June 25, 2015
History Of The Confederate Flag
On The SC State Capital Grounds
Columbia, SC (AP) The shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, have reignited calls for the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia to come down. Rallies are being held, and politicians have joined the chorus of voices calling for its removal — an opinion that has carried political risks in the state in the past.
Here’s a look at the history of the flag’s presence in the state capital:
1938 The Confederate flag is raised in the South Carolina House chambers.
1956 The flag is raised in the Senate.
1962 The Confederate flag is raised over the Statehouse to commemorate the Civil War centennial. The resolution calling for this doesn’t specify when the flag will come down.
1970s-1980s Black lawmakers and others call for the flag’s removal.
1993 State Attorney General Travis Medlock says there’s no legal reason to keep flying the flag.
1994 Black ministers and National NAACP Chairman William Gibson of Greenville threaten a boycott. Columbia Mayor Bob Coble and business leaders sue to force the flag’s removal. Lawmakers fail to pass legislation to remove the flag from the dome and put two Confederate flags on the Statehouse grounds.
1995 Legislators pass a law to protect the flag during Statehouse renovations and give lawmakers sole power to remove it. Coble drops his lawsuit.
1996 Republican Gov. David Beasley proposes moving the flag to a Statehouse monument.
1997 The House rejects Beasley’s plan but passes a flag bill that the Senate lets die. In March, Beasley concedes defeat on the issue.
1998 In September, Beasley repeats his pledge to never again try to remove flag. Democratic challenger Jim Hodges also promises not to revive the issue. Hodges defeats Beasley, thanks in part to the influence of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In October, the NAACP demonstrates at the Statehouse.
1999 In June, black lawmakers find that legislative manual covers are printed with images showing the flag in the background. On July 15, the national NAACP passes a boycott resolution. Five days later, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference moves its annual 2000 convention from Charleston. Hodges meets with NAACP leaders and begins polling lawmakers.
2000 The NAACP boycott begins Jan. 1. At a presidential debate, a question on the flag prompts boos. The next day, Jan. 8, more than 6,000 flag supporters march on the Statehouse. On Jan. 17, more than 45,000 flag opponents march on the Statehouse in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. A month later, Hodges proposes moving the flag to an out-of-the-way monument, but that goes nowhere. In April, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. marches 120 miles to Columbia in a five-day anti-flag protest.
The Senate votes to take the flag down April 12. The House does so May 10. A compromise version of the bills is worked out. Hodges signs it May 23.
The Senate removes its Confederate flag June 30. The House follows July 1. The Confederate flag is lowered from the Statehouse dome. Moments later, Civil War re-enactors raise a smaller, square version of the flag nearby. It’s the South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag, and it’s on a 30-foot flagpole at the Confederate Soldier Monument directly in front of the Statehouse, along a busy streets.
The compromise says the flag can be lowered only with approval of the Legislature.
2001 The NCAA says South Carolina can’t hold any post-season sporting events whose locations are pre-determined as long as the flag flies.
January 2004: About 2,000 people march to the Statehouse on MLK Day, renewing calls for the flag’s removal.
January 2008: Republican presidential candidate John McCain defends his opposition eight years ago to the flag flying in South Carolina. Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee says South Carolina should decide whether to fly the flag.
May 2010: Only two of the six Democrat and Republican governor hopefuls say they would consider moving the flag.
October 2014: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen tries to shake up the race, calling for the flag to come down.
November 2014 A survey of 852 South Carolina residents by Winthrop University asks whether the flag should continue to fly. The results: 42.4 percent strongly believe it should stay put. Further, 53.3 percent of whites feel strongly that it should stay, and 51.1 percent of blacks feel strongly that it be removed.
June 17, 2015 Nine people are killed in a shooting massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Police charge Dylann Roof, who is white.
June 18, 2015 Gov. Nikki Haley orders the state and U.S. flags at the Statehouse lowered to half-staff for nine days to honor the dead. The Confederate flag doesn’t move because of the 2000 compromise, which requires Legislature approval to lower it.
June 20, 2015 Republican Rep. Doug Brannon says he’ll file a bill in December, the first opportunity to do so, to move the flag and pole to the state’s Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. That evening, flag opponents rally in Columbia.
