Alleluia” will be playing in my head and heart!
What an interesting choice. Not the Hallelujah Chorus, but a quiet, throbbingly intense piece building to an almost orgasmic climax before settling into a satisfied peace. I’m a chorister myself, so I get this.
Yes, although I’m also hearing the Britten Jubilate Deo….
Whereas we plebeians are hearing a medley of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Joy to the World” (Hoyt Axton, not Isaac Watts), “Dixie,” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
This is perfect:
You should know this one!
This one is nice, too, but not a cappella:
Yep. One of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite tunes. He requested it at the end of the War, saying:
With that precedent, this seems an appropriate occasion.
And of course, I was thinking of the classic (to fans of pop music kitsch) medley that Elvis sang…
Maybe a bit of American Trilogy….
And now that it’s happened, all I can hear is Amazing Grace.
Yes, American Trilogy! That’s what I was referring to…
Yes, it is finally coming down, after a very depressing day. Much of what went on yesterday felt like pro-flag legislators (pro ANY Confederate flag) were trying their best to drag my poor dead Confederate ancestors out of their graves to prop up their own egos, their illusions and delusions and, not least of all, their seats in the House. We were repeatedly told that we would hardly know a substitute Confederate flag was there, really, it looks so much like the state flag, we could ignore it, that giving in to this teeny tiny concession would be “grace.” No. That proposal has nothing to do with grace, and there is nothing tiny about a concession to flying any flag of the Confederacy. There is a big stone monument remaining to recognize the valor of fallen soldiers. That is enough. And finally, most of the House of Representatives voted accordingly.
I was so happy to hear Gilda Cobb-Hunter tell Rick Quinn that his colleagues needed to stop telling them to “give them grace” over flying a substitute flag because it was offensive. I steamed every time one of them said it. Shockingly insensitive and arrogant to use that term.
I surely expect that when the KKK does its rally, all those who have been singing the “heritage not hate” round will be out their protesting loudly and visibly that they (the KKK) have “hijacked” the flag and should relinquish it immediately. We will see Mr. Bright, et.al. out there, right?
When Greeks reckon time in calends.
The State referred to Senator Bright as a pariah. Let us hope that is true, until he decides to rejoin the decent, rational, kind part of the human race.
aargh. “concession to fly . . . “
UPDATE: The governor will sign the bill today at 4 p.m. I understand that the flag will come down Friday morning at 10.
As details come out about what exactly is going to happen tomorrow, keep us updated. I might drop by to see it.
OK. Let’s hope it’s very different from 2000: https://bradwarthen.com/2015/07/raw-video-of-the-confederate-flag-being-raised-in-2000/
Ran into Bobby Hitt this morning as I was leaving breakfast and he was coming in to work (same building). Just as I was reminiscing about my first editorial on the subject earlier this week, he waxed nostalgic about the early 80s when he says he and my fellow former editorialist Kent Krell conspired on an editorial calling for the flag to come down. I need to look that one up sometime.
Anyway, I asked him to please tell the governor how much I appreciate her leadership on this, and let her know how proud I am of her…
I’ve disagreed with Gov Haley on many things, but hiring Bobby Hitt deserved accolades. Now he’s the second best decision she’s made, because taking on the flag issue is her absolute best decision.
Movies will be made of this historic event. I can see it now…
“Rick Quinn, The Last Confederate Congressman”
I have yet to understand what Rep. Pitts means by the double standard treatment he says he got yesterday.
Stupid, hostile, bad-faith obstructionism didn’t get the same respect from the majority as did good-faith efforts to pull the people of South Carolina together.
That’s what he meant.
But the truth is, he got far, far more respect than he deserved, doing what he was doing.
Completely absurd petulance…
I’ll never forget that his hours of obstructionism kept most people from witnessing the eventual happy, triumphant end in real time.
Personally, if he had never gotten up to speak or offer his contemptible amendments, I probably would have been in the chamber when it happened. I wish I had been. Then, I didn’t even get to witness it via video when the feed quit on me a little after midnight.
