In the third of three required votes, the state senate of South Carolina has decided 36-3 to take down the Confederate battle flag and one or two cases of cold beer. The three votes against came from Senate Majority Leader Harvey S. Peeler, Jr., Lee Bright, and Daniel B. Verdin III, with Deke the smell-hound abstaining. Senator Verdin called for a Confederate memorial holiday on which the flag could be flown, and Senator Peeler complained that “we won’t change history by removing the flag.” Senator Bright, on the other hand, felt that the problem with taking down the Confederate flag was that it would not stop gay marriage:
“This nation was founded on Judeo-Christain principles and they are under assault by men in black robes who are not elected by you…What I would like to see is these folks that are working in the positions that are doing …marriage certificates do not have to betray their faith or compromise their faith and in order to subject [themselves] to the tyranny of five… Our governor called us in to deal with the flag that sits out front. Let’s deal with the national sin that we face today. We talk about abortion, but this gay marriage thing I believe we will be one nation gone under, like President Reagan said.”
The senator’s speech concluded when the firecracker he was holding went off.
Senator Darrell Jackson, a black Democrat who helped broker the 2000 compromise that moved the flag from the Statehouse dome to a pole on the Capitol lawn, pointed out that at the time of secession, 57% of the population of South Carolina was black. The Confederate flag represented the tyranny of a white minority, not some struggle for self-determination against an oppressive federal government. The defeat of the Army of the Confederacy was a victory for his great-grandfather, freed slave Ishmael Jackson.
“You said we lost the war,” Jackson said. “No we didn’t. Not Ishmael Jackson and the 57 percent of people who looked like him. As far as they are concerned, they won the war.”
Although the senate showed remarkable consensus on taking down the flag, related issues proved more contentious. In an effort to placate those who regard the Confederate flag as a symbol of individualism and authenticity, the body proposed an amendment making it illegal to mess with Texas. But this measure failed after the following heated debate:
Sen. Rawlins: I’m from there. I mean, I’m from here, but I [unintelligible.] You can [unintelligible] bottle rockets. I lived there when I was a kid.
Sen. Smalls: Bullshit. You’re from Greensboro.
Rawlins: That’s what I said. I’m from here, but I lived there when I was young. You aren’t listening.
Smalls: You’re not listening.
Rawlins: Dammit, I said I was from here, but also I’m from there. It’s both.
Smalls: We went to high school. You shouldn’t…hold on. [vomits]
Sen. Daniel B. Verdin III: Woo!
Deke: [wags tail]
In the final vote, the senate decided to take down the Confederate flag and not fewer than 30 but no more than 40 cans of Bud Light. As of this writing, the flag bill has gone to the South Carolina House, and the last three Bud Lights are sitting in the sun, waiting for, in Sen. Bright’s words, some resident of the great state of South Carolina who is not a pussy.