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Letter: Budget Board Could Take Down Confederate Flag




Dear Editor,

The dispute surrounding the flying of the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America [the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (General Robert E. Lee’s Army) the South Carolina, Georgia, Florida Department version] over the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol Complex can be addressed by following the letter of the law.

The flag law is very precise in specifying the Battle Flag’s State House Complex location, its position relative to the Monument, its illumination, its type of fencing, its size, shape, border color and width, the type, color, and arm width of its cross, its field color, and the color, number, type, geometric inscription, and uniformity of its stars.

What are missing from the Confederate flag law are definitions of any of the terms related to when it is actually necessary to take a specific copy of the Battle Flag down: when Mother Nature weathers it.

Here are the instructions for taking down the Battle Flag currently flying over the State House grounds, as stated in the South Carolina Code of Laws, TITLE 1, CHAPTER 10, SECTION 1-10-10 (A), paragraph 4:

“From any funds appropriated to the Budget and Control Board, the Division of General Services of the Budget and Control Board, or its successor in interest, shall ensure that the flags authorized above shall be placed at all times as directed in this section and shall replace the flags at appropriate intervals as may be necessary due to wear.”

By the letter of the law, the current copy of the Battle Flag may be immediately taken off of its flag pole, subject to the interpretation of the following, undefined terms:

“wear” – Some would suggest that the copy of the Battle Flag currently flying over the State House grounds is worn out from the polarized atmosphere surrounding it, and that it has worn out its welcome at the South Carolina State Capitol.

“as may be necessary” – Some would suggest that today’s circumstances make it is quite necessary to take the current copy of the Battle Flag down.

“at appropriate intervals” – If a worn flag is taken down from the flag pole, the law does not specify when its replacement should be raised. Some would suggest that now it the time to take down the current copy of Battle Flag flying over the State House grounds. And, that the time to raise its replacement is when the SC Supreme Court rules if favor of doing so from the inevitable lawsuit, or maybe the “5th of never.”

“replace” – With what?

It appears that the only action required is for the one person with the appropriate authority over the South Carolina Budget and Control Board to make the decision to execute the letter of the law.

And, who might that be?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jim Kappler
Anderson, S.C.


will folks david asiamah

Jim: You always come through with the most thought-provoking stuff!  Thanks for sharing this, especially in light of our most recent column on the lack of legislative “appetite” to take the flag down.