Governor Dennis Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Those Who Have Carried The Flag


Those Who Have Carried The Flag
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardAt the beginning of the Revolutionary War the individual states were not united by a national government and they lacked a symbol that could unite them. Instead, there were many flags. An attempt to unite the states fighting for independence under a flag that held resemblance to Great Britain’s was not successful. Instead, the Second Continental Congress determined it was time to part with Great Britain’s emblem entirely and establish a new national symbol for a new nation.

One year after the Declaration of Independence was adopted the Second Continental Congress established a national flag. The resolution pronounced that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Decades later, a conflict over slavery and state sovereignty erupted. The North and the South could no longer resolve their differences. Those in the South rejected the flag that had united the country since its origin. Southerners replaced the American flag with their own flags: three successive confederate flags that would set their people apart from the United States.

Although the Civil War nearly tore our nation apart, we eventually emerged as a better and stronger nation. The tenets of the Declaration of Independence – that ALL men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights – could finally be realized with the elimination of slavery. And because of the Civil War, Americans began to fly the American flag. It wasn’t until Northerners began displaying flags as a symbol of their allegiance and patriotism that it became commonplace for individuals to fly flags at their own homes.

By the time of World War II, the United States was among the most prosperous and prominent nations of the world. The country had grown and the flag then contained 48 stars. As a world superpower, the United States joined the fight against the Axis Powers and led the Allies to victory.

With the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the union, our flag became what it is today –a flag with 50 stars. Today our flag represents the American way of life. It is a sign of relief, an emblem of hope and a symbol of freedom. The flag stands for the fight for independence, the triumph over slavery, the crushing of Nazism and the containment of communism.

This Independence Day, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to thank the men and women who have worn the uniform of our United States, united under the flag of our nation. Because of them, and those who went before them, we won our independence, and are free.


Revisiting last week, a few pics of our delegation, the local scenery, and enjoying a cold one.

As I’m waiting for a coffee table I’m building for my daughter to dry (I added skirting), I was perusing a few of my pictures from trip to DC last week, and I notice I had a few photos of our delegation I hadn’t added.

Here, Congresswoman Noem briefs the assembled group about the issues that are (were) coming up in front of Congress, and specifically the Ways and Means committee .


Here, Senator Rounds gives us his time – and he gave us a lot – and listens intently as we explain the issues we’re working on for families of children with Autism. Mike offered a few pointers on things we should look at in state law which he remembered from being in the State Senate and the Gov’s office.


Here Senator Thune talks with our group before the sunrise breakfast session.


And a couple of the buildings we walked by on the way. – Here’s the Supreme Court in the days leading up to the recent SCOTUS decisions:


The US Capitol under renovation:


And, in case I forgot to share it earlier, here’s your’s truly at the Dubliner Irish Pub enjoying a cold glass of Harp.  IMG_1513.JPG

Good times. Now I need an excuse to go back!

Family Heritage Alliance on Supreme Court Ruling; Divided United States Supreme Court Decides On The Definition of Marriage

Divided United States Supreme Court Decides On The Definition of Marriage
Rapid City, SD, 06/26/2015
South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, June 26, 2015

FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher announced today that the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.  The case involved four combined cases from Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee.  The key questions they ruled on are whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples and whether the constitution requires states to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex that was performed legally in another state.

Today five justices of the Supreme Court ruled that all states must redefine marriage directly.

The FHA sees this ruling negatively affecting three major issues.

First, Marriage and Parenting.  Every child deserves the best opportunity we can give them to be raised by their married mom and dad. Today’s ruling puts the government’s stamp of approval on intentionally depriving kids of either their mom or their dad.  Redefining marriage redefines parenthood.  This new definition of marriage further weakens the institution of marriage by making it about the desires of adults rather than considering the good of children.

Second, Religious Freedom.  Regardless of whether someone supports or opposes same-sex marriage, I think we can all agree government shouldn’t force Americans to violate their beliefs about marriage.  Today’s ruling only increases the likelihood that our government will force Christians and other people of faith to celebrate or participate in same-sex marriages that violate their beliefs.  Now that same-sex marriage has been forced on our country, will there be tolerance for those whose faith teaches that marriage is the union of a man and a woman?

And third, Judicial Overreach.  The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty. The Court took that freedom from the people.  The Court overrode the will of over 50 million Americans in 31 states who successfully voted to preserve the millennia-old definition of marriage.

Today as South Dakotans move forward we believe that much as the Roe v. Wade decision awakened pro-life Americans, we expect this ruling will re-energize efforts to protect and uphold God’s design for marriage in our culture and our laws.

At this writing, it is unclear as to the far-reaching ramifications of this ruling, and its impact on people of faith.  We are in the evaluation phase and more information is forthcoming.


Attorney General’s Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Attorney General’s Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Decision

PIERRE – The United States Supreme Court has ordered that every State must recognize and license same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court order should be treated as effective immediately absent further direction from the Courts, with the practical recognition that a reasonable period of time may be necessary for state and local officials to implement this new rule of law.


