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Confederate flag that once flew in front of State House now on display at SC Relic Room

The replica Confederate flag taken down from the S.C. State House grounds has finally been displayed at the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military museum.

The flag had been in storage in an acid-free box alongside actual Civil War relics since it was handed to Relic Room Director Allen Roberson in 2015 by a mixed race South Carolina Highway Patrol honor guard that removed it from a flagpole on the grounds.

The modern, nylon flag is now in a custom frame alongside authentic Confederate battle flags and artifacts in the Gervais Street museum. The cost was $1,400.

“As promised in August, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum has exhibited the replica Confederate battle flag that was removed from the State House grounds in 2015,” Roberson said in an email to The State. “ This was done within the museum’s existing budget and is in compliance with the resolution passed by the General Assembly.”

The decision was spurred after the S.C. General Assembly provided no funds for renovations or expansion of the museum to allow for the flag’s display in a setting more in line with a compromise forged by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in 2015.

The flag was lowered after Dylann Roof murdered nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston that June.

The legislation that removed the flag from the State House lawn in 2015 stipulated that it be displayed with respect and in conjunction with other Confederate artifacts at the Confederate Relic Room.

The museum first rolled out a $3.5 million plan that would have built an entire new wing and entrance onto the tiny museum, which shares the same historic mill building as the S.C. State Museum.

The State House flag display would have been a part of the expansion, intended to accommodate many of the real Confederate flags and artifacts that are kept in storage because of space constrictions in the museum.

The Legislature failed to act on that plan, which was roundly criticized for its cost. So the Relic Room commission in February voted 5-1 to approve a $350,000 plan to convert two small offices in the museum into display space for the State House flag.

That, too, was not funded by state lawmakers.

So in late November the nylon flag was placed in a custom-made, UV protected frame and placed on the west wall of the museum alongside other authentic Confederate and military artifacts.

A display card reads: “This is the last reproduction Confederate battle flag to fly on the State House grounds, taken down from the flag pole behind the Confederate Soldier’s Monument on Friday, July 10, 2015.”

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