Politics & Government

Spartanburg GOP supports Confederate flag resolution

New Spartanburg County GOP chairman Josh Kimbrell speaks to members of the county party at their biannual convention Saturday at Boiling Springs Middle School.
New Spartanburg County GOP chairman Josh Kimbrell speaks to members of the county party at their biannual convention Saturday at Boiling Springs Middle School. Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Lawmakers should consider letting the Confederate flag fly again or be placed in the state museum, Spartanburg County Republicans agreed Saturday.

The flag and 10 other resolutions were part of an agenda that was passed overwhelmingly by county GOP members in a voice vote. The agenda will be forwarded to the S.C. Republican Party for possible inclusion in the state party’s platform.

More than 200 Republicans attended the biannual convention.

Gov. Henry McMaster also delivered remarks, restating his opposition to legislation that would raise the current 16-cent-a-gallon gas tax by up to 12 cents over several years.

Prior to a vote on the agenda, longtime party member Walter McSherry made an impassioned plea on behalf of reinstating the Confederate flag outside the State House.

The flag was removed in 2015 from a pole next to a Confederate monument on the Capitol grounds following the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston by avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof. Roof had appeared in pictures posing with a Confederate flag.

Some flag supporters have called for the flag to be displayed in a museum.

Spartanburg Republicans approved a resolution first adopted by the Reidville Elementary precinct, stating the “General Assembly should pass legislation authorizing either putting the Battle Flag on a pole and allowing it to be displayed, or putting it in a special place in the state museum.”

McSherry said the flag honors his ancestors and others who fought and died for the South during the Civil War.

Among other resolutions approved were:

▪ Support of full repeal of Obamacare and for Congress to allow the purchase of health care across state lines.

▪ Tying welfare “as strictly as possible to work requirements.”

▪ Allowing “prayer back in the classroom.”

▪ Opposition to a gas tax increase.

▪ Eliminating the Department of Transportation and placing roads under a cabinet position in the governor’s office.

McMaster drew loud applause as he spoke out against the proposed gas tax increase.

“We’ve got to keep the taxes low,” he said. “If there’s anything that will kill prosperity and growth, it’s taxes.”

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