by William Moultrie
Andrews – South Carolina’s iconic flag has survived over two and a quarter centuries and a nationality change, but if a coalition of christian denominations gets it’s way, it’s days may be numbered.
“I was checking my step-daughter’s internet surfing history on her computer when I came across a Wikipedia article she’d looked at about the Islamic countries,” he said. “When I looked at the page I noticed that almost all the flags had crescents on them. I’m sure I’d noticed that before, but seeing it there next to the South Carolina flag mouse pad on her desk, well it just clicked — we are being used as a pawn by Muslim extremists by showing their symbol on our flag. I was flabbergasted.”
Rev. Jovinici immediately called his colleagues in the ecumenical community around South Carolina and got to work re-writing his sermon for his next service.
“Lyle called me Saturday afternoon and I knew it must be important, because everyone knows the only call I’ll take on race day is a calling from god,” said Rev. Tarry Rendell, Director of the South Carolina Association of Baptist, Southern (SCABS). “And sure enough, I believe that’s what it was. I was taken aback at first… I love my state and her symbols, but I love America more and Jesus most of all and we can’t let the Muslims gain a single inch on us.”
With the state legislature adjourned until January, SCABS has decided to spend the next several months spreading the word among their congregations and enlisting other denominations to their cause. Rednell says he has firm commitments from three of the larger statewide protestant congregations and has had some productive discussions with the Catholics. He also says he’s been less successful in recruiting synagogues to the movement.
“I thought the Jews would be all over this, they hate Muslims,” Rev. Rendell said. “Heck, we were already saving them spots on the accounting and media committees, but they don’t seem interested. I went and saw Rabbi Rabinovich down in Charleston expecting to finally have something we could both be on board with but when I told him what we were doing he just stared at me for a minute, asked me if I was serious, said ‘oy vey,’ and just walked away. I don’t know much Hebrew, but I don’t think that was his way of endorsing our cause.”
“This has to be a joke, right?” asked Dr. Edgar Walker, chair of the Citadel history department. “Sure, the crescent is a prominent feature on many of the flags of Muslim nations but South Carolina’s flag is clearly not using the symbol in the same way. If you look at the earliest version of our state’s the flag — the one used at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island by Col. Moultrie — you’ll see a much different crescent in use. The earliest version bears little resemblance to Islamic crescent and much more to the military regalia of the 18th century that it’s likely based on.”
It’s not a joke to SCABS.
theDiscust was unable to get a single legislator to speak on the record about this new flag issue, though several confided that they’d just assume this just go away.
“This could not be more serious,” said Rev. Jovinici. “These fanatics are out to destroy our way of life and what we stand for, and if we have to eliminate a symbol that’s represented our ancestors for generations to keep that from happening, then I’m willing to do what I have to do.”
So far, there’s no proposed design to replace the current flag.
“We’ll deal with that down the road,” said Rev. Rendell of a replacement design, “but the immediate need is to get that flag down and replaced — it is flying over the every government building and school in the state right now and I can’t stomach the thought of it. I spent all day yesterday making calls, but unfortunately I went by alphabetical order and that led me to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) churches first. They weren’t as receptive as I thought they might be.”
The AME church is a predominantly African-American congregation that has butted heads with SCABS on a number of issues, but most publicly on presence of the Confederate flag first on top of, and now on the grounds of the Statehouse.
“Can you believe that man?” asked Rev. Maurice Stanford of the Greater Columbia AME Association. “Tarry Rendell called me, me, about having a flag taken down from the Statehouse. I tell you, these people wouldn’t know irony if it nailed them to a cross.”