The Confederate battle flag removed from the State House grounds in 2015 following the slayings of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston will be displayed at the Confederate Relic Room and Museum.
It will cost about $350,000 to display the Confederate battle flag that was removed in July 2015 from the State House grounds.
In 2015, people gathered to watch the Confederate battle flag as it was taken down and removed from the State House grounds.
In 2015, history was made in Columbia with the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the State House grounds. Now, a $350,000 plan to display the last Confederate flag flown at the Confederate Soldier’s Monument has won approval from a museum board.
Then Gov. Nikki Haley called for the flag’s removal after a mass shooting in Charleston, where nine parishioners of Emmanuel AME Church were killed during a Bible study by a self–avowed white supremacist. Lawmakers mandated that the last Confederate flag to fly at the South Carolina State House be displayed in a museum.
The board of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum approved the plan, which must now be approved by the legislature.
The estimated cost of the whole display is $350,000. The display was initially set to cost $3.6 million and included other renovations to the museum, but legislators rejected that proposal.
Museum coordinator Rachel Cockrell said renovations are needed in order for the display room to fit in the Relic Room.
“The room is a rectangle, so it is going to have a long wall, and on that long wall opposite the glass wall is going to be two separate display cases,” she said. “The current proposal calls for displaying the last flag that was on the pole behind the monument. It will also have space for the first flag.”
Another Confederate battle flag, the last banner displayed in 2000 when it was taken off the State House dome, will also be displayed in the same room.
The plan for the 2015 Confederate flag to have its own display within the Relic Room was approved by the museum commission board. The Relic Room is part of the South Carolina State Museum, which displays flags flown before 2015 and other memorabilia from all wars South Carolinians participated in.
“The ideal thing is to store it with historical reference, so people can understand that this was a time in our country where people were divided, where people were fighting,” said state Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, who worked on the plan.
“So we need to understand our history so that we are not doomed to repeat it, which is what it looks like we are doing now. So showing the flag, displaying it in its historical context in a museum-type setting, is exactly what I thought should have happened.”
Although the plan was passed, not all board members agreed that the 2015 Confederate flag should be displayed in the Relic Room. Some felt the flag is a political symbol and does not fit the museum’s mission to preserve battle flags and war relics.