June 22, 2015 Gov. Nikki Haley reverses her position and says the Confederate flag should be removed from the Statehouse grounds: ``One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come.’’ Several national and state legislators and leaders say they agree with Haley.
Also, the White House says President Barack Obama believes the flag should no longer be flown anywhere, but he doesn’t have authority over that decision.
Shortly after Haley’s announcement, Mississippi’s Republican House speaker, Philip Gunn, says the Confederate battle emblem is offensive and should be removed from the state flag, and GOP and Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee call for a bust of Confederate general and early KKK leader Nathan Bedford Forrest to be removed from an alcove outside Senate chambers. And Wal-Mart says it’s removing items featuring the flag from shelves and its website.
‘Underwater Sherlock’ Claims He’s Got Captain Kidd’s Silver
By Martin Vogl
Sainte Marie Island, Madagascar (AP) — Barry Clifford brought up the heavy silver ingot from the bottom of a bay as the president of Madagascar waited to receive it.
The dramatic moment was just one in a lifetime of adventures that the American has experienced as he has scoured ocean beds for sunken treasure — but also another example of what critics say is his excessive hunger for the limelight.
Recorded by the gathered press, the moment off the coast of Madagascar last month was important for Clifford, who calls himself “an underwater Sherlock Holmes,” for he believes the bar once belonged to 17th century pirate Captain Kidd. Clifford, a fit 70 year old who dives regularly, has also roiled the waters among the marine archaeology community.
In a recent telephone interview from his home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Clifford described the fascination that drives him in travels that have taken him from Uruguay to Venezuela, Scotland and elsewhere.
“You’ve got these incredible, intoxicating mysteries that are screaming at you,” he said. “And I just think — give me a break, how can anyone not want to go looking for that?”
Clifford’s most well-known find is close to his home and the area where he grew up.
Underwater photo of Kidd’s silver?
In the 1980s, Clifford started bringing up artefacts from the Whydah, a pirate ship that sank off Cape Cod in 1717, including gold and silver coins, jewelry, swords and pistols. They form a travelling show that has been displayed in museums across America.
Criticism has swelled since his latest discovery in Madagascar and his announcement last year that he had found the wreck of the Santa Maria — the flagship from Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Western Hemisphere — off the coast of Haiti.
The United Nations cultural body UNESCO sent experts to verify the Columbus claim. After investigating the site, the team said there was no way the wreck could be the Santa Maria.
Mainstream marine archaeologists say Clifford is among the ranks of private individuals who investigate wrecks, “treasure hunters” whom the scientists dislike.
These archaeologists accuse Clifford of not taking enough care when investigating sites, not properly documenting his finds and not properly conserving objects brought up from the sea. They also say he makes wild statements about his finds he can’t prove. Clifford said he is always careful when making statements about his finds, but that his comments are often misrepresented in the press.
Ulrike Guerin, a specialist in underwater heritage for UNESCO, said the archaeologist who supervised Clifford’s recent investigations in Madagascar was not properly qualified and there were no detailed plans submitted ahead of diving.
“Work like this should be as unobtrusive as possible and we have strong doubts about that on this site,” Guerin said.
UNESCO has sent a new team to investigate how Clifford operated in Madagascar and try to verify if the silver bar he found really came from one of Captain Kidd’s ships.
Marine archaeologist Sheli Smith, who worked with Clifford for one season on the Whydah in the 1980s, said Clifford is looking for big finds he can make money from, unlike what motivates academics.
“He’s not really worried about long-term preservation, really not worried about veracity in that sense, because that’s not going to help his aspirations,” Smith said.
Clifford contests the impartiality of the UNESCO investigations into his work and fumes at the criticism.
“They call me a treasure hunter, but I don’t sell any of the things I find, and in fact I’ve put them in exhibits to tour around the country,” he said. “So what sort of a treasure hunter is that?”
He also refutes the allegations that he doesn’t work in line with relevant archaeological standards.
His work on the Whydah was supervised by the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. The organization’s chief archaeologist, Victor Mastone, said he could not speak for other sites but that “people who criticize him haven’t come to see his work here.”
But even some of Clifford’s supporters say he at times has made unjustified claims.
“He’s a very passionate guy about what he’s doing and sometimes he gets ahead of himself,” said Robert Cembrola, a marine archaeologist who has worked with Clifford on and off since the 1980s.