House votes to remove flag


John Bazemore | AP
State Rep. John King (right), D-York, hugs a woman after the SC House of Representatives approved a bill removing the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds early Thursday.

COLUMBIA — The SC House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol and among the representatives voting to remove the flag was the chairman of the Union County Legislative Delegation.

Just before midnight Wednesday after a long and often emotional debate, the House voted 93-27 to approve a bill amending the state code “relating to the flags authorized to be flown atop the State House and on the Capitol Complex, to remove references to the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America, to provide for the permanent removal of the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America from its location adjacent to the Confederate Soldier Monument, and to provide that upon its removal, the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America shall be transported to the Confederate Relic Room for appropriate display.”

The South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America has flown alongside the Confederate Soldier Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol for the past 15 years. Its presence there is the result of a compromise that removed the Confederate Battle Flag which had flown atop the State House beneath the US Flag and the SC Flag since 1962.

Under the terms of the compromise, a two-thirds vote of both the SC Senate and the SC House of Representatives is required to remove the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America. With Wednesday’s 93-27 vote of the House to remove the flag that criteria was met as the Senate voted 37-3 Monday to approve a similar bill removing the flag from the State Capitol and placing it in the Confederate Relic Room.

The removal of the flag received the support of three of the four members of the Union County Legislative Delegation which is composed of three state senators and one state representative.

SC House District 42 Rep. Mike Anthony is the only resident of Union County serving in the SC General Assembly and is the chairman of the county’s legislative delegation.

The lone Democrat in the delegation, Anthony has called for the flag’s removal from the grounds of the State Capitol to the State Museum where its history and the memory of those who served under it can be appropriately honored.

On Wednesday, Anthony joined with the majority of the members of the House, both Democrat and Republican, in voting to remove the flag and move it to the Confederate Relic Room.

With Wednesday’s vote, Anthony became the third member of the delegation to vote for the flag’s removal joining SC Senate District 18 Sen. Ronnie W. Cromer and SC Senate District 13 Sen. Shane R. Martin, both Republicans, who voted earlier this week with the majority of their fellow senators, both Democrat and Republican, to remove the flag. The only member of the county’s legislative delegation to vote against removing the flag was SC Senate District 14 Sen. Harvey S. Peeler Jr.

After voting to approve the bill authorizing the removal of the flag, the House, shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday, voted twice more on the issue.

By a vote of 94-20, the House approved a third and final reading of the bill removing the flag from the State Capitol to the Confederate Relic Room.

Then, by a vote of 102-0, the House approved “a joint resolution to direct the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, through its director, to establish and maintain an appropriate, permanent, and public display of the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America and to project associated costs and report those projections to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee by January 1, 2016.”

Roll Call

During Wednesday’s vote, the following representatives voted to remove the flag:

• Alexander, Terry

• Allison, Merita A.

• Anderson, Carl L.

• Anthony, Michael A.

• Atwater, Todd K.

• Bales, Jimmy C.

• Ballentine, Nathan

• Bamberg, Justin T.

• Bannister, Bruce W.

• Bernstein, Beth E.

• Bingham, Kenneth A.

• Bowers, William K.

• Bradley, Jeffrey A.

• Brannon, Norman D.

• Brown, Grady A.

• Brown, Robert L.

• Clary, Gary E.

• Clemmons, Alan D.

• Clyburn, William

• Cobb-Hunter, Gilda

• Cole, J. Derham, Jr.

• Collins, Neal A.

• Crawford, Heather Ammons

• Crosby, William E.

• Daning, Joseph S.

• Dillard, Chandra E.

• Douglas, MaryGail K.

• Duckworth, Gregory D.

• Erickson, Shannon S.

• Felder, Raye

• Finlay, Kirkman, III

• Forrester, P. Michael

• Funderburk, Laurie Slade

• Gambrell, Michael W.

• George, J. Wayne

• Gilliard, Wendell G.

• Goldfinch, Stephen, Jr.

• Govan, Jerry N., Jr.

• Hamilton, Daniel P.

• Hart, Christopher R.

• Hayes, Jackie E.

• Henderson, Phyllis J.

• Henegan, Patricia Moore

• Herbkersman, William G.

• Hicks, Donna C.

• Hodges, Kenneth F.

• Horne, Jenny Anderson

• Hosey, Lonnie

• Howard, Leon

• Huggins, Chip

• Jefferson, Joseph H., Jr.

• Jordan, Wallace H., Jr.

• King, John Richard C.

• Kirby, Roger K.

• Knight, Patsy G.

• Limehouse, Harry B., III

• Lowe, Phillip D.

• Lucas, James H.

• Mack, David J., III

• McCoy, Peter M., Jr.

• McEachern, Joseph A.

• McKnight, Cezar E.

• McLeod, Mia S.

• McLeod, Walton J.

• Merrill, James H.

• Mitchell, Harold, Jr.

• Murphy, Christopher J.

• Neal, Joseph H.

• Newton, Wm. Weston J.

• Norman, Ralph W.

• Norrell, Mandy Powers

• Ott, Russell L.

• Parks, J. Anne

• Pope, Thomas E.

• Quinn, Rick

• Ridgeway, Robert L., III

• Riley, R. Shannon

• Rivers, Samuel, Jr.

• Robinson-Simpson, Leola C.

• Rutherford, J. Todd

• Smith, G. Murrell, Jr.

• Smith, Garry R.

• Smith, James E., Jr.

• Sottile, F. Michael

• Stavrinakis, Leonidas E.

• Tallon, Edward R., Sr.

• Tinkler, Mary E.

• Weeks, J. David

• Wells, Don L.

• Whipper, J. Seth

• Williams, Robert Q.

• Willis, Mark N.

• Yow, Richard L.

The following representatives voted against removing the flag:

• Bedingfield, Eric M.

• Burns, James Mikell

• Chumley, William M.

• Corley, Christopher A.

• Delleney, F. Gregory, Jr.

• Gagnon, Craig A.

• Hardee, Kevin

• Hill, Jonathon D.

• Johnson, Jeffrey E.

• Kennedy, Ralph Shealy, Jr.

• Loftis, Dwight A.

• Moss, Dennis C.

• Moss, V. Stephen

• Nanney, Wendy K.

• Pitts, Michael A.

• Putnam, Joshua A.

• Ryhal, Mike

• Sandifer, William E., III

• Simrill, J. Gary

• Southard, Edward L.

• Spires, L. Kit

• Stringer, Tommy M.

• Taylor, Bill

• Thayer, Anne J.

• Toole, McLain R.

• White, W. Brian

• Whitmire, William R.

The following representatives were not present for the vote:

• Hiott, David R.

• Hixon, William M.

The following representative was present but did not vote on the bill:

• Long, Deborah A.

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