Re-opening of York County Courthouse brings debate over displaying Confederate flag

The York County Courthouse is back in action for the first time since 2011 after a multi-million dollar renovation project, but what's generating debate among some in the town is the right to display items such as the Confederate flag inside the building. 

"We have assembled here today to show our support for our Clerk of Court Mr. David Hamilton in his decision not to display the confederate flags inside the courthouse and inside the courtroom," said William "Bump" Roddey, York Co. Councilman. 

Earlier in the week, the county clerk believed he would be able to remove the flag from the courthouse, but after a second a look under the Heritage Act -- he would be violating state law that requires legislative action to change historical markers, monuments or buildings.

"This is an obvious attempt for ethnic cleansing as well as an effort to do away with anything that has to do with the confederacy,"  said William G. Carter of Clover.

Those showing support for the flag and other Confederate historical items say removing them lessens their heritage.

"First of all, this was decided by the Heritage act of 2000. This was state law determined by the legislation 17 years ago. I don't understand why the other side has their opinion. They have MLK Jr. day, Black History Month and all these holidays set aside for them. We don't have anything, we have a few pictures of our dead ancestors in the courthouse and they are so intolerant they can't stand it," said Carter.  

Those wanting to keep the flag out  cite the flag coming down last year at the statehouse in Columbia --- saying it's not a heritage debate, it's to ensure those seeking justice feel they are getting a fair shake. 

"The confederate flag doesn't belong in these courthouses. Everybody who comes into these courthouses will know they have equal justice under the law and they don't have to look up under a mural or confederate flag and wonder if they will get justice before the court system," said Jacques Days, Rock Hill NAACP