South Carolina Legislature


 

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S 1
Session 111 (1995-1996) 

S 0001 General Bill, By McConnell, Courson, Elliott and J.V. Smith

Similar(S 60, H 3304) A Bill to compel a binding statewide referendum at the 1996 general election to ascertain the wishes of the voters as to (1) whether 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) shall be displayed atop and within the State House; (2) whether the "South Carolina Heritage Act of 1996" shall be enacted to provide for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from atop the State House and the permanent placement of the Confederate Battle Flag on the State House grounds and to create a Commission to establish and erect a civil rights monument on the grounds of the Capital Complex; (3) whether the Confederate Battle Flag shall be removed from atop and within the State House. The option which receives the greatest number of votes cast in the referendum shall take effect. 09/19/94 Senate Prefiled 09/19/94 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary 09/19/94 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-9 01/10/95 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-9


A BILL

TO COMPEL A BINDING STATEWIDE REFERENDUM AT THE TIME OF THE 1996 GENERAL ELECTION TO ASCERTAIN THE WISHES OF THE VOTERS AS TO: (1) WHETHER 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)] SHALL BE DISPLAYED ATOP AND WITHIN THE STATE HOUSE; (2) WHETHER THE "SOUTH CAROLINA HERITAGE ACT OF 1996" SHALL BE ENACTED TO PROVIDE FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG FROM ATOP THE STATE HOUSE AND THE PERMANENT PLACEMENT OF THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG ON THE STATE HOUSE GROUNDS AND TO CREATE A COMMISSION TO ESTABLISH AND ERECT A CIVIL RIGHTS MONUMENT ON THE GROUNDS OF THE CAPITOL COMPLEX; OR (3) WHETHER THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG SHALL BE REMOVED FROM ATOP AND WITHIN THE STATE HOUSE. THE OPTION WHICH RECEIVES THE GREATEST NUMBER OF VOTES CAST IN THE REFERENDUM SHALL TAKE EFFECT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Part I

SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 10 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 10-1-165. (A) In addition to the flag of the United States of America and the State Flag of South Carolina, 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)] shall be flown on the flagpole atop the State House and shall be displayed above the rostrum in the chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate of this State and in the front ground floor foyer of the State House.

(B) The South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America is square with a St. Andrews Cross of blue, edged with white, with thirteen equal five-pointed stars, upon a red field; with the whole banner bordered in white. The total outside measurement of the flag is to be fifty-two inches square, inclusive of the white border. The blue arms of the cross are 7.5 inches wide and the white border around the flag proper is 1.5 inches wide. The stars are five-pointed, inscribed within a circle six inches in diameter, and are uniform in size. This flag may be larger than described above as may be aesthetically necessary.

(C) The South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America displayed in the respective chambers of the General Assembly and the foyer of the State House must be the same in appearance as the flag flown atop the State House, except that the overall outside dimensions, inclusive of the border shall be thirty-six inches square and the respective dimensions shall be reduced proportionately. This flag may be larger than described above as may be aesthetically necessary.

(D) No flag other than those specified in subsection (A) shall be displayed atop or within the State House nor atop or within any other building owned by the State or political subdivision thereof.

(E) 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. The respective entities may only remove the flags during times of renovation and/or repair of the State House or the respective chambers of the General Assembly and the flags shall be returned upon completion of any such work.

SECTION 2. Part I only takes effect if choice (A) receives a greater number of votes cast in the referendum held pursuant to Part IV, than Part II or Part III below.

Part II

SECTION 3. Chapter 1, Title 10 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Article 3

South Carolina Heritage Act of 1996

Section 10-1-200. This article may be cited as the `South Carolina Heritage Act of 1996.'

Section 10-1-210. The Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of American History, heritage, and honor. Over 70,000 South Carolinians served under this banner during the War Between the States from 1861 to 1865. These soldiers, sailors, and marines of the Confederacy fought for the American principle of self-government and in defense of their homes, families, and country. They served their state under great hardships, and won the admiration of the world by their courageousNext fight against an enemy overwhelming in numbers and resources. Despite their hardships and personal sacrifices, these men took consolation in the belief that they would not be forgotten by their state or people.

The Confederate Battle Flag is displayed as provided in this act in a proper and fitting location at the State House as tribute to all those individuals who honorably served the Confederate States armed forces, and most particularly to the nearly 20,000 South Carolinians who made the supreme sacrifice for their state and beliefs. Its display affirms, as no mere words can, that those who answered their country's call to duty are indeed not forgotten. The Battle Flag also reminds all of us of our rich history as South Carolinians, and of the heritage of valor, patriotism, devotion to duty, and the spirit of self-sacrifice bequeathed to all of us by these Confederate ancestors--men and women, rich and poor, famous and unknown, white and black. When we as a people no longer admire and pay tribute to these traditions, we will no longer remain a free and great nation.

This act affirms that the Confederate Battle Flag is displayed as a testimonial to our shared history and heritage as South Carolinians, Southerners, and Americans. In this display, the Battle Flag is not only given its proper place as a historic symbol, but becomes a statement that we today understand its true meaning and refute those who would misuse this proud emblem for the wrong reasons. Also in this way, the Confederate Battle Flag becomes a sublime symbol, not only of the memory of our ancestors and their PreviouscourageNext and honor, but an affirmation of our identity as a people who have a past worth remembering and the Previouscourage to face the future.

Section 10-1-220. To honor and recognize the history and heritage of this State and the many contributions of its diverse citizenry, it is necessary and appropriate to codify the placement of certain symbols on the Capitol Complex and within the State House which salute the contributions and sacrifices to our constitutional history. Effective December 13, 1996, and continuously thereafter, the only flags that will fly atop the dome of the State House will be the United States Flag and the South Carolina State Flag.

