As the American Civil War neared an end in early 1865, Confederate soldiers fought defensive actions against General Sherman’s Union troops in South Carolina. The outnumbered Confederates by that time knew they would be on the losing side when the war was over, but hoped to delay the ending as long as possible.
The handful of state lawmakers who are defending the Confederate battle flag at South Carolina’s Statehouse 150 years later seemingly find themselves in similar position. Recent work by the Charleston Post & Courier found more than two-thirds of state legislators have publicly indicated they would vote to remove the flag when lawmakers return to special session next week. Gov. Nikki Haley has called for the flag’s removal, as have almost all of South Carolina college presidents, chambers of commerce, and even the mayors of its largest cities Columbia and Charleston.
Seemingly resigned to defeat, flag supporters like State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, say they have no plans to block the vote through filibuster.
“We’re in special session. So if I went up there for three, four days… the net result would be the same,” Bright told South Carolina Radio Network. “If I could stall it for weeks, I believe we could change things. But only being able to stall it for a day or so, I don’t anticipate it changing.”