3rd Confederate Infantry Regiment in Cleburne’s Division in late Atlanta Campaign 1864.
On Thursday, September 24, the artist was called to pick up the painting with the explanation that under California’s state law, the local fair district cannot hang the painting to be shown. California’s fair districts are a state run entity and fall under the 2014 law AB-2444 and cannot sell or display Confederate flags and symbols.
As a consolation, the artist was told, “the painting was allowed to be judged” and, “ had it won a place or prize, those would have been awarded to the artist.”
The fair people the artist talked with were sympathetic and showed the June 2015 letter from the State of California that was mailed to all fair districts and to all vendors and concessionaires who are operating their business at California fairs. The artist asked if he was considered a vendor or concession as he was not selling the painting. The reply was no, that the fair cannot display it. He asked for a copy of the letter and was told that they would mail him a copy. He was also told that the fair people had petitioned by telephone call to the California Fairs Director in Sacramento, that the painting depicted an historical scene, and also contacted the state Attorney General. It seemed that everyone’s hands were tied by the legislation. At some point someone in Sacramento had to have decided that the historic depiction did not matter.
Here is the law:
Assembly Bill No. 2444
An act to add Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 8195) to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to the Confederate flag.
[Approved by Governor September 25, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State September 25, 2014.]
legislative counsel’s digest
AB 2444, Hall. Confederate flag: sales: government property.
Existing law regulates the sale of certain merchandise, including political items and sports memorabilia.
This bill would prohibit the State of California from selling or displaying the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, or a similar image, or tangible personal property inscribed with those images, unless the image appears in a book, digital medium, or state museum that serves an educational or historical purpose.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 8195) is added to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Chapter 2.9. Confederate Flag
8195. (a) The State of California may not sell or display the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, also referred to as the Stars and Bars, or any similar image, or tangible personal property, inscribed with such an image unless the image appears in a book, digital medium, or state museum that serves an educational or historical purpose.
(b) For purposes of this section, “sell” means to transfer title or possession, exchange, or barter, conditional or otherwise, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, for consideration. “Transfer possession” includes only transactions that would be found by the State Board of Equalization, for purposes of the Sales and Use Tax Law, to be in lieu of a transfer of title, exchange, or barter.
As well as the legislature not understanding the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, notice also, that the law erroneously refers to the “Battle Flag” as the “Stars and Bars.” In the painting is the “Second National” Confederate pattern.
This is the “Stars and Bars” which is the First Confederate States National Flag:
While many may discredit Wikipedia as a source, there is a good discussion of this there at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America
The black and white painting was done for a local art show called “Black and White Show” in May 2015. Red was added to the Confederate States’ Second National flag’s canton in June.
Tim’s book also:
THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
All cover art copyright © 2014
All Rights Reserved
Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1
Timothy J. Desmond
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
Black Opal Books: http://www.blackopalbooks.com/
The Doc page and Writing at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com
Does this law mean that sutlers can no longer sell battle flags at civil war reenactments in California?
Richard, No. The law as I understand it means only “CA state” stores or venues that “the state” runs, like fairs. Sutlers are private dealers.
Richard, there has been a whoping record in Confederate merchandise sales across the country. Our local Reenactment will not be affected by this bill.
I am amazed at the ignorance of the California Legislature. History is history and you can’t erase it and you can’t paint over it. I have written a ton of postal letters asking them to not support this bill to no avail and not even a response to my letters. They all jumped on the band wagon and stuck together like a bunch of sheep and that includes my very own reps in the Central Valley where we are rich in Confederate History.
Chuck, YES. Unbelievable actions a year ago and last spring.