South Carolina GOP gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton waded into the controversy surrounding the Confederate Flag during a visit to Pickens County in the rural Upstate on Tuesday.
According to a video of the event posted by the Pickens County "Republican" Party, Templeton said she was "proud of the Confederacy" but was not "backtracking" from her support of efforts to remove the Flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House two years ago.
Templeton's firm was on a 2015 list of businesses that supported former governor Nikki Haley's push to have the Flag taken down.
The Associated Press reports that while Templeton stood by her support of the Flag's removal, she also seemed to signal her support for the state's 2000 Heritage Act - which prevents the removal of any Confederate (or civil rights) "monument, marker, memorial, school, or street" without a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the S.C. General Assembly. Templeton didn't specifically come out in support of that law, but she did tell reporters that she opposed the removal of Confederate memorials from the grounds of the State House.
Templeton is one of four announced candidates for the 2018 "Republican" gubernatorial primary next spring. The political newcomer is off to a hot start, too - drawing fire from increasingly vulnerable incumbent governor Henry McMaster and from Democrats alike.
In addition to Templeton and McMaster, lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant and former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill are also campaigning for the post. Fiscally conservative State Senator Tom Davis is reportedly on the verge of entering the contest, too. Democrats have no candidate at this point, and actually appear to be supporting McMaster behind the scenes.
In South Carolina, the City of Orangeburg's Zoning Board met at 6 p.m. Thursday night regarding an ongoing zoning dispute.
As previously reported, the owners of Edisto River Creamery and Kitchen want a Confederate Flag removed from property they claim is theirs. The Sons of Confederate Veterans say the previous owner of the property, Maurice Bessinger of Maurice's Piggy Park, gave them the small parcel where the flag pole stands.
The owners of the Creamery say the Flag is causing them to lose business and they've been fighting to take it down.
At the time of this writing, the results of the Board meeting are unknown.
In a secret meeting in the dead of the night,
Southern politicians have met to discuss Confederate symbols and race relations.
The discussion took place Monday during the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was closed to the public and the media.
George Flaggs, a former Mississippi lawmaker who took part in the discussion, tells The Associated Press that black and white legislators from Mississippi, Georgia and other states had a discussion about how Confederate symbols affect race relations.
Flaggs, who is black, has publicly called for Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the State Flag.
TEXAS SENATOR PROPOSES MONUMENT PROTECTION BILL
A Houston-area State Senator has proposed legislation in response to two San Antonio Councilmen's attempt to remove a Confederate monument from Travis Park.
Earlier this week, District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño and District 2 Councilman William "Cruz" Shaw jointly filed a Council Consideration Request to remove the monument.
Senator Brandon Creighton, of Conroe, however, disagrees. "These statutes and monuments are important to Texans," Creighton said in a statement. "Texas should not erase our history -- we should learn from it."
State Senator Brandon Creighton's bill is SB 112.
STOLEN FLORIDA CONFEDERATE HEADSTONE FOUND
The case of the missing headstone reported stolen from the Switzerland Cemetery in St. Johns County has been solved. Sort of.
Confederate soldier, Private James B. Ponce's headstone wasn't stolen.
The marble headstone in question sat in the Switzerland Cemetery in St. Johns County. Come to find out, there was another headstone in the San Lorenzo Cemetery with Private Ponce's name on it and birth date on it. The marble stone was put at the foot of that grave.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, it is believed to have been moved by someone with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and it appears to be in the correct spot now.
MELBOURNE, FLORIDA COUNCIL DISCUSSES FLAG
Tess Martin, who serves on the City's Citizens Advisory Board has asked the City to withdraw funding for parades because the local SCV may submit floats featuring Confederate Battle Flags. "That is outrageous," said Martin.
United Third Bridge, a Melbourne-based Hispanic civil rights organization, threatened an economic boycott .
In case you are wondering what kind of money we are talking about, City Hall administrators have programmed $2,500 to sponsor the Fourth of July parade, $2,000 for the Memorial Day parade, and $2,000 for the Veterans Day parade into Melbourne's proposed $161 million budget.
