Left: Yes, you know what it is. (Image from The Palmetto Scoop.)
For foreign readers (and Americans who didn't memorize their history lessons): South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union in 1860. Largely for this reason, Union forces fired on Fort Sumter, which is considered the official beginning of the Civil War. Yes, it all started here!!!!
How to honor such history respectfully, is the question.
It seems we still can't agree on that.
Although the CSA battle flag is on South Carolina statehouse grounds, it is no longer in the front and is displayed as part of a memorial to the deceased CSA soldiers. No one objects to the memorial itself (that I know of); it's the flag that raises objections and gets everyone all stirred up.
From the Greenville News today:
Confederate group plans response to flag flap
Organization denies comments about flying more flags to counter NAACP
By Tim Smith • CAPITAL BUREAU • July 17, 2008
My observation? It never ends.
COLUMBIA -- The Sons of Confederate Veterans plans a response to the NAACP's push to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds but denied Wednesday one of its officers' statements that it would fly flags around the state in reaction.
Meanwhile, in response to questions by The Greenville News on Wednesday about whether he supported moving the flag, a spokesman for the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain said the issue of the flag has already been resolved.
"Sen. McCain has said repeatedly that he could not be more proud of the overwhelming majority of the people of South Carolina who have come together to resolve the issue," said Mario Diaz, a spokesman for the campaign.
A spokesman for the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama couldn't be reached for comment.
State NAACP President Lonnie Randolph said Tuesday the national organization had asked actors and movie studio representatives to observe the NAACP's economic sanctions against the state until the flag is moved off Statehouse grounds. He said the civil rights organization had received "very positive" responses.
The battle flag flies behind the Confederate soldiers' monument near a busy Columbia intersection, the result of a legislative compromise in 2000 to bring the flag off the Statehouse dome.
Randy Burbage, who leads South Carolina members in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the group's officials will consider proposed responses to the NAACP actions when they meet in two weeks.
"We're weighing different options," he said. "We always respond to attacks on our heritage, and we feel like that's what this is."
He said he was "not at liberty" to describe what was being considered, but he denied the comments of another officer earlier in the day who said the organization planned to raise flags across the state in response to the NAACP's latest campaign to remove the flag.
"That's not true," he said. "He misspoke on that. There's no plan to do that. I'm puzzled as to why he even said that. He's not the spokesman for the organization. I've already spoken to him today, and he admitted that he misspoke on that."
Burbage said it was also untrue that the organization planned to raise a flag each time the NAACP complained or that the organization was negotiating with a landowner to raise a giant flag near a Midlands interstate, just as supporters have raised such flags in Florida.
"I don't know how I can put these fires out at this point," he said. "That's him speaking for himself, not this organization."
Listening to: Yo La Tengo - Moby Octopad