Confederate memorabilia being sold at the State Capitol gift shop
(Sentinel file photo)
Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III (D- Los Angeles) recently introduced AB 2444, which would prohibit the sale of the Confederate flag or items bearing the image of the Confederate flag on property owned or operated by the State of California.
The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence towards many Americans. Its symbolism and history is directly linked to the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of Americans through the mid-19th Century. Even today, its public display is designed to instill fear, intimidation and a direct threat of violence towards others.
California was admitted to the United States of America in 1850 as a ‘free state’. Its history is directly linked to the expansion of liberty and the equal protection of all people. Yet this symbol of violence continues to be used as a means for profit at various public venues across the state including the Cal Expo Fairgrounds, host of the California State Fair and inside the gift shop at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
“Never in my life would I have imagined that items promoting the worst chapter in American history would be sold at the California State Capitol or any state property,” said Hall. “It is hurtful, it is painful and it is wrong. AB 2444 will send a strong message that California will not be in the business of promoting racism, exclusion, oppression or violence and that it will not allow taxpayer facilities to be used to market hate towards others.”
The discovery of replica Confederate money being sold at the California State Capitol was made by Hall’s mother, who, while visiting her son, found the very items used to finance American slavery displayed next to post cards of the State Capitol, Yosemite and the Golden Gate Bridge in the Capitol’s basement gift shop. Hall’s mother was raised under segregated education laws in Texas and fled to California with her family seeking equality and opportunity.