Monday, Councilwoman Teresa Lopez made a motion to delete the funding. Her husband, Samuel, is president of United Third Bridge. "I can't see how funding these three parades benefits all our Melbourne residents when some feel belittled, insulted and upset by the participation of a hatred symbol: the Confederate flag," she said.
Lopez's motion died for lack of a second. Mayor Kathy Meehan said such debate should occur during city council's upcoming "grants-in-aid" nonprofit funding discussion, which has not yet been scheduled. Council members will adopt the budget in September.
Councilman Tim Thomas said the Confederate Flag is protected by the First Amendment.
"If the flag bothers you, you turn your back. And that's the way you protest. But it's under our constitution: Folks have the right to carry and display that flag, as do the ones that want to burn the American flag," Thomas said.
Councilwoman Yvonne Minus said she would vote against the Flag if given the opportunity. "That flag does not stand for anything good, if you know the history of it. Bury your head all you want. But it still does not stand for anything good," Minus said.
ONE MORE TO KEEP AN EYE ON
A statue of Brig. Gen. Albert Pike is situated at Judiciary Square - between the Washington D.C. Courthouses and the Labor Department.
The statue was not erected to commemorate Pike's service to the Confederacy! The statue was erected by the masonic order to commemorate Pike as a leader of free-masonry.
But a group calling itself AFRO has connected Pike the Mason as Pike the Confederate and has now begun calling for its removal.
SO MUCH FOR EQUAL JUSTICE
Firefighters in Bethesda, Maryland, have been in and out of court after an argument over one firefighter's Confederate Flag license plate.
A black Muslim firefighter, Idris Debruhl, says he "spoke out against racism" after seeing a fellow firefighter had the Flag affixed to the front of his pickup truck.
Fellow firefighters say in court documents requesting protective orders that the black Muslim firefighter, Idris Debruhl, threatened them.
According to court documents, Debruhl was on duty at Station 6 the night of July 18 when he saw the Flag on the front of a colleague's truck, backed up so that the Flag faced the station. Debruhl said he called the truck's owner, Firefighter Charles Lee, "a racist and a coward," and that Lee told him to calm down.
"We can take this outside," Debruhl said.
Debruhl's colleagues say Debruhl was the aggressor.
"I got more guns than all of you!" they said in protective orders that Debruhl said. "I'll end this now!"
Debruhl said he spoke out against the symbol but never threatened anyone.
As a result, Debruhl and Lee are on duty but assigned to different fire houses.
Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said the department is looking into the matter. "We are looking into it. It's a very big concern and important issue for us," he said.
Lee's request for a protective order was thrown out of court. Another three firefighters also requested protective orders fearing retribution from black Muslim Debruhl which went to court on Wednesday where District Court Judge Zuberi Williams denied a peace order to the three firefighters who said they feared for their lives after Debruhl confronted them about the Confederate Flag.
The three men were working at the Bethesda Fire Department Station 6 told the Judge that Debruhl lashed out and threatened them over a fellow firefighter who parked his truck with a Confederate Flag license plate in front of the station.
DeBruhl, who is black and a Muslim, told the Court that there is a "culture" of racism and discrimination in the department that he wanted to speak out against.
Judge Williams denied the peace orders on the grounds that a similar situation was unlikely to happen again. But he reproached DeBruhl for his actions, calling them "unconscionable" and "way out of line."
"I know you are disappointed with me, but I will always follow the law," Williams said, addressing the three firefighters who were the petitioners. "I'm not happy with anyone's behavior here."
Williams was the same Judge who last week denied a peace order filed by Charles Lee, who owned the truck with the Confederate plate, on similar grounds.
The dispute was first reported by NBC News4.
DETROIT MARKET BANS CONFEDERATE FLAGS
The incident that sparked concern was a bumper sticker displaying the Confederate flag on a vendor's vehicle at Eastern Market.
Now, the nonprofit Eastern Market Corporation, which operates the farmers market, is effectively banning employees and vendors from displaying Confederate flags on its property.
