S.C. House members voted to sustain Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto of a study into moving the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum to Charleston from Columbia, killing that proposal.
The Columbia Mills Building that houses the Relic Room is being examined as part of a state buildings study conducted by the state Department of Administration, Haley said in her veto message. She said that study will consider whether it makes sense to move the Relic Room.
“This veiled attempt to justify the co-location of the (Confederate submarine) H.L. Hunley and Confederate Relic Room is nothing more than a legislative pet project and should not become law,” Haley said in her veto message.
State Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston, responded the study was "an unveiled attempt to save money." In its current location, the Relic Room "loses money, hand over fist," he added.
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Still, Limehouse encouraged House members to sustain Haley’s veto, citing the Department of Administration building study.
The Gervais Street museum is the new home of the last Confederate flag to fly on the State House grounds.
The proposal to explore moving the Relic Room emerged after estimates of the cost of displaying the flag at the Relic Room came in at $3.6 million.
Lawmakers delayed deciding how much to spend on the flag display until at least next year, proposing instead to study moving the museum. Advocates say the museum could draw more visitors — and sell more admission tickets — in Charleston.