The issue to be addressed is whether it is constitutionally permissible under the Equal Protection Clause for a state to fly a Confederate flag over its state capitol dome or other public property.

Like many of the South’s ghosts of the past slavery, racial discrimination, and race relations in general, the battle over the Confederate flag continues to impact national politics and rages on about the state of South Carolina. South Carolina is again the catalyst for a conflict about Southern Confederate values. South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union and the only state where the Confederate flag still files above its capitol, has created a flag controversy. The controversy has pitted blacks against whites, Republicans against Democrats, and conservatives against liberals, just as the Civil War did more than a century ago. An emotional national controversy concerning South Carolina’s flying of the Confederate battle flag, with its state flag and the United States flag over its state capitol, entered the 2000 presidential campaign.