The new policy began Tuesday.
Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corporation, posts on Facebook:
Eastern Market Corporation, the nonprofit manager of Eastern Market, stresses to both vendors and employees that a core value of the market is being a place where all people are welcome.
Until yesterday [July 29], we had not received any complaints regarding vendors displaying the confederate flag during the 10+ years EMC has managed the market.
While our current vendor handbook prohibits discrimination and the use of obscene language or discourtesy towards customers, it does not explicitly deal with offensive language or hate signs.
To prevent any further incidents of this kind we will be revising our vendor handbook to specifically prohibit offensive language and signs consistent with that in our Petitioning and Solicitation Policy. Those guidelines were revised when a protest group used a swastika in signage during a protest a few years ago.
We will notify vendors of this policy change via the weekly emails that go to all vendors in the Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday Markets and will begin implementing this new policy with our Tuesday August 1, 2017 market.
We don't yet know whether this was a case of willfulness or insensitivity though neither is acceptable behavior. We do know that all vendors must understand the deep and painful meanings black customers associate with the confederate flag.
We live in times of increasing racial tensions. Racism in any form is not acceptable by anyone associated with Eastern Market. We are a place where urban meets suburban meets rural, and a wide range of people, perspectives, and opinions engage every market day. Never more than now has there been a need for this mostly joyful engagement to continue.
ILLINOIS TOWN RECEIVES FLAG COMPLAINT
Two Confederate flags on boats at Alton Marina are upsetting a former slip holder but City officials say the U.S. Constitution prevents them from banning the Flags.
"The City of Alton is not in the position to regulate freedom of expression, it's a 1st Amendment right," said Mayor Brant Walker. "It has nothing to do with the city. I have no say in it. The nature of the marina is to lease slips for privately owned boats. We are not able to regulate signs (or flags). There is nothing we can do. I can appreciate how people feel, but the Constitution protects people's rights. It's on private property (boat). The city looked into it to see what we can do."
George "Jack" Edwards of Shiloh, a black man, used to rent a slip at the city-owned facility but now keeps his boat at Grafton Harbor. Edwards said he was on one of his friends' boats at Alton Marina during the July 4 holiday weekend when he saw the Confederate flags. He said he has two black friends with boats at Alton Marina who also are offended by the flags.
To clarify, the flags are not flying on City property, but on privately owned vessels docked on federally regulated waters in the marina that Alton owns.
When a boat owner leases a slip, he or she must comply with 38 rules and conditions, including having certain levels of liability insurance; responsibility for damage their boats or equipment cause; keeping the boats in good condition, "in a clean and aesthetically pleasing manner;" no selling or advertising boats or other commercial activity without management's permission; no painting or installing materials on docks; no transfer of lease with sale of vessel; no swimming, fishing or cleaning fish in the marina; designated quiet hours; no open flames; no roller-blading, skateboarding, bicycling or motorcycling on docks, among others.
None of the rules apply to decorations, signs or flags on the vessels.
LOUISIANA PARRISH KEEPS MONUMENT IN COMMITTEE FOR NOW
A Caddo commissioner's attempt to remove the Confederate monument in Shreveport and discharge the committee created to recommend a plan for its future failed to move forward during the commission's Monday work session.
The Caddo Commission created the Citizens Advisory Committee, a committee of citizens and historians, last year. Their task: to gather public commentary on whether to remove the controversial Confederate monument from near the front steps of the downtown Caddo Parish courthouse - and then report back to commissioners.
But on Monday, Commissioner Lyndon Johnson asked commissioners for a majority vote to discharge the long-range planning committee and its subcommittees regarding the monument.
"I appreciate all the citizens who made their voices heard, but we have to move forward," Johnson said. "This has been going on long enough, for over a year. The committee got public input. That's what it needed to do."
Johnson pointed to other cities, including New Orleans, that already have made the decision to remove their Confederate statutes. Commissioner Stormy Gage-Watts agreed with Johnson that the time had come to bypass the citizens' committee recommendation.
