Current Status Bill Number:
3225Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970114Primary Sponsor: TownsendAll Sponsors: Townsend, Cooper, Stille, Walker, Allison, Kelley, Littlejohn, Davenport, Loftis, Leach, Hamilton, Martin, McKay, Stuart, Woodrum, Sandifer, Barrett, Riser and MeachamDrafted Document Number: pt\2767dw.97Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Judiciary CommitteeSubject: Confederate Battle Flag, buildings, State House, referendum, elections
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19970114 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO COMPEL A BINDING STATEWIDE REFERENDUM AT THE TIME OF THE 1998 GENERAL ELECTION TO ASCERTAIN THE WISHES OF THE VOTERS AS TO WHETHER THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG KNOWN AS THE BATTLE FLAG OF THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA SHALL BE DISPLAYED ATOP AND WITHIN THE STATE HOUSE AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PROPERTY, BY ADDING SECTION 10-1-165 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE FLYING OF CERTAIN FLAGS ON THE FLAGPOLE ON THE STATE HOUSE WHICH IS ONLY EFFECTIVE IF THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE REFERENDUM RECEIVES A FAVORABLE MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTES CAST.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
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 Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (General Robert E. Lee's Army), entitled in this section as the Confederate Battle Flag, must be flown on the flagpole atop the State House and 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 may be displayed in these locations nor atop or within any other building owned by the State or political subdivision thereof.
(B) The Division of General Services of the Budget and Control Board, or its successor in interest, shall ensure that the flags authorized above must be placed at all times as directed in this section and 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 or repair of the State House, or both, or the respective chambers of the General Assembly and the flags must be returned upon completion of the work.
(C) The Confederate Battle 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 to be flown above the State House is fifty-one 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. There should be five eyelet holes in the hoist next to the staff.
(D) The Confederate Battle Flag displayed in the respective chambers and the foyer referenced in subsection (A) must be the same in appearance as the Confederate Battle 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 must be reduced proportionately."
SECTION 2. A statewide referendum must be held at the same time as the 1998 general election to ascertain the wishes of the qualified electors of this State as to whether the Confederate Battle Flag referenced in Section 1 must be flown above the State House and displayed 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. The State Election Commission must place the question contained in Section 3 on the general election ballot in November 1998. The state election laws shall apply to this referendum, mutatis mutandis. The State Board of Canvassers shall publish the results of the referendum and certify them to the Secretary of State.
SECTION 3. The question put before the voters at the 1998 referendum shall read as follows:
"Do you favor flying the Confederate Battle Flag atop the State House, in the respective chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and in the foyer of the State House in Columbia?
Those voting in favor of the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word 'Yes', and those voting against the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word 'No'."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. However, the provisions of Section 10-1-165, as contained in Section 1, do not take effect unless the question in Section 3 receives a favorable majority of those votes cast in the referendum and the results are certified as provided in Section 2. If the vote is favorable, the effective date of Section 10-1-165 is the date of certification.