But… we have him to thank, I believe, for Rep. Horne’s majestic explosion, and I WAS right there in the chamber to witness that…
mmmmajestic. Sorry, but I just can’t get to that characterization yet. Explosive, yes. mmmmanipulative, maybe.
I rather liked the composure that Gilda Cobb-Hunter maintained throughout the sessions. And the GRACE that Rep. Govan projected when Rep. Merrill asked him if he was “even a member here.” [You all look alike insinuation?]
After watching the whole thing on over-the-air channel 35.3 (which didn’t cut out until it was all over, by the way), I have to say, it’s not fair or correct to lump Quinn in with Pitts and/or Sandifer.
I would have voted like Ballentine did, opposing the amendments, but I sincerely belive that what Quinn was trying to do was to minimize the number of “No” votes on passage of the bill. I think he really expected that their would not be significant delay even if the house passed an amended version.
Another thing, if it hadn’t been for Pitts’ and others’ parade of amendments, folks might not have been so exasperated by the time they condidered Quinn’s.
Again, I would have voted like Ballentine, but Quinn shouldn’t be lumped in with those who voted “No” on passage and then left before third reading.
I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment here without at least one egregious misspelling. My apologies.
Jeff, I agree with you about Quinn.
Yes — and maybe it’s that great picture of Quinn up there that has helped me have a certain respect for his commitment. The Confederate Hiroo Onoda?
What is with obstructing all day and then skedaddling?
Yellow it used to be called.
Maybe so, but the Quinns are weaselly and have indulged in too much dirty politics…
The state Democrats put this out:
And this came from the Republicans:
I prefer the Republican release to the Democrat. I wish people would stop using the word “courage” or “hero” to describe the act of voting… because if it took courage to cast that vote yesterday, I’d like to know what character trait was being displayed when nothing was being done for the past 15 years? Those who fought this for so long only to give in finally after the brutal murders in Charleston didn’t demonstrate courage. Political expediency? shame? herd mentality? Maybe. But courage? Hardly.
And for the Democrats to throw in Medicaid expansion in their release is as crass as Quinn’s ransom for the Confederate Relic Room.
The whole house was being held hostage/ransomed until they pledged allegiance to the shrine/relic/Cathedral of the South. I would walk away and come back to the screen and it felt like I had been dropped into a mental institution. What a crazy way to go about doing the people’s business.
Yes, asking for an extension of health coverage to tens of thousands of people who badly need it is as “crass” as demanding a shrine to one’s ancestors on state property. I can really see the resemblance. Actually, on the leftie blogs that I frequent one commonly hears people sneering at Nikki Haley as a fraud because she only reaches out to poor and black South Carolinians on easy, symbolic issues. Yes, they’re fools and ignoramuses, and I’ve defended her to them. But for the newfound space of grace to mean anything, it’s not just “heritage” that needs to be surmounted.
Er, ever heard of James Louis Petigru?
Yeah, lunatic asylum….
You know, Walter Edgar’s bestie married Rick Quinn’s sister….
Hey…..so he’s the one who said that.
“South Carolina is too small for a nation and too large for an insane asylum.”
He’s wrong. The solidarity of its citizenry in the past weeks has reached near-nation status. And the city block where the Statehouse is — is the absolute perfect size for an insane asylum; also the perfect picture of one when the Legislature is in session. SC is fascinating.
Yeah, except that Medicaid expansion will be “free” money that will boost our economy, even if you don’t care about the working poor whom it will benefit, but the Relic Room….
I was commenting on the timing of the statement about Medicaid expansion. Putting that in the release related to the flag coming down was putting politics ahead of the importance of the event. They couldn’t just let it go for one day.
Anyway, I always hear complaints from the left about Republicans trying to vote down Obamacare over and over. How is that different from constantly calling for Medicaid expansion? The answer is no in South Carolina. As they say on the left, “Move on!”.
“because if it took courage to cast that vote yesterday, I’d like to know what character trait was being displayed when nothing was being done for the past 15 years?”
