Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that bars state agencies from selling or displaying the Confederate battle flag or any other items that bear the Civil War-era insignia.
Hall reportedly was inspired to propose the measure after his mother saw replica Confederate currency for sale at a state Capitol gift shop.
Hall, who is African American, has described the flag as "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."
Hall's bill passed easily in both the Assembly and Senate. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks), a tea party conservative, cast the only "no" vote in the lower house, saying the proposal would violate the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.
"I'm a strict Constitutionalist," Donnelly said after the vote, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's painful and lonely."
Two Republicans voted no in the state Senate -- Steve Knight of Palmdale and Joel Anderson of Alpine -- both citing concerns similar to Donnelly's. The L.A. Times notes that Knight's "no" vote has become an issue in his campaign for Congress:
... Knight said he saw free-speech issues with the bill that could pose problems for private vendors who operate gift shops on state sites.
"It's not that I condone the Confederate flag, but I believe there are constitutional issues," Knight said in an interview Wednesday.
He added that his office is looking into asking the governor's staff to develop a comprehensive policy that could achieve the bill's goal without what he sees as its downsides.
Hall has said that AB2444 doesn't violate the First Amendment because it applies only to government activities and not individuals -- for instance, protesters on state property -- who wish to display the battle flag.