California Government Bans Itself from Flying Confederate Flag


markhillary, foter

The California legislature yesterday approved A.B. 2444, which restricts the state government's use of the Confederate flag.

From the bill, which now heads to the desk of Gov. Jery Brown:

This bill would prohibit the State of California from selling or displaying the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, or a similar image, or tangible personal property inscribed with those images, unless the image appears in a book, digital medium, or state museum that serves an educational or historical purpose.

Brown will almost certainly sign it, since the measure passed the assembly 71-1. The senate approved it 33-2 earlier in the week.

The only dissenting voice in the assembly was Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks), who previously explained on Facebook, "I abhor racism but this bill is antithetical to the first amendment, which was designed to protect controversial forms of speech."

He also stated to the Los Angeles Times, "I'm a strict Constitutionalist. It's painful and lonely."

Isadore Hall III (D-Compton), who introduced the legislation, says that it is not a free speech violation, and is intended to limit government. The bill "respects Constitutional protections by restricting government speech, not individual speech, and will send a strong message that California and its taxpayers will not be in the business of promoting racism, exclusion, oppression or violence towards others."

In a press release, he said:

The Confederate Flag is a symbol of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence towards many Americans. Its symbolism and history is directly linked to the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of Americans through the mid-19th Century. Even today, its public display is designed only to instill fear, intimidation and a direct threat of violence towards others.

The Huffington Post notes that "last month, Brown had all Confederate flag materials swiftly removed from the California State Fair after Hall brought their increased presence to his attention."