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)] shall be displayed at the Confederate Soldier's Monument on the State House grounds. This flag is square with a St. Andrews Cross of blue, edged with white, with thirteen equal five-pointed stars, upon a red field; with the whole banner bordered in white. The total outside measurement of the flag is to be fifty-two inches square, inclusive of the white border. The blue arms of the cross are 7.5 inches wide and the white border around the flag proper is 1.5 inches wide. The stars are five-pointed, inscribed within a circle six inches in diameter, and are uniform in size. This flag may be larger than described above as may be aesthetically necessary.

The First National Flag of the Confederacy (Stars and Bars) shall be displayed at the Women's Monument to the Confederacy on the State House grounds and shall measure approximately four feet by six feet, but may be larger as aesthetically necessary.

Neither 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]) nor the First National Flag of the Confederacy (Stars and Bars) may be removed from their respective places on the State House grounds without two-thirds vote of each branch of the General Assembly.

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. The respective flags may only be removed during times of renovation and/or repair of the State House and the flags shall be returned upon completion of any such work.

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History shall catalogue all of the existing monuments, markers, or memorials located on public property of the State of South Carolina or its political subdivisions or any and all streets, highways, or parks honoring the memory of the Confederacy or individuals who served in the Confederate Army, Navy, and Marine Corps or the Women of the Confederacy or the memory of the civil rights struggle or individuals who participated in such struggle.

Section 10-1-230. A Civil Rights Monument Commission is hereby created to design and establish an appropriate monument to be placed on the grounds of the Capitol Complex to honor and recognize the efforts made to afford and guarantee equal rights and opportunities for all South Carolinians irrespective of race or ethnic origin. The commission is empowered and directed to raise private funds, to receive gifts and grants to carry out the purpose for which it is created, and to designate the location of the monument. By May 1, 1997, the commission shall report the proposed design and location of the monument to the General Assembly for approval. Upon the dedication of this monument, the commission shall dissolve. Upon dissolution, the State shall ensure proper maintenance of the monument as is done for other historical monuments on the grounds of the Capitol Complex.

Three members must be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and three members must be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Notwithstanding Section 8-13-770, members of the General Assembly may be appointed to this commission. The President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint a seventh member as chairman who shall vote only in cases of a tie.

Members of the commission may receive per diem and subsistence from the respective approved accounts of each body while attending meetings of the commission. All other expenses relating to the establishment and placement of the monument shall be paid for from funds derived as provided in the first paragraph of this section.

Section 10-1-240. No monument, marker, or memorial located on public property of the State or its political subdivisions or any street, highway, or park honoring the memory of the Confederacy or individuals who served in the Confederate Army, Navy, and Marine Corps or the Women of the Confederacy or the memory of the civil rights struggle or individuals who participated in such struggle may be removed or renamed without two-thirds vote of each branch of the General Assembly.

Section 10-1-250. As provided by the rules of the respective bodies, a statement shall be placed in the Journals of the House of Representatives and the Senate explaining the heritage represented by the Battle Flags of the Confederacy as military banners and that they are displayed as such and are not racist emblems per se."

SECTION 4. Sections 10-1-10 through 10-1-175 are designated as Article 1, entitled "General Provisions."

SECTION 5. Part II only takes effect if choice (B) receives a greater number of votes cast in the referendum held pursuant to Part IV, than Part I above or Part III below.

Part III

SECTION 6. Section 10-1-160 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 10-1-160. The United States flag and the State flag shall be displayed daily, except in rainy weather, from a staff upon the State House, and shall be displayed above the rostrum in the chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate of this State and in the front ground floor foyer of the State House. No other flag shall be displayed in these locations nor atop or within any other building owned by the State or political subdivision thereof except in museums and parks for historical exhibits and as may be directed in each chamber of the General Assembly by the respective body that sits in its chamber. The State Budget and Control Board shall purchase a suitable flag flags for display at the State House locations and cause it them to be displayed, the expense to be borne out of the funds provided for maintenance."

SECTION 7. The Confederate Flag shall be removed from atop the State House, from the front ground floor foyer of the State House, and from the chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

SECTION 8. Part III only takes effect if choice (C) receives a greater number of votes cast in the referendum held pursuant to Part IV, than Part I or Part II above.

Part IV

SECTION 9. A statewide referendum must be held at the same time as the 1996 general election to ascertain the wishes of the qualified electors of this State as to whether either Part I, Part II, or Part III above shall become effective. The State Election Commission must place the question contained in Section 10 on the general election ballot in November 1996. The state election laws shall apply to this referendum, mutatis mutandis, except as provided in Section 10. The State Board of Canvassers shall publish the results of the referendum and certify them to the Secretary of State.

SECTION 10. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State Election Commission shall structure the referendum question in a manner such that the voter shall be able to vote for only one of the choices listed below:

(A) I favor flying 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)] atop the State House, in the respective chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and in the foyer of the State House;

(B) I favor the South Carolina Heritage Act which provides for the relocation of the Confederate Battle Flag from atop the State House to a permanent placement on the State House grounds, along with the First National Flag of the Confederacy (Stars and Bars), and which creates a commission to establish and erect a Civil Rights Monument on the grounds of the capitol complex; or

(C) I favor the removal of the Confederate Flag from atop the State House, from the respective chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and from the foyer of the State House.

SECTION 11. Part IV of this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and either Part I, Part II, or Part III of this act will take effect as provided herein. Among the choices (A), (B), and (C) listed in Section 10, only the choice (and the related Part of this act) that receives the greatest number of votes cast in the referendum after the results are certified as provided in Section 8 shall take effect. In such event, the effective date of the Part shall be the date of certification.

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