Michigan Candice Miller has decided to banish all state flags from the Capitol tunnel because some contain elements of the Confederate flag, reports reveal.
Miller, a Republican from St. Clair County, who chairs the House Administration Committee that oversees the myriad duties of administrative services on Capitol Hill, decided that the state flags containing Confederate colors were too controversial. She decreed that all the states’ flags on display be replaced by a sample of each state’s coin.
The state flags were displayed in the tunnel connecting the Rayburn House Office Building and the U.S. Capitol.
“Given the controversy surrounding [C]onfederate imagery, I decided to install a new display,” Rep. Miller said in a statement on the committee’s website. “I am well aware of how many Americans negatively view the Confederate flag, and, personally, I am very sympathetic to these views. However, I also believe that it is not the business of the federal government to dictate what flag each state flies.”
To replace the flags, Miller said, “A print of each state’s commemorative coin will be tastefully displayed for this highly trafficked area as each quarter serves as a reminder of the ideals, landmarks, and people from each state, as well as this nation’s great motto, ‘Out of many, one.'”
According to USA Today, the flags decorating the tunnel were a sore spot for Democrat Mississippi Bennie Thompson, who has repeatedly demanded the flags be taken down–including the flag of his home state.
Thompson celebrated the removal of the state flags in his own statement posted to Facebook: “I am pleased that the Architect of the Capitol will no longer display symbols of hatred and bigotry in the esteemed halls of the United States House of Representatives,” Thompson said. “As I said last summer, this is the People’s House and we should ensure that we, as an institution, refuse to condone symbols that seek to divide us.”
Representative Thompson is so disgusted by his state flag that he will not display it at his congressional offices.
However, even as she removed the state flags display from the tunnel, Representative Miller allowed state representatives to continue to display their state flags outside and inside their own congressional offices, whether or not they have a Confederate symbol on them.
“This is the ‘People’s House,'” Miller was pained to agree, “where each congressional district sends their designated representative to be their voice in the halls of Congress.”
Naturally, folks on social media had their say about Miller’s move to banish the state flags.
Confederate emblem removed at U.S. Capitol PC When will YOUR symbol be targeted? Suppression starts with the Other. https://t.co/fp4IsdUuRA
— Sandra Liz (@Usanthem24) April 22, 2016
— Red,White & F#*k You (@Patriot762x51mm) April 21, 2016
— Dr. Rich Swier (@drrichswier) April 21, 2016
— Rick Hooper (@PlayingLowEnd) April 21, 2016
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.