Other commissioners, including Mario Chavez, took immediate issue with the thought of making a decision without the recommendation of the committee.
"These citizens have done a lot of hard work, and volunteer work," Chavez said. "I don't want to step on the toes of the people who have worked on this for nine months."
The motion failed 7-4, with commissioners deciding to table a decision until Aug. 10 - the next confederate statue committee meeting.
Lyndon Johnson said that the commission was "procrastinating" and questioned whether other commissioners were reluctant to make a "hard decision" about the monument. "There's not going to be any more public input. What are we waiting on...Why procrastinate and keep this going?"
Commissioner Mike Middleton said, "I've never seen anything that mentions slavery on it," "It mentions memorializing those who died fighting, about people who lost their lives fighting in service of their country."
IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
The Monument Avenue Commission has set its first dates for public meetings for area residents to weigh in on the future of Monument Avenue.
The meetings will be held at the Virginia Historical Society on North Boulevard Aug. 9 and Sept. 13, both on at 6:30 p.m.
The commission was formed last month as Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney called for more diversity along Monument Avenue.
He said the commission will "help the city redefine the false narrative of the Confederate statues that line Richmond's greatest boulevard."
"It's our responsibility to set the historical record straight on Monument Avenue's confederate statuary," Stoney said in June.
YANKEE INTRUSION INTO LAWFUL SOUTHERN ELECTION
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati on Wednesday heard competing arguments on the validity of votes for the 2014 Tennessee measure Amendment 1.
Amendment 1, passed by 53 percent of voters in November 2014, added language to the state constitution that says, in part: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion."
The unusual legal challenge that followed, however, concerns the state's long-standing method of counting votes on ballot measures, not abortion policy.
"Tennessee did exactly what it had done in prior elections, exactly what it told voters it was going to do and exactly what the constitution says," said Sarah Campbell, special assistant to the Attorney General told the panel.
"There was no basis for the federal court to intervene," she said, adding that a federal court's ruling last year ordering a recount "infringes on Tennessee's sovereignty."
Unlike a simple majority required for candidates, the Tennessee constitution requires ballot measures to succeed with a "majority of all the citizens of the state voting for governor, voting in their favor."
State attorneys and election officials contend that ballot measures must receive a majority of the number of votes cast for governor to succeed.
But eight voters who are challenging the state's counting method say the sentence requires voters to cast ballots in both the governor's race and a ballot measure to count.
A federal judge agreed with them, ordering a recount - a decision that has been on hold for the past year pending the Sixth Circuit appeal.
Months after the eight voters filed suit, state lawyers filed suit against the voters in Williamson County. The resulting order from the Williamson County judge found the state's method of counting votes to be the correct one.
Key to the state's arguments before the Sixth Circuit is that a Tennessee Court has already made a definitive ruling finding the state's vote counting methods to be correct.
It was that Williamson County ruling that drew the most pointed questions from two appellate judges on the panel: Judge David McKeague, a George W. Bush appointee and Senior Judge Ronald Lee Gilman, a Bill Clinton appointee.
"Odd thing when I think about the state case is the state chose to sue plaintiffs in this case," McKeague said.
Gilman asked why the state, which had received inquiries before the election about the proper way to count ballot measures, didn't seek a judgement from the Williamson County then. Campbell responded in part by saying there was "nothing improper" in suing the voters, and that a state court is the appropriate place to interpret the Tennessee constitution.
"Unless we decide the state court had no proper jurisdiction," Gilman said.
Gilman also said he questioned whether the Williamson County ruling was merely an "advisory opinion," rather than a definitive ruling.
"That's a big question in my mind," Gilman said. "It sounds like an advisory opinion to me."
But Gilman also questioned whether the federal court "went off the rails here" in ordering a recount.
Nashville attorney Bill Harbison represents the eight voters, one of whom was the board chair of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee when the suit was first filed.
He argued to the panel there was little legal precedent to cite since Tennessee's vote counting method is unique in the nation in that it "in some way it ties one election to another."
