The Confederate Relic Room & Museum Commission on Thursday approved a scaled-down plan to display the last Confederate battle flag to fly from the front lawn of the South Carolina capitol.
According to The State newspaper, some members on the commission feel the flag more of a political banner than a military flag. They want it to be displayed at the State Museum with the Confederate flags that were removed in 2000 from the Capitol rotunda and from the House and Senate chambers.
The commission voted 5-1 to approve the newest $350,00 display plan, with the condition that commissioners prefer it be housed at the State Museum. The proposal would renovate two offices at the Columbia museum to create a display area set apart from the rest of the military museum’s collections. The Confederate Relic Room and the State Museum are located in the same building.
“We have real Confederate battle flag. We have real African-American Union unit flags. We have World War I and World War II flags,” museum director Allen Roberson told South Carolina Radio Network. “Some of those flags have gunpowder and the blood of the soldiers who carried them. And I don’t think it suits either flag to have them sit side-by-side.”
The 2015 legislation which removed the flag from the Statehouse grounds including compromise language which stated it had to be displayed with respect and with other Confederate objects at the Confederate Relic Room.
Thursday’s proposal is much lower than a $3.6 million plan first offered by the museum board. That plan would have created a new museum wing to house the flag and a display room which included tiny LED screens that scrolled names of the more than 22,000 South Carolinians killed in the Civil War. Legislators rejected the idea as too expensive for the small museum.