The Myrtle Beach City Council will hold a special meeting Monday to discuss a resolution supporting Gov. Nikki Haley’s request to remove the Confederate flag from State House grounds.
The meeting, called in part by Councilman Michael Chestnut, will allow the city council to “go on the record in support of Gov. Haley and take a stand,” Chestnut said.
“It’s important that we go on the record now, with hindsight being 20/20, about removing the flag from the State House,” Chestnut said.
The council decided to hold a debate before the S.C. Legislature returns to discuss a possible gubernatorial veto on the state budget, Councilman Wayne Gray said. The council wants to share results of its discussion with the S.C. General Assembly before it holds its own discussion, which explains why Myrtle Beach leaders will meet Monday.
“The city of Myrtle Beach is the center of the state’s tourism economy, and I think it’s important the body representing Myrtle Beach has an opportunity to discuss this,” Gray said.
“And since it’s an official agenda item, it gives people an opportunity to share their thoughts with the council, whatever they may be,” he added.
Another reason for the special meeting stemmed from area vigils honoring the lives of nine people gunned down last week, Chestnut said. Nine people – including S.C. senator and pastor Clementa Pinckney – were killed at a Bible study last week at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
Five days after the murders, Haley and dozens of other state politicians called for the removal of the flag, which currently flies near a Confederate monument on State House grounds. The flag was previously located on the dome of the State House, but was moved about 15 years ago.
“It’s time. The community came together the other day, and you can see it on people’s faces,” Chesnut said. “People want us to try and put those things aside and take a stand.”
Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes agreed that the time had come for Myrtle Beach city leaders to officially discuss the flag’s future.
“It’s time to sit down and discuss the direction city council wants to go,” he said.
The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Myrtle Beach City Hall, 937 Broadway Street.
Contact CLAIRE BYUN at 626-0381 and follow her on Twitter @Claire_TSN.
If you go:
What | Myrtle Beach City Council
Topic | removal of Confederate flag from State House grounds
When | Monday, 10 a.m.
Where | City Hall, 937 Broadway Street, Myrtle Beach