SC

Letter: Budget Board Could Take Down Confederate Flag

LOOK TO MOTHER NATURE, LETTER OF LAW TO IMMEDIATELY ADDRESS ISSUE 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…

LOOK TO MOTHER NATURE, LETTER OF LAW TO IMMEDIATELY ADDRESS ISSUE

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.

SIC SEZ

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.

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23 comments

Victorious Secret June 22, 2015 at 9:25 am

Interpret a statute? –> Why yes! Let us encourage a lawsuit and let the courts interpret what “worn” and “necessary” truly mean. I can’t wait to read the forthcoming opinion.

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tomstickler June 22, 2015 at 10:14 am

In order to successfully file a suit, one has to establish “standing”. Should be interesting to read the pleadings of anyone objecting to taking down the “worn” flag.

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Victorious Secret June 22, 2015 at 10:36 am

Were one to merely seek a declaratory judgment to determine the meaning of these words, then one must simply show a likelihood of future harm in order to satisfy standing.

I don’ think it is too much of a stretch to argue future harm.

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tomstickler June 22, 2015 at 10:44 am

I was a bit unclear: my interest would be in the standing arguments of those challenging the removal after someone with courage had removed it citing the “worn flag” justification.

Would they argue that it wasn’t really “worn”, or would they argue future harm if it were not replaced “in a timely manner”?

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The Colonel June 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

I’m sure we would finder some peckerwood to take up the cause.

Jim Kappler June 22, 2015 at 9:40 am

Dear Editor,

If the current Battle Flag flying over the State House Complex is interpreted to suffer from “wear”, it may be that the Civil War never really ended, and that America is still a war torn nation.

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derp June 22, 2015 at 10:48 am

Only for deeply dumb bumpkins and bigots.

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The Buzzman June 22, 2015 at 10:12 am

A nice effort. However, that definition of “worn out” is quite a reach. It has clearly worn out its welcome with a great many people, but basically, you’re engaging in word play here.

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tomstickler June 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

Perhaps less “word play” than there has been in King v. Burwell.

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Jim Kappler June 22, 2015 at 10:46 am

Many laws have definitions for specific terms contained therein. With the number of lawyers in the State House, I am surprised one did not pick up on this sooner.

That flag is a piece of cloth flapping in the wind, rain, and sun. The stitching degrades over time and colors can fade. Flag “wear” is probably decided by the BCB maintenance man.

If the Battle Flag turns out to be an effective Get Out the Vote mobilization mechanism for Hillary Clinton, you might see the most conservative legislators making the most liberal interpretation of the terms I cited in the Confederate flag law, especially around the time of the SC GOP televised debate.

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Get real bigots June 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

How about we take it down because it is nothing more than a big middle finger from white racists to the civil rights movement. That shitty flag was never the official flag of the Conferdate States. It’s the flag of ignorant losers and traitors. Fucking burn the thing.

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nitrat June 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm

How about we take it down because… since when has any nation in the history of the world allowed a rebellious, traitorous, seditious section of that nation to have any of the flags of that rebellion put on display by the state/provincial governments after their rebellion was crushed?
The South is just like the kind of people I like the very least – give ’em an inch and they take a mile.
My country, The United States of America, has been way too lenient with my native South since the end of Reconstruction.
And, nothing would be changing now if one of our own little cretins had not shown the world the rot at the core of our hearts and souls and we are embarrassed…at last.

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Squishy123 June 22, 2015 at 10:54 am

“replace” – take down the worn flag and replace with a new flag.

The guy tries to sound smart, but he ends up coming off as just another typical douchebag.

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shifty henry June 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm

There’s a huge difference between “your shit” and “you’re shit” ……

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Squishy123 June 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Henry, what the fuck are you talking about? Did you forget to take your pill this morning?

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shifty henry June 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for mentioning that — I counted them for the week and I accidentally took TWO this morning (with four cups of some Mexican coffee named INTENSO. If anyone is interested it is labeled,
“Los Portales/De Cordoba/INTENSO/café 100% puro tostado y molido”…. (whatever the hell that says)

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shifty henry June 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm

bonus just for you —
“Hey,” says one musician to another, “who was that piccolo I saw you out with last night?” “That was no piccolo,” is the reply, “that was my fife.”

Reply
shifty henry June 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm

bonus just for you —
“Hey,” says one musician to another, “who was that piccolo I saw you out with last night?” “That was no piccolo,” is the reply, “that was my fife.”

Reply
Jim Kappler June 22, 2015 at 11:06 am

Erratum – I wrote, ““replace” – With what?”
Strike that, as the law does specify the flag authorized to be flown. I missed that point.

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Jackie Chiles June 22, 2015 at 11:40 am

Yeah, we should just have an empty pole sitting in front of the statehouse. We can rename it the Festivus pole.

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The Colonel June 22, 2015 at 1:17 pm

+25!

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Shut up youse June 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Here is another thought. At one time. South Carolina was one of thirteen British colonies. The British got booted out of this colony. We don’t fly the British Union Jack at the state capital do we!??
They lost. We put up the flag of the United states of America.
As I recall. The confederacy lost (and lost decisively) sooooo
Why would we honor the losers flag!??
Mexico fought at and defeated those at the Alamo. We don’t fly a Mexican flag at the Alamo!?

If you’re a confederate, leave South Carolina. Start your own confederacy. Of dunces

Take that poor excuse of a flag down. Fritz hollings can suck it.

Haters gonna hate

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The Colonel June 22, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Wow – what judicial insight, not.

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