Senate Bars Confederate Daughters’ Flag Use

From Associated Press

The Senate refused Thursday to grant the United Daughters of the Confederacy a renewed patent on an insignia featuring the Confederate flag, after the chamber’s only black member called it a cruel reminder that blacks were once “human chattel” in America.

The Senate initially approved the courtesy measure--as it has in times past--on a vote of 52 to 48 when Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) offered it as an amendment to President Clinton’s national service legislation.

But then it reversed itself and killed the amendment on a 75-25 vote after an emotional debate.


“I would like to put a stake through the heart of this Dracula,” said Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.), whose indignant stand against the Helms amendment swayed the votes of other senators.

Helms was trying to reverse a May 6 Senate Judiciary Committee action that he said “was the result of a good-faith misunderstanding.”

Members of the panel had refused to renew the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s 95-year-old patent after Moseley-Braun, the first black woman in the Senate, objected that the Confederate Stars and Bars, which appears at the center of the insignia, was offensive to blacks.