California state government departments will be prohibited from displaying or selling items that carry the Confederate flag.
The state’s Assembly passed the bill Monday.
AB2444 by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, is headed to the Senate after passing on a 72-1 vote. Hall introduced the bill after his mother saw replica Confederate money being sold at the state Capitol gift shop.
He called the image a symbol of racism meant to intimidate.
“Its symbolism in history is directly linked to the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of Americans,” Hall said of the Confederate flag. “The state of California should not be in the business of promoting hate toward others.”
The only lawmaker to vote against the bill was Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the leading Republican candidate for governor.
“We shouldn’t be here picking the kind of speech we like,” he said. “I am not standing here defending the symbol. I am standing here defending the principle that the First Amendment principles should apply in all state buildings, of all places.”
The bill originally banned sales of Confederate flag memorabilia on state property, but was amended to exclude non-governmental employees and businesses from the ban.
This was done to avoid violating constitutional free speech protections.
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