While governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton reportedly signed into law a bill that honored the Confederacy in the state flag.
This past action by the 42nd president may have current relevancy in that the fiendish hate crime committed by a deranged gunman in Charleston, South Carolina, this week has morphed into a discussion of the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capitol as well as gun control.
Most Americans regard the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism. The Confederacy comprised the southern slaves states which seceded from the union and led to the Civil War.
Through a spokesman, President Obama has declared that the Confederate flag belongs in a museum.
Politicians from across the spectrum have called for the Confederate flag to be taken down from a flagpole near the state capitol building in Columbia. A Republican state legislator there, Rep. Norman "Doug" Brannon, has announced that he will introduce legislation to have it removed, a change with requires the approval of at least two-thirds of state lawmakers. The mayor of Columbia has also called for the Confederate flag to be taken down.
In a speech yesterday, Bill Clinton's wife, 2016 Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, denounced institutional racism and so-called white privilege in America and called for additional gun regulation in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting massacre. Hillary Clinton has yet to publicly comment on the flag controversy, however.
According to the Daily Caller, then-Gov. Bill Clinton signed a law in 1987 concerning the state flag, Act 116, detailing that "the blue star above the word 'ARKANSAS' is to commemorate the Confederate States of America."
During the 2000 presidential campaign, moreover, VP Al Gore criticized his rival, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, for avoiding taking a position on the South Carolina Confederate flag issue. At the same time, Gore, however, apparently refused to comment on the Arkansas state flag.