YORK, S.C. — A lawsuit challenging the decision to remove a Confederate flag from a South Carolina courtroom was thrown out Thursday.
Russell Walker of Aberdeen, North Carolina, filed a lawsuit in June against York County Clerk of Court David Hamilton, asking a judge to force Hamilton to return the flag and pictures of Confederate generals back to the main courtroom.
Walker’s lawsuit said the S.C. Heritage Act allows only the legislature to move Confederate items in public buildings.
Local media outlets reported Judge Jack Kimball ruled Thursday that Walker’s lawsuit has no standing because he lives in North Carolina, and that it has no merit because there’s been no court case regarding the Heritage Act and whether it applies to buildings.
Walker told WSOC-TV in Charlotte that the flag is a religious symbol to him.
“I believe this is the flag of righteousness,” Walker said. “Look it up on the internet, the flag of righteousness. I believe this will be the flag we fly in Heaven. That’s my personal belief.”
Walker said he will drop his fight, but hopes someone who lives in South Carolina will take up the cause.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports the hearing came about because York County’s lawyer, Michael Kendree, wanted the case dismissed. He wrote to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office in March that county officials believe the flag, and pictures of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, are neither a memorial nor monument. He said they are not subject to the South Carolina Heritage Act.
The attorney general has not issued an opinion on York County’s stance.
Several flags and pictures were in the courthouse’s main courtroom for decades. They were removed during renovations, then not put back up.