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Lawmaker’s Letter Adds Fuel To Flag Flap

Sun., Dec. 29, 1996

South Carolina’s top education official might want to seek federal protection since she supports removal of the Confederate flag from atop the Statehouse, a legislator suggested.

Education Superintendent Barbara Nielsen says she doesn’t necessarily consider the letter a threat, but she does want to talk with department lawyers to see if any action should be taken against state Rep. John Graham Altman.

Altman said his Dec. 20 letter was in response to one Nielsen sent to educators asking them to support Gov. David Beasley’s compromise plan to move the flag to a monument on Statehouse grounds.

“Why in the world would she try and draw 2,000 people out of school to join with her in a rally against the Confederate flag,” Altman said late Friday. “That girl’s nuts.”

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