The dispute in Congress over the Confederate flag threatened on Friday to upend House Republican plans to move forward on routine spending legislation, amid concerns that Democrats could hijack the bills to debate the flag.
“Is it slavery, rape, kidnap, treason, genocide or all of the above?” he asked.
That policy prohibits the sale of items with Confederate flag imagery but allows the Confederate flags to be flown in “specific circumstances where the flags provide historical context, for instance to signify troop location or movement or as part of a historical re-enactment or living history program”.
Do those who revere the Confederate flag as part of their heritage realize this flag also symbolizes another race’s misery, that of the black man, who was imprisoned on a plantation from birth to death; who was forced to work from sunup to sundown; whose children were sold in auctions, never to be seen again?
The number of graves was unknown, but Park Service spokeswoman Kathy Kupper said there was one at Andersonville cemetery in Georgia and two each at Shiloh in Tennessee and Vicksburg in Mississippi.
In this July 9, 2015, photo, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. He said the bipartisan discussions could potentially address Confederate symbols within the Capitol as well as at parks and cemeteries.
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), whose opposition to the flag-banning amendments helped fuel Calvert’s measure, said in a statement: “Congress can not simply rewrite history and strip the Confederate flag from existence”.
He added that Democrats didn’t seek roll call votes on the amendments because it would have put some Republicans uncomfortably on the record and “we did expect that a few of them would probably vote against these amendments if there was a roll call”. He said today’s events are a learning moment in the state’s history.
Earlier in the week, lawmakers decided by voice vote and without controversy to ban the display of the Confederate flag in Park Service-run cemeteries.
“South Carolinians, along with Georgia, North Carolina they all faught under this flag”, said Rollis Smith.
More than 150 years later, it is still a widely debated symbol.
The move left the main Democrat on the bill clearly stunned.