"Their (the state's) main defense here is we've always done it this way," Harbison said.
The 2014 election itself was unique as well, he argued. It was the first time more voters voted for an amendment than for governor, demonstrating that some voters abstained from the governor's race to give their "yes" votes more weight for the amendment.
And anti-abortion advocates encouraged such strategic voting on the part of "yes" voters to increase the chances of the amendment succeeding, he said.
"'No' voters did not have the same opportunity," Harbison said.
In his written briefs, Harbison provided a sentence diagram to prove his point that the sentence outlying vote counts could be read plainly to count votes for an amendment only from voters who also voted for governor. "To say, as the district court said, this is plain and obvious does not mean it's obvious," he said.
But the judges also expressed skepticism at a system that would require voters to cast a ballot in one race for it to count in another.
The judges leanings were "difficult to read," said Edmund Sauer, a Nashville appellate attorney sitting in on the oral arguments. Sauer has appeared frequently before the Sixth Circuit but is not involved in the case.
The court's questioning about the Williamson County ruling "indicated the court was really wrestling," he said.
Ultimately a decision could be months away.
The plaintiffs are asking the election be voided or to order a recount.
State officials, who have preserved the ballots from the 2014 election, said a recount is possible by hand under the method sought by plaintiffs.
Both sides have the option to appeal any ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
ITS A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD
If you're curious what a nation looks like when its ruling elite, intent on destroying the social fabric of their nation, by importing agents of chaos through unchecked immigration, deliberately execute a campaign of intimidation against the non-elite citizens, look no further than England:
British man leaves a bacon sandwich outside a mosque and is sentenced to a year in prison. He's promptly murdered in his cell.
Muslim living in the UK sexually abuses 11-year-old girl during 'Koran lessons' and receives no jail time because 'his wife does not speak English.'
During a social media campaign to derail HBO's planned modern-day Southern slavery drama, one Twitter user's posts about the history of the Maryland flag got a lot of attention.
"What a lot of people don't know is that the Maryland flag is half confederate," @benjancewicz wrote, using the hashtag #NoConfederate.
Yes, even though Maryland was a Union state, the flag - which is featured on the state's license plate and is a popular adornment for clothing and accessories - does contain some Confederate symbolism.
The flag's older history is tied to George Calvert, an English politician and colonizer who more or less founded the Maryland colony, although he died just weeks before the charter for the state was approved in 1632. The settlement of the area was left to his firstborn son Cecil and his second son Leonard Calvert was the first colonial governor of the province.
"George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, adopted a coat of arms that included a shield with alternating quadrants featuring the yellow-and-black colors of his paternal family and the red-and-white colors of his maternal family, the Crosslands," state archives say.
"When the General Assembly in 1904 adopted a banner of this design as the state flag, a link was forged between modern-day Maryland and the very earliest chapter of the proprietorship of the Calvert family."
But the red and white part of the flag, known as the Crossland arms, was also the design flown by Marylanders who sympathized with the South in the WBTS, according to State records.
"During the war, Maryland-born Confederate soldiers used both the red-and-white colors and the cross bottony design from the Crossland quadrants of the Calvert coat of arms as a unique way of identifying their place of birth," the records say. "Pins in the cross bottony shape were worn on uniforms, and the headquarters flag of the Maryland-born Confederate general Bradley T. Johnson was a red cross bottony on a white field."
During the slow process of reconciliation after the War ended in Union victory in 1865, a "flag incorporating alternating quadrants of the Calvert and Crossland colors began appearing at public events" in the state.
The origins of the flag including both designs is not known, but State records say it was being flown by October 1880.
In 1888, the flag was carried by Maryland National Guard troops escorting Governor Elihu E. Jackson at the dedication ceremonies for the Maryland monument at the Gettysburg Battlefield.
The next year, the Fifth Regiment, Maryland National Guard, adopted the flag as its regimental color, becoming the first organization to adopt it officially.
And, as previously mentioned, it was declared the official state flag by the General Assembly in 1904.
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