It could cost South Carolina taxpayers up to $3.6 million to display a Confederate battle flag that flew over the Statehouse in a state museum, the Charlotte Observer reports.
That proposed price tag is a markdown from the original $5.3 million that the commission for the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum voted to spend.
The lawmakers agreed to display the flag appropriately at the state’s Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. They appointed a commission to evaluate and approve a proposal for the project. But the consultant’s multimillion-dollar price tag shocked legislators from both sides of the aisle.
“That is irresponsible when we have so much flood damage, and we also have many crumbling roads,” said Republican State Rep. Chris Corley, according to The State.
Todd Rutherford, the Democratic House Minority leader, said, “Apparently, they’re going to fly it around every day in a private jet.”
Some voices in the Legislature agree that the cost is high but point out that scores of South Carolinians are demanding what they believe is an appropriate display of the Confederacy symbol.
There’s at least one outspoken supporter: Terry Hughey, a local commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He described the proposal as a “decent” tribute to Confederate soldiers.
Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina NAACP, said that the proposal is “a waste” and called on lawmakers to act responsibly.
“We’re still fighting wars about race,” Randolph said, according to The State. “The families of nine people had their families destroyed over what issue? Race. I can’t imagine us continuing to go through this.”
The Legislature will discuss the proposal in the coming year. It could set off another round of heated debates if the plan reaches the General Assembly.