Lawmakers Invited Guests Asked to Report on Flag Issue
The Sixteenth Regiment, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Greenville, honors a unit by that designation composed mostly of men from Greenville and Furman University. The camp had a record turnout at their regular June meeting last Thursday night at the Phoenix Inn. Camp 36 has some 200 active members, however several members of other Upstate camps and non-members were also in attendance.
The scheduled speaker was canceled and the meeting was devoted to discussion of attacks on the Confederate battle flag charged with political expediency. The program change was made with short notice and several Upstate lawmakers were invited.
Three state senators and three members of the House attended and answered questions about what had happened to date and their views on future events.
Lawmakers in attendance included Senators Lee Bright, Tom Corbin and Danny Verdin. House members in attendance were Dwight Loftis, Mike Burns and Bill Chumley.
The Department Commander had asked all camps to avoid talking to the media prior to Monday, 29 June, to respect the victims of the murders in Charleston and their families.
It is ironic that State Senator Carlos Clementa Pinckney, one of the murder victims, was one of the legislative leaders that crafted and voted for the praised compromise that moved the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol Dome. The flag had been placed on the Dome by then Democrat Gov. Fritz Hollings. The compromise constructed a memorial to black veterans on State House Grounds and moved the battle flag to the Confederate Soldier Memorial where it was to remain unmolested permanently.
That was then and this is now. No longer do politicians see a necessity or a moral obligation to keep their promises; even those passed into law.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican Presidential candidate, announced Sunday that forgiveness of the murderer by the families of his Charleston church victims, and the love they have shown makes it necessary to ignore the compromise agreement made 15 years ago and remove the flag from State House grounds.
Defenders of factual Southern History see no connection between the murderer or his victims and the flag at the Confederate Soldier Memorial. In fact it is feared that the love shown between black and white South Carolinians following the tragedy is being turned to hate by the vicious attacks on Southern heritage based on hatred and revisionist history.
The views expressed during the meeting ranged from disappointment in elected officials and others who are being stampeded into action by racial agitators who are using a tragedy to achieve their political goals, to disappointment that more has not been done to educate ignorant politicians of factual history.
The prevailing view of the lawmakers present was that unless some minds are changed before another vote is taken, Governor Haley will have her two-thirds vote of both houses and the flag will be removed from the Confederate Soldier Memorial on the Capitol grounds. The final votes are expected on July 6 or shortly thereafter.
Opponents of the stampede to remove the flag were encouraged to call their Senator and House member.
Members of the SCV tend to favor a referendum that would at least allow the people of South Carolina to vote on whether to override the celebrated compromise and remove the flag from the memorial.