Watertown paper giving love to Kristi Noem for Governor in 2018

In an editorial printed in the Watertown Public Opinion this week, the editorial board would appear to be giving love to Congresswoman Kristi Noem as to whether she should consider seeking the office of Governor in 2018:

There also appears to be a solid movement favoring a gubernatorial candidacy by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem of Castlewood which, if she decides to make a move for the governor’s chair, would potentially create atleast a threeway primary.

This isn’t the first time her name has come up as a potential candidate for governor. Political experts point to her experience in one statewide primary in 2010 and three general election campaigns in 2010, ’12 and ’14 as valuable assets. Plus, throw in the historical significance of her being the first woman Governor in South Dakota history, and it makes her possible entry into the race even more intriguing.

Read it here at the Watertown Public Opinion (Subscription required)

Do you think Kristi Noem could possibly be South Dakota’s first female Governor?

It didn’t happen with Wismer this last election, as I don’t think anyone thought she could legitimately compete with Daugaard. But Kristi is a horse of a different color, and an electoral force unto herself. Would the historical significance of her being a legitimate candidate who can win a general election give her a boost among female voters across the board as compared to her potential male competitors?

Jackley: Divided United States Supreme Court Holds State Marriage Laws Prohibiting Same-sex Marriage Unconstitutional

jackleyheader2Divided United States Supreme Court Holds State Marriage Laws Prohibiting Same-sex Marriage Unconstitutional

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that a very divided United States Supreme Court has issued its decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al., holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses between two people of the same-sex. The Court additionally held that states are required to recognize lawfully licensed out-of-state marriages between two people of the same sex.

“It has always been my position that the citizens of our state should define marriage, and not the federal government,” said Jackley. “Five members of the U.S. Supreme Court have now determined neither the States nor our citizens have the right or the ability to define marriage. Because we are a Nation of laws the State will be required to follow the Court’s order that every State must recognize and license same-sex marriage.”

In November 2006, South Dakota voters approved a Constitutional Amendment making marriage valid only between a man and a woman. South Dakota voters approved this amendment by a vote of 172,242 to 160,173. South Dakota Constitution Article XXI, Section 9 mandated that only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. In addition, SDCL 25-1-1 defines marriage as a personal relation between man and a woman. The U.S. Supreme Court has now held our Constitution and statutes violate U.S. Constitution.

South Dakota’s constitutional provision and laws prohibiting same-sex marriage were held unconstitutional by the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota in Rosenbrahn et al. v. Daugaard et al. in January 2015. That District Court stayed the enforcement of its judgment pending the appeal. The Eighth Circuit previously deferred its ruling pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell. The Rosenbrahn case is currently before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Significantly, today’s Obergefell decision makes clear that the law of this Circuit was previously controlled by the Bruning decision, which upheld Nebraska’s Constitution and state statutes defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Accordingly, South Dakota has been acting under controlling case precedent.

Gov. Daugaard’s Statement On Same-Sex Marriage Decision


Gov. Daugaard’s Statement On Same-Sex Marriage Decision

PIERRE, S.D. – This morning, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

“I would have preferred for this change to come through the democratic process, rather than the courts,” said Gov. Daugaard. “We are a nation of laws, and the state will follow the law. I will be working with the Attorney General to ascertain what this ruling means for state and local governments.”


SCOTUS: Approves same-sex marriage in all 50 states; Sets stage for next legislative fight over religious freedom.

From Newsmax:

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, an historic decision that extends gay and lesbian nuptials nationwide.

The question before the justices in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges was whether the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection and due process require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.

The justices also were considering the question of whether a state is required to recognize a same-sex couple’s legal marriage performed out-of-state.

Read it all here.  And more from USA Today:

The justices ruled that states cannot deny gay men and lesbians the same marriage rights enjoyed for thousands of years by opposite-sex couples. Within days if not hours, the decision is expected to trigger same-sex marriages in states that still ban the practice.

The landmark ruling ends a legal battle that had brewed in the states for 45 years, from Minnesota in the 1970s to Hawaii in the 1990s and New England after the turn of the century. The final turning point came in 2013, when the high court forced the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages and allowed them to resume in California.

Had the court upheld gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky, it would have jeopardized federal court rulings striking down similar bans in 20 of the 37 states where same-sex marriage has been declared legal. Quickly, the number of gay marriage states could have been cut in half.

Instead, the court’s finding that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the Constitution will make gay marriage legal in the remaining 13 states, from Georgia to North Dakota. And it will make battles over religious-freedom and non-discrimination laws the next battleground in the nation’s continuing struggle with gay rights.


Throughout the battle, a patient legal strategy, savvy public relations campaign and superior financing and organization propelled the gay marriage movement past an outgunned and underfunded opposition.

Read it here.

What do you think this means for the residents of the State of South Dakota?