After the murder of nine African-American church members at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston by the hands of White supremacist Dylann Roof, the South Carolina statehouse took down the confederate flag in July to house it in the Civil War Museum instead.
But doing so will cost the state millions, says the Charlotte Observer.
Recently, the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Commission voted to spend up to $3.6 million to preserve the symbol of racism and bigotry and other Civil War collectables. This exorbitant budget isn’t just for the statehouse flag, but to also help open a new wing in the museum, put together an electronic presentation of the names of all 24,000 South Carolina Confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War, the preservation of other mementos and other expansion plans.
While it sounds like a lot, surprisingly this number is down $1.7 from the original $5.3 million that was proposed earlier this year. According to the Observer, the following was cut from the first budget:
- $700,000 to repair a leaky roof above a planned new entrance
- $589,000 for converting a courtyard into a landscaped public space
- $369,000 in construction costs and display features
While the commission claims that their budget is meant to “to fulfill both the letter and the spirit” of the flag and “adequately” showcase it, some state officials are not happy about the newly proposed numbers, even if it is lower than before.
Republican State Rep. Chris Corley has accused the commission of something shady and is not voting in favor of the new budget.
“This is just like 2000, when the flag came down and there was a payoff…You take the flag down and then all of a sudden you’re going to put this huge amount of money into the Confederate Relic Room. It’s a trade-off and I do not like doing business like that,” he said.
The state legislature has to approve the budget first before it becomes etched in stone. That vote is set to happen sometime in the New Year.
[SOURCE: Charlotte Observer]