York Sports Club juror expelled for wearing Confederate flag clothing


The Confederate battle flag remains a controversial symbol in the South.

A juror was removed from a South Carolina trial Wednesday after he wore Confederate flag clothing in York County Court, officials said.

Court and law enforcement officials said Judge Dan Hall removed the juror from a criminal trial held at the Moss Justice Center in York.

Court officials said the defendant in the case is an African American. The race of the separated juror is unknown.

Trent Faris, a spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s Office, said a court security officer noticed the clothes on Wednesday and alerted Hall. The Sheriff’s Office provides security for the court building and courtrooms.

York County District Court deputy clerk Angie Sommer said the judge informed the defense attorney and the attorney general in the case about the jacket, which had a black and white Confederate flag.

Criminal trials in the South Carolina Plenary Court usually have 12 jurors and at least one alternate. Samar said the juror was a surrogate.

Samar said that the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney agreed that the woman should be removed from her position as juror.

Samir said the defense filed a motion to nullify the trial, which Hall rejected.

Samar said the trial continued with the 12 members of the jury.

A jury found the accused guilty Wednesday night on drug and weapons charges and sentenced him to 15 years in prison, according to officials and court records.

The flag of the Confederacy in the courts

The Confederate flag, which was acquired by the Ku Klux Klan and other groups considered racist or hate organizations, is often seen as a symbol of racial hostility.

The impact of the flag on the courts and tribunals is not new to York County, South Carolina, or the state.

In 2016, lawyers at a Moss Center criminal trial used a jury strike to remove a woman from a potential juror position after she wore a Confederate flag shirt in court.

In 2017, a York County Court Clerk did not place the Confederate flag and other Confederate relics again in the York County Courthouse main courthouse in downtown York after renovations were made. Science and antiquities have been hanging for decades in the historic courtroom.

The decision not to re-hang the flag caused protests and a lawsuit by supporters of the Confederate flag. Others supported the decision not to reintroduce perceived racial hate material into the courtroom.

In 2021, an appeals court ruled that a black man in Tennessee must get a new trial because jurors traded in a room with a Confederate flag and other relics of the Confederacy, according to court records and several news outlets including SC Statehouse.

The Confederate flag flew over the dome of the SC Statehouse under South Carolina sanctions until 2015 when it was lowered and later placed in a museum. This decision was made by the General Assembly of the Security Council after the murder of nine African Americans in a Charleston church by a white man.

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Covering breaking news and public safety for The Herald, Andrew Dys has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is the author of “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the US Library of Congress.


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