Debate continued well into the night, but the Republican-controlled South Carolina House eventually voted 93-27 to remove the Confederate flag from its place in front of the State House. The Republican-controlled state Senate had earlier this week voted 37-3 to take down the flag. Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill this afternoon, and the flag will come down 10 a.m. Friday.
Democrats nationwide were keeping an eye on the South Carolina vote while debating their own flag-related legislation. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) called it “ironic” that the GOP was fighting to raise the flag just as South Carolina was taking it down.
It was ironic — ironic that there was no mention that the flag was originally raised over the State House dome by Democrat Gov. Fritz Hollings.
Give yourselves a hand, Democrats.
As far as the GOP fighting to raise the flag, what’s that about? In debate over the annual spending bill funding the Interior Department, members of the Republican party introduced and then pulled a bill that would allow small Confederate flags to be planted at graves in federally run cemeteries.
The irony here? As CNN reports, the GOP’s proposals would have reinforced two directives from Democrat President Barack Obama’s administration.
The controversial amendment would reinforce two Obama administration directives, one from 2010 that limits Confederate flags at grave sites to certain state-designated Confederate Memorial Days only, and one issued June 29, that allows park superintendents to determine what items may be appropriately sold at concessions stands.
So the “fight” by the House GOP to raise the flag consists of codifying an Obama administration directive allowing “constituents who want to mark graves once a year of family members with the flag” to do so. The Hill explains:
After just two minutes of floor debate late Tuesday evening, the House passed a measure to prohibit the display of Confederate flags on graves in federal cemeteries.
National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis issued a directive in 2010 that allows national cemeteries that commemorate a designated Confederate Memorial Day to decorate the graves of Civil War veterans with small Confederate flags. The directive states that decorative flags must be removed “as soon as possible” once the Confederate Memorial Day is over.
Another Democrat-introduced amendment bans the sale of items featuring the Confederate flag in gift stores, closing a National Park Service “loophole” that “would still allow stores operated by the National Park Service to sell educational items like books or films that include images of the Confederate symbol.”
Educational items that might teach, say, that a Democrat governor raised the Confederate flag over the South Carolina Capitol? Banned.