July 4, 2022

South Carolina Supreme Court moves to protect historical landmarks

The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that a Confederate monument cannot be removed without action by the state legislature. 

According to a report in Breitbart News, the protection extends to names of streets and buildings as well, if they are deemed to be historical. 

The Associated Press reported that the decision by the state’s high court keeps the South Carolina Heritage Act in place which has prevented the state from suffering major damage to its historical landmarks as many states did following the death of George Floyd in 2020. 

During the riots that rocked the nation following Floyd’s death monuments, signs, statues and all manner of historical reminders were targeted by demonstrators. The Heritage Act was put in place to protect the state’s history:

“The law was passed in 2000 as part of a compromise to remove the Confederate flag from atop the South Carolina Statehouse dome,” the AP reported.

 “The rebel banner was moved to a pole on the capitol lawn, where it flew until 2015 when lawmakers removed it after nine black church members were killed in a racist massacre at a Charleston church.”

The publication reported that the law protects monuments from 10 wars from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War, as well as those honoring African Americans and Native Americans.

In his ruling, Associate Justice John Cannon Few wrote, “As individual citizens — even Justices — we might look back on these events and wish the negotiations had been handled differently. The reality, however, is the Heritage Act brought the Confederate flag down from atop the seat of South Carolina sovereignty.”

“They contend local governments are in a better position to act with regard to this subject because ‘they can be more responsive’ to the thoughts of the community. This may be true, but Home Rule is not about who holds the better wisdom,” Few wrote.

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