Columbia, South Carolina
May 2000
Another state capitol in our path, so we opted to visit and see what all the Confederate flag hullabaloo was about.  Well, what a zoo!  Approaching the State House, as their capitol is known, we passed multiple TV trucks, banks of microphones and TV crews lurking around.  One NBC truck had a satellite dish mounted on it the size of a small country, and the one next to it had a tiny one, the size of ours, mounted on an extending pole about as high as the dome on the capitol building. 
Commentary continues following photos below. . .
Designer's info
Side View
Front View
Interior columns
and arches
House Chamber
Mace in House
Voting Tally
Balcony outside
Senate Chamber
Interior Dome
Cut Glass Window
Stained Glass
Order of
NBC's Satellite
Atop Truck
Channel 2's
Reaching Satellite
The lawn surrounding the capitol was filled with grammar school age kids, many of whom were carrying placards proclaiming, “Kids who read, succeed.”  Then numerous other kids were touring inside the state house.  None of the kids had anything to do with the flag issue.  Inside we learned the House had voted on the flag, but the senate was debating financial things, so the likelihood of a flag announcement was slight, or so the lieutenant governor’s office told Ray.  But, no one told the TV crews, as they were still poised for action everywhere.  This was, by far, the busiest capitol I have ever been in.  The house members had just adjourned, so were still milling about; the senate was in session and the lobby of the senate was filled with people watching the TVs monitoring the events in the senate.  The kids who had just completed their South Carolina history class were touring with teachers.

The State House itself was lovely.  It underwent a full restoration and was reopened in 1998.  South Carolina’s state stone, blue granite, was dominant everywhere along with touches of polished Honduran mahogany, white Georgia marble and pink Tennessee marble elsewhere.  Mosaic stained glass windows in the main lobby were spectacular, and the newly recovered copper dome is still copper colored instead of the green it will become.  BUT, under the flagpole on the dome that flies the Confederate flag, in this magnificent lobby, carved in marble, is the 1860 Order of Secession written in Columbia but voted on in Charleston.  These rebs are proud of the Confederacy they began, and even if the flag is voted down, that marble engraving will still be there. 

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