That’s easy: Cowardice. No question about that…
Well, there were death threats…
Isn’t that a wonderful picture Tim shot? For some reason, The State went with this one as the dominant art, but the one above is to me the best I’ve seen.
I love the symmetry; I love the joy… The very best element is the way Todd Rutherford and Rick Quinn are interacting. Like old enemies become friends… “Remember back when you…” and “Yeah! And remember back when we…” and celebrating that all the nonsense is behind us, and we are all together, joyfully, one happy family…
Tim is a treasure, for sure. Go Aiken Hornets!
He posted a selfie on Facebook of himself on the left, the flag on the right and the State House in the middle, taken at 2:30 AM.
He used to have a shock of black hair.
You should be writing romance novels,but stop taking acid,beforehand.
Never thought of myself as someone who cared a lot for southern decorum, but yeah, Jim Merrill. Can anyone recommend a good pocket guide to send his way?
?? Please explain?
Some of his comments seemed a bit snide and in many circles just plain offensive. Like telling a woman, Horne, to have control of her emotions or stating that he had no idea what grace was. I know is politics, but If I had said that as a kid, I’d have probably gotten slapped.
Just printing the basics on a Post-it® note may work:
“Blacks, Jews, Mormons, Catholics, poor whites and women are now 5/5ths persons.” c.2015
and the gays….
and even KKKs
Watching all the current and former politicians file into the room for the bill signing ceremony, I am reminded of the saying “Success has many parents while failure is an orphan.”
It is done.
What we’ve seen is the evolution from old to new South Carolina. Old is division for division’s sake, where nobody gives unless they also get. The new way is doing the right thing, standing shoulder to shoulder, and being kinder than necessary. The party chairs began evolving some time ago, perhaps when they jointly recommended YES to the adjutant general amendment. Gov. Haley evolved after the massacre. Rick Quinn evolved last night, in real time, while we watched.
I don’t know the younger Rick Quinn, and wasn’t prepared to like his hard-core neo-Confederate dad. But I participated with the elder Quinn in a history seminar some years ago, and was quite impressed. The topic was the South in the 1930s, TBS, not the Civil War or the Confederacy, which probably made a difference, but I found him knowledgeable and engaging, and our exchanges were fruitful. I like to tell my students that there are over four hundred years of southern history, and the Confederacy accounts for four of them. Quinn Senior understands the South as far more than Confederate “heritage,” and I saw indications yesterday that the younger Quinn, even though he’s on the other side, has breadth of his own.
re: “Rick Quinn evolved last night”
And with grace. And I believe that was him escorting the Honor Guard soldier carrying the flag today.
A lyrical toast:
“Once in while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right”
-Grateful Dead “Scarlet Begonias”
NEW THREAD, for Pete’s sake!!!
This is macrame!
Flag Comes Down.Politicians Win.Who Died?
A tipping point. Folks who were too “polite” to complain about a symbol of racism just finally got fed up to HERE. And those who sort of don’t care but are smart enough to realize that it will bite them in the ass come election time knew it was past its sell-by date. By leading the charge, Haley isn’t so much righting a wrong as announcing her national intentions.
Well, yeah–she’s term-limited here….but I really believe she was touched, and i have been no fan of Tracy Flick
This is a good thing. It has certainly attracted scores of tourists and legions of media types. Has there ever been an event in Columbia that has attracted so much national media attention? Let the 21st century begin.
The Sanford debacle certainly attracted a lot of attention, but without a lot of advance notice on just how weird it would be.
This has been a week long event following several other notable events, so I think you are right.
Thank you Brad Warthen for your advocacy and tenacity and support. Thank you to others on the blog, Kathryn, Bryan, Bart, Scout, Bud, Mark, Lynn, and especially Doug for all the discussions. Cheers and Congratulations. Skaal. Danke Shoen.
And of course Norm and Karen Pearson and Burl and Phillip and Rose and others, thank you.
I certainly did nothing, but I feel and share your enthusiasm and joy. God bless.
I’m not sure I’ve done anything that is worthy of being thanked, but it’s nice of you to say.
An enormous thank you to Brad for continuing to hammer away at this. I never expected it to happen.