It’s been 3 years since the Confederate Flag was removed from the South Carolina State House grounds after then Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the flag after a racially motivated killing in Charleston.
But despite Haley’s order including the placement of the flag in the Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum, the flag is still not displayed.
The director of the museum explained the difficulty the agency is having in putting the flag up.
“We’ve looked at places where it can fit, but we honestly believe it would be better off in its own area as a political artifact,” said Allen Roberson.
Museum staff requested more than $300,000 in this year’s budget to convert 2 office spaces into an exhibit centered around the Confederate Flag.
Roberson added, “Because of the events at the State House and the opinions and emotions on both side it’s a significant artifact and legislation says we have to display it and we will do so in an appropriate way.”
One reason the agency is having a hard time finding a place for the flag is because it really doesn’t belong in the military museum. The flags already on display are battle flags and date back at least 100 years.
The Confederate Flag isn’t from a battle.
The Curator of Education for the museum, Joe Long, explained the difference between the flag taken from in front of the State House to the ones the museum focuses on.
“The flag that was taken to the soldier’s memorial was a memorial flag.. it didn’t see battle. These flags were constructed by loving hands and carried off to some of the most valiant and tragic events in American history.”
Roberson echoed those sentiments. “These flags are associated with particular companies or regiments. some have gun powder still on them.. both confederate and union.. some have blood on them, bullet holes.”
The museum’s request did not make it through budget negotiations. Instead money was dedicated to improve and add safety measures in South Carolina schools.
The museum says it will display the flag despite not having money to do so by the end of the year.
The flag the museum is waiting to display only flew in front of the State House for a few weeks. It was the replacement for the flag taken down by a protestor.
The museum wants the exhibit to focus on that moment in history when the flag came down and what it signified in that moment.