Sunday, February 5, 2017

Confederate flag to fly once more in Walhalla

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The Confederate battle flag will return to state property in Walhalla on Saturday, taking the place of a state flag that has flown there since 2015.

James Bessenger, chairman of the South Carolina Secessionist Party, wrote letters to Walhalla city leaders this week urging them to put the battle flag back up and citing the state's Heritage Act.

The memorial is next to S.C. 28 in the city limits.

Bessenger said Friday the flag's return will show respect for fallen Confederate soldiers as well as for the state law, which requires legislative approval for changes to historical monuments.

Luther Lyle, who swapped the Confederate battle flag for a state flag in summer 2015, said going back to the Confederate flag had nothing to do with Bessenger's push.

He said a deal had been reached last weekend at a conference of state Sons of Confederate Veteran leaders, who agreed to take responsibility for the monument from him. Lyle said he was not made aware of the offer until after Bessenger sent letters objecting to the state flag this week.

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