South Carolina Legislature


 

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S 61
Session 113 (1999-2000) 

S 0061 General Bill, By Ford
 A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 1, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING
 CHAPTER 10, SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA HERITAGE ACT OF 1999" TO
 PROVIDE FOR PERMANENT PLACEMENT OF THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG AND OTHER
 APPROPRIATE FLAGS; TO AMEND SECTION 10-1-160, RELATING TO DISPLAY OF THE STATE
 FLAG, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISPLAY OF OTHER FLAGS; AND TO AMEND SECTION
 53-5-10, RELATING TO LEGAL HOLIDAYS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT MARTIN LUTHER
 KING'S BIRTHDAY AND CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY SHALL BE REGULAR RATHER THAN
 OPTIONAL HOLIDAYS AND TO DELETE ALL REFERENCES TO OPTIONAL HOLIDAYS.

   11/18/98  Senate Prefiled
   11/18/98  Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary
   01/12/99  Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-30
   01/12/99  Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-30



A BILL

TO AMEND TITLE 1, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 10, SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA HERITAGE ACT OF 1999" TO PROVIDE FOR PERMANENT PLACEMENT OF THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG AND OTHER APPROPRIATE FLAGS; TO AMEND SECTION 10-1-160, RELATING TO DISPLAY OF THE STATE FLAG, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISPLAY OF OTHER FLAGS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 53-5-10, RELATING TO LEGAL HOLIDAYS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT MARTIN LUTHER KING'S BIRTHDAY AND CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY SHALL BE REGULAR RATHER THAN OPTIONAL HOLIDAYS AND TO DELETE ALL REFERENCES TO OPTIONAL HOLIDAYS.

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

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

"CHAPTER 10

South Carolina Heritage Act of 1999

Section 1-10-10. This article may be cited as the `South Carolina Heritage Act of 1999.'

Section 1-10-20. 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 a 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 1-10-30. 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 31, 1999, 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.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association Flag (Black Liberation Flag) shall be displayed at the African American Monument 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), nor the Universal Negro Improvement Association Flag (Black Liberation Flag) 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 1-10-40. 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 1-10-50. 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 2. 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 3. 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 4. Section 53-5-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 53-5-10. The first day of January, the fifteenth day of third Monday in January, the nineteenth day of January, the third Monday in February, the tenth day second Monday of May, the last Monday of May, the third day of June, the Fourth day of July, the first Monday in September, the eleventh day of November, National Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth days of December in each year are legal holidays.

State employees may select, prior to the first day of January, in writing on a form provided by their employer, one of the following nonnational holidays: Martin Luther King's birthday, January 15; Robert E. Lee's birthday, January 19; Confederate Memorial Day, May 10; or Jefferson Davis' birthday, June 3, or, in the alternative, select a day of their choice.

All general election days are legal holidays in addition to the above.

The holiday schedules of public colleges and universities, including technical colleges, shall not be in violation of this section so long as the number of holidays provided for in this section are not exceeded."

SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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