Two years after a nylon version of the Confederate Infantry Battle Flag was officially lowered for the final time from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, the banner remains tucked away in a sealed box in storage at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.
To the angst of flag defenders, the state’s General Assembly has yet to fulfill a promise made in the law that authorized its removal to create an “appropriate, permanent and public display” for the last authorized Confederate flag to fly at the Statehouse.
The Legislature has allowed an ambitious $3.6 million proposal to add a wing onto the Relic Room housed inside the South Carolina State Museum to wither without a vote, while a plan proposed by legislators to move the museum to Charleston also didn’t advance.
The result was a sense of instability at the museum as attendance dropped and fewer school trips were scheduled since it accepted the flag and drafted a plan to display it, according to the museum’s accountability report.
The General Assembly never discussed the flag’s display as part of the 2017-18 budget, and the delays felt like an affront to flag supporters.
“They said that the flag would be moved to the Confederate Relic Room and displayed appropriately. They did that two years ago, yet they have not provided any funding for this appropriate display,” said Leland Summers, Commander of the S.C. Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans and a member of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Commission which approved the museum staff’s budget request and sent it to the General Assembly…